Climate Wars

Gwynne Dyer
Climate Wars

From one of the world’s great geopolitical analysts, here is a terrifying glimpse of the none-too-distant future, when climate change will force the world’s powers into a desperate struggle for advantage and even survival. Dwindling resources. Massive population shifts. Natural disasters. Spreading epidemics. Drought. Rising sea-levels. Plummeting agricultural yields. Crashing economies. Political extremism. These are some of the expected consequences of runaway climate change in the decades ahead, and any of them could tip the world towards conflict. Prescient, unflinching, and based on exhaustive research and interviews.

‘The multitude of sources and the political perspective on global warming make the book scarier and more convincing than the usual predictions limited to climate and weather. We can hope that Dyer’s sources are impressive enough to convince policy makers to take serious action.’ Publishers Weekly

‘Terrifying.’ Bookseller

‘Dyer makes the final, and important leap from merely discussing forthcoming climate change to predicting the political and economic results of a warmed Earth. The result of this move from weather forecasting to a holistic view of the future is terrifying… Frightening yet essential reading.’ Library Journal

‘Compelling… A warning of what could happen if we don’t all pull our fingers out.’ Big Issue

‘In Climate Wars, Gwynne Dyer, a geopolitics analyst and military expert, considers the socio-economic consequences of this twin premise. Drawing on IPCC projections and government studies in the US, UK and elsewhere, he is led to a grim forecast: a world with widespread drought, famine and migration, teetering on global conflict. Dyer casts a critical eye over previous international agreements to slow global warming, and his analyses of the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Copenhagen Accord (2009) leave little room for optimism. He lays bare the basic problem, that developing nations such as India and China will not agree to curb their fossil fuel emissions to the same degree as fully industrialised nations. And the latter may not be able to persuade voters to accept the deep cuts required. A further difficulty may be the breaking of existing agreements as the effects of cuts impinge on national economies. Hopefully, his lucidly written book may help raise awareness of the potential crisis. As he points out “the cost of doing too little, too late . . . is vastly greater than any costs incurred by doing more than might have been strictly necessary”. ‘ Irish Times

‘Like a Stephen King novel, it’s scary, but you can’t put it down.’ G Magazine

‘Gwynne Dyer’s brilliant analysis, in Climate Wars, of the geopolitical conflicts that may unfold over the next few decades – even if we do get serious about global warming – is almost too fearsome to absorb. When I talk to the scientists themselves, there is a palpable sense of panic, something confirmed by Dyer in his interviews conducted around the world.’ The Monthly

‘Gwynne Dyer is one of the few who are both courageous enough to tell the unvarnished truth, and have the background to understand, not misrepresent the inputs. This book does a superb job of detailing the emerging realities of Climate/Energy. These realities are not pretty.’
Dennis Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA

‘This is a truly important and timely book. No one, not even the IPCC, really knows what the world climate will be ten years from now, but we and our governments have to make intelligent guesses. Gwynne Dyer has made the best and most plausible set of guesses I have yet seen about the human consequences of climate change, of how drought and heat may ignite wars, even nuclear wars, around the globe.’ James Lovelock, British geophysicist, author of The Revenge of Gaia

‘The current debate on climate change is mostly on its future effects, but few are brave enough to work out what they might be. Here is a lively, alarming and even entertaining attempt to look ahead. Water and war have always been associated. We need hope as well as good sense in looking at the future. Here it is.’ Sir Crispin Tickell, Director of the Policy Foresight Programme, James Martin 21st Century School, University of Oxford

‘Anyone still complacent about climate change will find Climate Wars instructive and disturbing. These articulate insights into climate geopolitics by military historian Gwynne Dyer are an important tool for understanding why the climate challenge is big, hard, and vital to human survival – yet soluble if we pay attention now.’ Amory B. Lovins, Chairman & Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

‘Dyer writes in a direct and personal style… an engaging read.’ Jeffrey Mazo, Survival Journal

‘A reasonable but not rosy view of a subject of a subject that too often produces hysteria.’ Kirkus

‘When a climate scientist forecasts that global warming will trigger mega-famines, floods of refugees and geopolitical meltdown, we may fear that they have a myopic world view. When a security specialist says the same thing, we should start to wonder. Gwynne Dyer has been a lecturer on international affairs for two decades. In Climate Wars he eloquently explores the “grim detail” of how governments will grapple with a challenge unprecedented since before there were governments… As an insight into what the military strategists imagine is going to happen as a result of climate change, this book is truly terrifying.’ New Scientist

‘Bold, unflinching, and based on exhaustive research and interviews with international experts, Climate Wars grippingly reveals how world leaders are likely to react, and promises to be one of the most important books of the year.’ Edinburgh Science Festival

‘Speculative as Dyer’s little “history of the future” is, it has an unmistakable – and alarming – ring of truth. Scientists have generally confined themselves to such impersonal data as mean temperatures, sea-levels and – at the most emotive – polar bears. Dyer, though, says these changes really will be global, and they’re bound to be massively destabilising, precipitating agrarian crises and epidemics mass-migrations and large-scale conflict over land, water and food resources.’ Living Scotsman

‘In his seriously worrying study of the near future, Gwynne Dyer adopts a rarely considered perspective on climate change.’ Geographical Magazine


  • Random House Canada
  • Scribe ANZ
  • Oneworld UK & US
  • Laffont France
  • Klett Cotta Germany
  • Citic Press China (simplified)
  • Shinchosha Japan
  • AST Russia
  • Wealth Press Taiwan (complex)
  • Hermes Publishing Bulgaria
  • Gimmyoung Korea
  • Uitgeverij Het Spectrum NL
  • Marco Tropea Italy
  • Jarrous Press Lebanon
  • Paloma Turkey
  • Librooks Spain & Latin America

Material: Canadian, Australian & UK editions (256/320pp)