A new UK Foreign Office report warns that threats posed by climate change, especially to the world’s food supply, should be taken as seriously as nuclear war. The report, intended to prepare world leaders for climate talks later this year, presents a devastatingly honest picture of the widespread effects of global warming. The report is penned in part by Foreign Office Minister Baroness Joyce Anelay, who cautions that drastic measures are necessary in order to change the course of the world’s future–before it’s too late.

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Anelay is the minister of state at the Commonwealth and Foreign Office. In the report, she cautions unchecked global warming will cause indirect impacts, like loss of international security, that are far worse than the direct effects, like floods. The report, commissioned by the Foreign Office for the upcoming global summit on climate change in Paris this December, contains expert accounts from the United Kingdom, United States, China and India. The document is a sharp criticism of past global warming policy, and urges the world’s government leaders to continue enacting aggressive restrictions on carbon emissions in order to avoid irreversible damage.

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The report lists a number of wide-ranging risks posed by climate change, which predictions reveal would worsen if drastic action is not taken now. Those dangers include:

  • Serious risk to global food security and skyrocketing food prices
  • Human migration in unprecedented numbers
  • Increased chances for terrorism as states fail
  • Lethal high temperatures in some areas of the world, even in the shade

Although the report outlines a bleak future for a world with unchecked global warming, hope is not lost, according to the authors. Political leadership and technology can change rapidly enough to address the problems, the report’s authors claim, arguing that “the risks of climate change may be greater than is commonly realized, but so is our capacity to confront them. An honest assessment of risk is no reason for fatalism.”

Via The Guardian

Images via Wikipedia and Stephen Morrison/DFAT