Sunday, February 10, 2008

Georgia and the Coming Resource Wars

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.”

Although not unprecedented, Reid’s prediction of an upsurge in resource conflict is significant both because of his senior rank and the vehemence of his remarks. “The blunt truth is that the lack of water and agricultural land is a significant contributory factor to the tragic conflict we see unfolding in Darfur,” he declared. “We should see this as a warning sign.”

Resource conflicts of this type are most likely to arise in the developing world, Reid indicated, but the more advanced and affluent countries are not likely to be spared the damaging and destabilizing effects of global climate change. With sea levels rising, water and energy becoming increasingly scarce and prime agricultural lands turning into deserts, internecine warfare over access to vital resources will become a global phenomenon.

Comes now P6 with this fascinating little glimpse from the twilight zone in which the ongoing southeastern drought has Georgia revisting a nearly 200 year old border dispute with Tennessee;
"It's never too late to right a wrong," said Georgia state Sen. David Shafer (R), whose bill would create a boundary-line commission that aims to resolve the dispute.
Good. Now about those reparations for slavery.
But on the serious tip - there is about to be a heat-up under the law about sovereign control of territory - given the implications for big business, unbridled growth, and the continuing viability of the obviously unsustainable sprawl that is Atlanta;
Nearly two centuries after a flawed survey placed Georgia's northern border just short of the Tennessee River, some legislators are thirsting to set the record straight.

A historic drought has added urgency to Georgia's generations-old claim that its territory should extend about a mile farther north and reach into the Tennessee -- a river with about 15 times the flow of the one Atlanta depends on for water.

"It's never too late to right a wrong," said Georgia state Sen. David Shafer (R), whose bill would create a boundary-line commission that aims to resolve the dispute.

The reaction of Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D): "This is a joke, right?"

No joke gov. Georgia desperately needs that water, and it's coming at you to get it by any means necessary. Really though, it's not like you expect the Federal government to intervene constructively here, do you? Civil and infrastructural engineers have already pegged the cost of getting Atlanta's water storage capacity up to snuff at $300 Billion dollars. It'd be a helluva lot cheaper to simply sue and steal the desperately needed water from Tennessee based on a 200 year old dispute over territorial precision.