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The Center for Climate and Security thanks Tom Friedman for devoting his Sunday OpEd, titled “The Scary Hidden Stressor,” to our report “The Arab Spring and Climate Change,” and the issues and opportunities that it raises. A huge thanks also to the other authors involved: Anne-Marie Slaughter, Troy Sternberg, Jeffrey Mazo, Sarah Johnstone, Michael Werz, Max Hoffman, David Michel and Mona Yacoubian.
Tune in here this morning at 10am EST to the public release of our new multi-author volume “The Arab Spring and Climate Change.” The event will feature a fireside chat between New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, and former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, Anne-Marie Slaughter.
The volume is edited by Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia, includes a preface by Anne-Marie Slaughter, and essay contributions from Troy Sternberg of Oxford University, Sarah Johnstone and Jeffrey Mazo of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Caitlin E. Werrell and Francesco Femia of the Center for Climate and Security, Michael Werz and Max Hoffman of the Center for American Progress, and David Michel and Mona Yacoubian of the Stimson Center.
A video recording of the event is also available here.
Michael 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…
The American Security Project released its new Climate and Security Report yesterday, authored by Senior Fellow Andrew Holland, and Adjunct Fellow Catherine Foley.
The report comprehensively addresses both the current and projected implications of climate change for global security, and the security of the U.S. homeland. (more…)
When the dust settles in the Arab world, there will be two major questions asked: who actually holds power now, and what are we going to do about water?
UPI recently reported on the numerous water-sharing agreements that are being negotiated and renegotiated as the nations of the Arab world simultaneously experience the institution-shaking phenomenon of the Arab Awakening, and an unusual string of punishing droughts (thanks to Andrew Holland at ASP for the heads up). (more…)
This article was also posted on AlertNet
by Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell
Syria’s current social unrest is, in the most direct sense, a reaction to a brutal and out-of-touch regime and a response to the political wave of change that began in Tunisia early last year. However, that’s not the whole story. The past few years have seen a number of significant social, economic, environmental and climatic changes in Syria that have eroded the social contract between citizen and government in the country, have strengthened the case for the opposition movement, and irreparably damaged the legitimacy of the al-Assad regime. If the international community, and future policy-makers in Syria, are to address and resolve the drivers of unrest in the country, these changes will have to be better explored and exposed. (more…)