Peter H. Gleick is director of the Global Environment Program at the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, in Oakland, California.
This article is modified and updated from Occasional Paper No. 1, "Water and Conflict," of the project "Environmental Change and Violent Conflict" of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts and the University of Toronto (September 1992). Helpful comments on earlier versions were provided by Jeffrey Boutwell, Fen Hampson, Haleh Hatami, John Holdren, Tad Homer-Dixon, Miriam Lowi, Irving Mintzer, Laura Reed, the late Roger Revelle, and Arthur Westing. Financial support for different portions of this work has been provided to the Pacific Institute by the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore, New-Land, and Compton Foundations, and by the Ploughshares and Rockefeller Brother Funds.
1. The earliest references to national "security" included concerns about economic issues, the strength of domestic industry, and the "proper correlation of all measures of foreign and domestic policy." For a brief history of definitions of national security, see Joseph J. Romm, "Defining National Security," Council on Foreign Relations Occasional Paper (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, forthcoming 1993). In their book, The Ecological Perspective on Human Affairs with Special Reference to International Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965), Harold and Margaret Sprout identified the environment as one factor that influences a nation's foreign policy. For discussion of the principal points in the on-going debate, see Peter H. Gleick, "Environment, Resources, and International Security and Politics," in Eric Arnett, ed., Science and International Security: Responding to a Changing World (Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1990), pp. 501-523; Peter H. Gleick, "Environment and Security: Clear Connections," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 47, No. 3 (April 1991), pp. 17-21; Jessica Tuchman Mathews, "Redefining Security," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 68, No. 2 (Spring 1989), pp. 162-177; Richard H. Ullman, "Redefining Security," International Security, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Summer 1983), pp. 129-153; Arthur H. Westing, ed., Global Resources and International Conflict: Environmental Factors in Strategic Policy and Action (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986). Definitional issues are discussed by Thomas F. Homer-Dixon, "On the Threshold: Environmental Changes as Causes of Acute Conflict," International Security, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Fall 1991), pp. 76-116.
2. These issues are reviewed in far more depth by Gleick, "Environment, Resources and International Security and Politics"; Gleick, "Environment and Security: Clear Connections"; Homer-Dixon, "On the Threshold"; and Daniel Deudney, "Environment and Security: Muddled Thinking," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 47, No. 3 (April 1991), pp. 22-28.
3. "The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, March 22, 1985," Final Act (Nairobi, Kenya: United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP]); "The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, September 16, 1987"; Final Act (Nairobi, Kenya: UNEP); and the London Revisions to the Montreal Protocol, June 1990, whose text can be found in "Report of the Second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer," UNEP/OzL. Pro. 2/3, June 29, 1990 (London: UNEP). The complete texts of all of these can be found together in Richard E. Benedick, Ozone Diplomacy, World Wildlife Fund and the Conservation Foundation (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991).
4. For example, see President Gorbachev's speech, "Reality and Guarantees for a Secure World," published in English in Moscow News, supplement to issue No. 39 (3287), 1987; the statement by Secretary of State James A. Baker 3d on January 30, 1989, New York Times, January 31, 1989, p. 1; and comments by Senators Sam Nunn, Albert Gore, and Timothy Wirth, Congressional Record, June 28, 1990, S8929-8943. Environmental security was also a central topic of discussion among military analysts at the National War College, National Defense University symposium, "From Globalism to Regionalism—New Perspectives on American Foreign and Defense Policies," November 14-15, 1991.
5. Thomas F. Homer-Dixon, "Environmental Change and Violent Conflict," Occasional Paper No. 4, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Mass., and the University of Toronto (1990); Ronnie Lipschutz and John P. Holdren, "Crossing Borders: Resource Flows, the Global Environment, and International Security," Bulletin...