Home » climate and security » Climate Change and Nuclear Proliferation: Security Risks That Should Be Immune to Partisan Politics

Climate Change and Nuclear Proliferation: Security Risks That Should Be Immune to Partisan Politics

A recent article in the New Yorker highlights President Obama’s suggestion that were he to be re-elected, action on climate change and nuclear proliferation would top his foreign affairs agenda. As we have argued previously, these two issues should both be analyzed under the same risk analysis lens. In other words, what kind of security risk do we face from climate change, and what kind of security risk do we face from nuclear proliferation? The answers to these questions need to underpin the level of attention and resources the U.S. expends in order to mitigate these risks. And indeed, according to certain assessments, climate change is an overwhelmingly high probability and high impact risk, while the possibility of a nuclear detonation is a relatively lower probability, yet very high impact risk. In both cases, the security risks are unacceptable, and must be addressed with a scale of resources undiluted by partisan politics.


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