Michael Klare, author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency has picked up on comments made by British Defence Secretary John Reid, that we reported in a blog last month (see blog here).

Writing in the week-end edition of Alternet, Klare states: “It’s official: the era of resource wars is upon us. In a major London address, British Defense Secretary John Reid warned that global climate change and dwindling natural resources are combining to increase the likelihood of violent conflict over land, water and energy. Climate change, he indicated, “will make scarce resources, clean water, viable agricultural land even scarcer” — and this will “make the emergence of violent conflict more rather than less likely.”

Klare writes that Reid’s comments are important because of his “senior rank” and “the vehemence of his remarks”. The Defence Secretary’s comments also echo a report by the Pentagon in 2003 that warned that “violence and disruption stemming from the stresses created by abrupt changes in the climate pose a different type of threat to national security than we are accustomed to today. Military confrontation may be triggered by a desperate need for natural resources such as energy, food and water rather than by conflicts over ideology, religion or national honor.

According to Klare “we can respond to these predictions in one of two ways: by relying on fortifications and military force to provide some degree of advantage in the global struggle over resources, or by taking meaningful steps to reduce the risk of cataclysmic climate change”.

In a rational world, everything humanely possible would be being done to reduce cataclysmic climate change. But we do not live in a rational world. It is also one still ruled by military force.