About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Question of Security: Great Resources

Hardly a day goes by when I don't hear either the phrase "pick up a history book" or "I can just go read a history book to know you are wrong." I hear it on the radio and television, I read it in the news and on the internet, I hear it at the local farmer's market from the Piney Woods hippies and the aging Klansmen. And then I check out a copy of the Washington Post this morning:
Glacial Melt in Peru Becomes More Than a Climate Issue

HUARAZ, Peru - Glacier melt hasn't caused a national crisis in Peru, yet. But high in the Andes, rising temperatures and changes in water supply over the last 40 years have decimated crops, killed fish stocks and forced villages to question how they will survive for another generation.
The story goes on to interview the head of the CIA who sees the situation in Peru as a critical moment in (drum roll) US national security. And he should. Millions of displaced people in a region just now getting back on its feet would be a disaster for the hemisphere.

If Peru and its allies don't fund and create projects to conserve water, improve decrepit water infrastructure and regulate runoff from glaciers within five years, the disappearance of Andean glaciers could lead to social and economic disaster, said Alberto Hart, climate change adviser at Peru's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"This will become a problem for the United States," he said. "When you have a dysfunctional country, you have a problem for the entire region."

The reporting on this glacial melt is a part of what is called the National Security Journalism initiative. I would highly suggest a look at their site, as well as an interesting interactive chart on security and climate change. I also found their documents page interesting, with climate security information from the CIA to the Navy, from the World Bank to university scientists.

I guess if we want to know what happens when regions create massive displacement, all we have to do is pick up a history book.

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