In a perfect world, every nation would have everything they needed; every nation would have all the resources necessary to sustain themselves. If we lived in that world, there would be little risk of one nation taking up arms against another. But we do not live in a perfect world, and the question of how the status of the ecosystem weighs heavily when determining how safe each nation is. As the ecosystem grows worse, national security will decrease.
Coupled with a worsening ecosystem is a growing population: “global demand for natural resources has doubled since 1996” (Hale). With a growing population comes a growing need for resources. “By 2030, the report predicts it will take the equivalent of two planets to meet the current demand for resources” (Hale). Since resources are not evenly dispersed throughout the world, and some nations with high populations have low levels of resources, it is inevitable that these nations will be forced to seek resources outside their own nation. These impoverished nations will even use force if necessary.

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Well developed nations with no shortage of resources (and therefore a potential target to nations with few resources) can do two things to ensure security. First, these nations can promote emigration into their countries. This will allow developed nations to put excess resources to good use, while easing the burden of poorer nations. Second, developed nations can share the technology to help other nations sustain themselves. While sharing technology may not sound desirable, giving it away will not jeopardize security, but rather lessen it because the nations receiving the technology will have less reason to attack other nations.
That answer to the security problem that resource shortages is causing is not increasing boarder security or flexing military strength, it is helping other nations to sustain themselves. When we do this, international relations will improve, the ecosystem will improve, and quality of life will improve.

  • Hale, Erin. “Earth’s environment getting worse, not better, says WWF ahead of Rio+20.” 2012. Web