The October 2012 edition of North Atlantic Treaty Organization 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.
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.
From the content
Water or WARter?
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.
Fuel for thought
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?
Feeding or fighting
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.
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.'
: NATO Review is a monthly online magazine published under the authority of the Secretary General and intended to contribute to a constructive discussion of Atlantic issues. Articles, therefore, do not necessarily represent official opinion or policy of member governments of NATO.