Tremble, mere humans! Stare slack-jawed in awe as the clash of the titans begins! Or rather, clash of the two socially well-adjusted, politically-engaged academics. Close enough.
Two articles from recent days by bloggers on ForeignPolicy.com, by far the best Web site on the Internet for international news analysis (yes, I checked the entire thing), have caught my attention.
Walt vs. Rothkopf
These two articles are by American scholars/bloggers on the subject of whether climate change is a issue of consequence for American national security. The articles themselves are focused on the U.S.; however, the debate is a global one: is climate change an issue that all people, no matter their nationality, social status or financial situation, should be concerned about? That is the question at hand: do we ALL have a stake in climate change — not just those in New Orleans, Florida, Bangladesh, Greenland, and beyond?
Stephen Walt, a Harvard Professor of Political Science says no, in response to a U.S. Department of Defense-funded study highlighting the importance of preventing climate change for U.S. national defense. Read his analysis here »
Given the fact that they're posting on the same site, it would be difficult for Walt to miss Rothkopf’s shot across the bow. He should respond in kind. My assumption would be that his response will focus on the fact that while climate change is important to everyone, it may not be for the reasons the report he disputes cites.
I would tend to agree with Mr. Rothkopf, but we’ve got to give Mr. Walt a chance to respond, as he could yet open up a whole new perspective on the debate. These are the debates that, when they reach a mass audience, can really shape public opinion, which affect elections, which affect policy. It will be fun to see where this one goes…