Gwynne Dyer on Mexico and Climate Wars

Yesterday evening Val and I went to hear Gwynne Dyer and Elizabeth May speak at an Earth Day Eve event in the Annex. Gwynne Dyer mostly spoke about the same topics he covers on his Climate Wars book —about how climate change entails food scarcity, and food scarcity leads to wars.

But the most alarming point to me, as a Mexican, was his discussion of possible scenarios in the U.S./Mexico border. Dyer claims that several high-ranking officers in the Pentagon feel fairly certain that increasing water stresses in large areas of Mexico will disrupt the food supply in Mexico and Central America and cause massive illegal immigration to the U.S. These officers, according to Dyer, believe that there’s a high probability that the White House will then order the border closed for real (a la Iron Curtain), roughly 15 years from now, a move that would bring significant frictions within the United States’ significant Latin American community and that would leave the people on the continent south of the U.S. out to starve.

It’s a scary thought, and I do not quite know what to make of it. A part of me wants to dismiss this as military alarmism. But Mexico had a dismal precipitation record in 2009 (apparently caused by an ever-more-frequent El Nino), and the IPCC projects many more millions of water-stressed people in Latin America and a decrease in cereal yields over the next few decades. These are the times when I really wish deniers were right.

About Jorge Aranda

I'm currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the SEGAL and CHISEL labs in the Department of Computer Science of the University of Victoria.
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2 Responses to Gwynne Dyer on Mexico and Climate Wars

  1. Jack says:

    There’s a lot of countries that over-produce food (such as most of Europe) and some might even produce even more due to climate change. Countries with less food production can easily be fed by that as long as they don’t boycott food imports.
    (Of course, they won’t get fresh local veggies, but that’s another story althogether.)

    • Jorge says:

      Maybe –but historically the North doesn’t exactly have a stellar record on solving the South’s hunger problem. There’s already plenty of people starving today and we do nearly nothing about it. Why would this indifference disappear in the future?

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