Professor Marc Levy of Princeton University has published several critiques of recent scholarship on environmental security, including one in International Security. Thomas Homer-Dixon responds to his comments.
Within the next fifty years, the planet’s human population will probably pass nine billion, and global economic output may quintuple. Largely as a result, scarcities of renewable resources will increase sharply. The total area of high-quality agricultural land will drop, as will the extent of forests and the number of species they sustain.
A number of scholars have recently asserted that large-scale human-induced environmental pressures may seriously affect national and international security. Unfortunately, the environment-security theme encompasses an almost unmanageable array of sub-issues, especially if we define “security” broadly to include human physical, social, and economic well-being.