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Afghanistan: Climate and Security in Badakhshan Province

The New York Times ran a story yesterday on the avalanche that tore through the small Afghan town of Sherin Nazim, in the country’s northeastern Badakhshan Province, which killed at least 50 people. The article asserts that the avalanche was no normal occurrence, but rather (more…)

Eye on Iran: Lake Urmia, Water, Climate and Security in a Volatile Region

This blog also appeared on the humanitarian news site, AlertNet

The strategic position of Iran, straddling the energy-thruway that is the Strait of Hormuz, bordering, among other nations, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and sitting a mere 1,000 miles northeast of an anxious Israel, is unquestionably important. However, while the recent focus has been on whether or not Iran has the capability and the will to turn its domestic nuclear energy program into a nuclear weapons program, another human and economic disaster looms relatively unnoticed: the drying up of Lake Urmia in the country’s northwest – the largest lake in the Middle East. Given the current volatile political landscape surrounding Iran, this is worth a closer look. (more…)

General Dempsey: Net Zero Energy Consumption Saves Soldiers’ Lives

General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday on a range of issues regarding the Defense Department’s 2013 budget request, including future planning on operational energy (i.e. the strategic use of energy resources on the battlefield). At around 2:58:11 of the video, he discusses the security benefits of energy efficiency for the military, in terms of lives saved and operational agility, stating: (more…)

General Wesley Clark On the Next Military Mission: Solar Energy

Forbes magazine ran a thoughtful piece today from Wesley Clark, retired Army General and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO. Clark details the military case for fully embracing solar energy, touching on the strategic benefits for the United States of moving away from centralized fossil fuel infrastructures, the cost benefits already realized, and the scale of emissions reductions that would result. In making the case for why the Department of Defense is, and should continue to be, a leader in this space, he states: (more…)