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More on the National Intelligence Council and Climate Change: Global Trends 2030

Pakistan Disaster RecoveryMichael Werz and Arpita Bhattacharyya at the Center for American Progress have posted a good summary of the climate change sections of the National Intelligence Council’s (NIC) recently-released report, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” (you can find the full report here). Namely, they highlight findings from the study which demonstrate that 1) “Food, water, and energy demands will increase as populations rise and climate change will further constrain these resources…” and 2) “changes in resource availability and weather patterns will also likely influence migration…” They also mention some recent climate-security studies that are consistent with the NIC report, including one by us from last March:

The 2030 report adds to the growing body of research on climate change and security factors. Tom Friedman highlighted the role of climate change in the Arab Spring earlier this year, highlighting an important analysis by the Center for Climate & Security on climate change’s impact on the situation in Syria. The Center for American Progress has released three major reports on how climate change, migration, and security factors will play out in different regions of the world.

The NIC report also draws attention to potential “black swan” events, such as pandemics, accelerated climate change, and solar storms. In other words, known unknowns…

Building a New Libya in a New Climate: Water as a Key to Cooperation

This blog also appeared on the humanitarian news site, AlertNet

Libya Hurra. Free Libya. This was one of the main rallying cries for the Libyan opposition last year, which with NATO assistance, toppled the brutal 40-year reign of Muammar Gaddafi. But four and a half months after Gaddafi’s downfall, Libya under the leadership of the interim National Transitional Council (NTC) is facing the problem of reconciling the many different “free Libyas” envisioned by different publics, and addressing allegations of some “not-so-free” practices. The eastern region of Cyrenaica, with its capital at Benghazi (the heart of the anti-Gaddafi movement) has declared itself a semi-autonomous region, prompting major protests in both Benghazi and Tripoli. Despite recent successes by the central government, armed militias still roam the country, and the capacity of the government in Tripoli to keep them in check has been questioned. Indeed, the city of Misrata has been described as a virtual “armed city-state” in opposition to the central government. Furthermore, reports of human rights abuses committed against suspected Gaddafi sympathizers, including black African migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, abound.

But while the Libyan government currently seeks in earnest to address these conflicts, it may be less overtly political issues, such as climate change and water resource management, that hold the key to building unity. (more…)