Ultimate Security: The Environmental Basis of Political Stability

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Ultimate Security: The Environmental Basis of Political Stability

By Norman Myers
W. W. Norton & Company, 1993
308 pp. $25.00

This book seeks to present environmental concerns as security concerns in a way that will be convincing to even the most hardheaded traditional realists. I suspect Myers will not convert many. Many of the examples cited here water resources, ozone depletion, deforestation and the like have already been accepted as issues that could have important international security implications, and there is broad agreement that they should be dealt with by the international community. The author weakens his case, however, by failing to distinguish core environmental problems from either speculative disaster scenarios or humanitarian issues that simply cannot be construed as relevant to security. Many of his observations on Mexico as an economic basket case, or the consequences of Americas ever-increasing military spending already have a rather dated quality.

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