Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The Age of Consequences

aspendailynews |  Building a wall between Mexico and the United States has been a controversial issue in America's current election cycle, but in India, it's a moot point. That's because the country has nearly completed a 2,500-mile, double barbed-wire fence all the way around its border with Bangladesh and instituted a shoot-on-sight policy.

Indian officials say the wall was primarily built to prevent the smuggling of narcotics, but it should also be noted that illegal migration over the past two decades is a major issue. As Bangladesh continues to be an epicenter for climate change refugees — with tens of millions of people to be displaced by rising sea levels, drought and famine — India's concern about a flood of immigrants into its country is also a catalyst, points out "The Age of Consequences," a documentary screening in Aspen on Monday, Nov. 7.

The film, which hit the festival circuit in the spring and is set to be released theatrically in early 2017, looks at climate change through a lens of global security, featuring interviews with several military leaders and experts. It starts by examining the history of Syrian civil war, which undoubtedly is rooted in centuries o conflict, yet accelerated by a severe three-year drought in the mid-2000s which forced 1.5 million people from the agricultural countryside into major cities.

"A bunch of unemployed young men in a major city is not a recipe for stability," says Brig. Gen. Stephen Curry, of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Today, Syria is the headquarters for the Islamic State, and they're using resource scarcity to their advantage, the movie explains. With less water, extremists leverage the resource to take over local populations, as seen with ISIS' withholding of water storage facilities in Syria.

"Water becomes an instrument of war," he says.