Question: What is the world’s biggest challenge in the coming decade?
Dennis Ross: I do think the larger questions are questions of climate change, which will affect many other things. Climate change will affect poverty because unfortunately, the places that are already the hardest hit are going to suffer more drought. The places least capable of coping with dramatic climatic change are the places that are going to be the hardest hit. It’ll create refugee flows, which has consequences for security. It’ll create more failed states, which has consequences also for security.
So I start with climate change as being something that affects the globe. What is the old imagery that if the world was ever attacked by invaders from out of space, we’d all draw together. And plenty of movies have tried to be built around that kind of theme. But climate change is not an external threat; it’s an internal one. It’s going to affect everything. So number one I would say climate change, which also, as I said, it affects poverty. It affects health. And when I look at the big issues, I think they start with that.
Recorded on: September 12, 2007