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“How is Canada preparing to address the environmental impacts on security?” That was the question debated in a packed auditorium at the Canadian Forces College (CFC) on 12 February, 2020. The “Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear” Symposium hosted by the Canadian Forces College (Toronto, Canada) was organized by the College’s Department of Innovative Studies and aimed to sensitize participating students, both Canadian and international (to include audiences tuning in from the United Nations, and the Baltic Defence College) on the security implications of climate change. The expert opinions provided by both Canadian and American national security advisors and analysts, to include Center for Climate and Security Fellows Captain Steve Brock and Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett (both US Navy, retired), helped to frame, and imbue an enhanced understanding of, how Canada’s national and human security imperatives fit into the climate change discourse. (more…)
Tomorrow, November 12, Professor Michael T. Klare’s book “All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change” will be published. In advance of that publication, Professor Klare was interviewed by Rolling Stone to discuss it. Here are a couple excerpts:
The idea of ‘All Hell Breaking Loose,’ in the title of your book, what does that mean for the military?
They see their job as defending this country from foreign threats and that is what they are trained to do. ‘All Hell Breaking Loose’ is a condition they fear in which they will be unable to conduct that mission, to do their job, because they will be so caught up in protecting this country against climate change threats or addressing its impacts on other countries around the world that are collapsing because of the effects.
UPDATE: Chronology of U.S. Military Statements and Actions on Climate Change and Security: Jan 2017- Oct 2019
Since January 2017, at least thirty-five senior officials at the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) have publicly raised concerns about, and recommended actions to address, the security implications of climate change, both due to its effect on military infrastructure, readiness and operations, and its broader geostrategic implications for the United States. (more…)
On August 29, EU defense ministers met to discuss “the effect of climate change on defence and security,” as part of a two-day meeting covering a range of critical security issues. The meeting, hosted in Helsinki by Finland, who currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was chaired by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. In her remarks following the meeting, Mogherini had this to say about the robust climate and defense conversation that occurred. (more…)
In a recent article published by Bloomberg News, Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret), former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and former commander of U.S. Southern Command – the Area of Responsibility (or AOR) that includes Brazil – makes a compelling case for how the fires in the Brazilian rainforest, and its implications for climate change, are a security issue not just for the country and its neighbors, but for the U.S. as well. He includes a quote from CCS Advisory Board member, Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, USN (Ret), stating: ‘As my good friend Denny Ginn, formerly the admiral in charge of all Navy installations, has said, “it’s not a matter of if, only a matter of time” before we have a catastrophic event.’ Read the full article here.
By Marc Kodack
The divisions that exist over perceptions of climate change are affected by how the information is framed – the words and statements that are used as well as the imagery that accompanies those statements. In particular, a persuasive and trusted source of information is critical for ensuring that the information is deemed credible by audiences. Recent research published in Science Communication examined how different sources, including military leaders, can affect an audience’s perceptions about climate change while keeping the message content constant. A critical finding in the research relevant to our work is that military leaders had, on average, the strongest affect on respondent beliefs about climate change, especially when communicating about its implications for U.S. national security.
San Antonio, Texas, holding the trademark of Military City, USA, is home to one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the United States. The city is also home to the Department of Defense’s largest medical center at Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston. So when climate change lands in San Antonio, it can have a real impact on military readiness and operations.
Join the World Affairs Council of San Antonio, the Center For Climate and Security, and the Truman National Security Project, TX Chapter for a discussion about climate change as viewed through the lens of national security, defense and global stability, including the significant consequences climate change poses and will likely pose in the future for Military City, USA. Click here to register. (more…)