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I fully agree with the proposition of adding climate issues to the list of factors of geopolitical power. In fact, with the present and upcoming climate changes those might even become the major causes of serious international armed conflicts. Floods in Bangladesh, failed harvests whether due to extreme dryness in Northern Africa and Southern Europe or by continual rainfall in other countries … Worldwide the process of climate changing is increasingly influencing the prices of provisions and raw materials such as cotton. In kind of a way, climate change even has already some effect on the demography of states. In India and other countries where due to extreme dryness the harvests failed already several years after each other, farmers start to emigrate to other countries with better prospects, or, in extreme cases, commit suicide to escape the misery their lives will bring. For already a few years there is a certain ‘suicide belt’ in Central India, near to the city of Vidarbha, and it’s proportion is hugely enlarging since 1997. So to speak, it’s still a ‘marginal’ phenomenon, but the fact that farmers worldwide are getting it tougher every day to sustain and survive in the global market, is generally acknowledged.
Let’s talk about factors of the political power. There were population-demography, economy-GDP, access to raw materials (fuels), civilization development: as technology, civilization development: as degree of political and social organization, military power and geography. Certainly this list can include some other positions, and You presented just one variant of what it could be. But I am deeply concerned that such factor as climate should be added. Somebody could say that geography includes it, but it seems to me that climate is much more unstable issue than geography.
Now why I propose climate to joined to the list of factors of the political power. Let’s look through recent events in Egypt, but starting from Russia.
In summer 2010 Russia, which is one of the biggest wheat exporter (4th one), was damaged by huge conflagration. It provoked one-year ban on export of wheat. At the same time flood in Australia and huge rains in Middle-West of US injured harvest of wheat. Also we can add a catastrophe in Pakistan which scared the market. Starting from June to December 2010 wheat prices surged by 70% and keep rising in spring 2011. The same situation is with corn. Egypt is the world’s single largest wheat importer, it is also fourth largest corn (which is often employed as a food additive and to feed poultry and livestock.) importer. Arab Spring started in Tunisia, and one of the last promises of Zine Ben Ali was the reduction of bread prices. Then revolution started in Egypt where the government provided subsidized bread to 14.2 million people in a population of 83 million. And now it seems that Arab Spring is not finished yet.
So I propose to add climate issue to the lists of factors of the political power.
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