Food, Water and Energy
where the experts come to talk
This month in
NATO Review
Food, Water and Energy
Those who thought that climate change, energy insecurity and food shortages were the things of faraway lands have had cause to think again recently.

Climate is changing. The UK just had one of its wettest summers since records began.

Food is being affected. Russia and the USA just experienced significant droughts which majorly affected their harvests.

And energy issues are coming to the fore. Just look at the spat between China and Japan over small uninhabited islands – their real value lies in the unexploited fossil fuel deposits believed to lie near them.

These are issues that are important, interlinked and not going to go away. And, as some of the analysts in this edition point out, one country’s efforts to improve the situation may actually make things worse in a neighbouring country.
Coming up next in
NATO Review
On the move?
Optimized for
Smartphone and PDA
Feeding the world is a Herculean task. And harnessing adequate water supplies is getting harder - especially as demand increases. This photostory shows some of the major obstacles to all the world's food reaching all the world's people.
Few would predict that growing populations, decreasing resources and climate change will have an effect on security. But what could they be? And how will they affect heavily-populated areas of the world? Michael Kugelman looks at the potential changes for South Asia in general, and India in particular.
Water is the essence of life. But drinkable, fresh water is at a premium. Rising populations, poor water use and shortages in key areas are all major factors. This video gives a quick tour of the world showing why water is an issue for everyone.
Energy use is not a side issue for security. Power outages in many NATO states have shown how vulnerable we all are without sufficient energy. As the demand for more energy resources increases, how can we make sure this does not lead to conflict?
Food insecurity still blights some areas of the world. But the main problem is not the overall amount of food. It is its correct distribution. Just changing this could save millions of lives and reduce conflict.
In this article we asked Dan Milstein, an International Relations Specialist in the US Department of Energy’s Office of European and Asia Pacific Affairs, to give us his personal views about the energy security and the role of NATO.
NATO Review looks at why getting the armed forces closer to the realities of energy and environmental problems is actually a good move. And why most people would benefit.
We ask energy and environment expert, Jason Blackstock, how he sees changes in the area, whether they are a cause for optimism and where he sees the potential flashpoints.
Geoff Hiscock looks at how enough food production and water usage for everyone is attainable. But how further conflict awaits if no progress is made.
New to NATO Review?

The party game of musical chairs played by children is a merciless affair. The frantic search for a free chair increases as the number of them decreases. Anyone who has seen adults play the game knows that it is no more dignified.

Now imagine the chairs as natural resources, like water and fossil fuels. And imagine the players as representing billions of people.

Add to this the fact that there are more players arriving as the resources decrease. Welcome to the world in 2012.

The party game of musical chairs played by children is a merciless affair. The frantic search for a free chair increases as the number of them decreases. Anyone who has seen adults play the game knows that it is no more dignified.

Now imagine the chairs as natural resources, like water and fossil fuels. And imagine the players as representing billions of people.

Add to this the fact that there are more players arriving as the resources decrease. Welcome to the world in 2012.

In the security area, we are often analysing which shifts could lead to conflict. But often, it is simpler to go back to basics. ‘An empty stomach is not a good political advisor,’ Albert Einstein once said. And it remains true – maybe truer – today.

This edition of NATO Review looks at the search for more, while there is less to find.

Because these issues not only could be a cause for serious future concern – but are already having a massive effect globally. Today, according to the UN, more people die from water and sanitation-related issues than in any war.

India, the world’s second biggest country by population, has its hunger ranked as ‘alarming’ in last year’s Global Hunger Index.

Yemen, where al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula operates out of, is just a few years from being the first country to run out of water.

The edition does look at some of the potential solutions too. But what is clear is that those who are dedicated to peace have to consider these issues as a key part of the struggle.

Perhaps we need to learn from those who have already tried. One of those rewarded for his work for world peace was Norman Borlaug. A Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work on hunger, he once said: ‘You can’t build a peaceful world on empty stomachs and human misery.’

quotes
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790),
Poor Richard's Almanac, 1746
Newsletter
Make sure you don't miss a thing
When the well is dry,
we know the worth of water
About NATO Review
Go to
NATO A to Z
NATO Multimedia Library
NATO Channel
Share this
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Delicious
Delicious
Google Buzz
Google Buzz
diggIt
Digg It
RSS
RSS
You Tube
You Tube