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Welcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!
In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to the “Godmother of Climate and Security,” Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist with the Center for Climate and Security. Sweta asks Sherri about the Arctic, which is changing faster than any other place on Earth! Sherri explains how the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet–destabilizing infrastructure and resulting in a new ocean. She describes climate change is a “threat multiplier” (a term she coined!) in that it amplifies the impacts to various aspects of our lives, from the food we eat to the water we drink and to where we choose to live. This is an episode not to be missed!
The Time for “What’s Next?” is Now: Preparing for a Climate Changed Future Within our Military and Coastal Communities
By Madeleine Terry, Elizabeth Andrews and Heather Messera
The widespread effects of Arctic melting and climate change on our society and overall well-being are relatively well understood today, but what about the effects of climate change on national security? Unbeknownst to many, the impact of sea level rise on our country’s national security infrastructure is concerning now and becoming more threatening every day. On Monday, July 9, 2018, The Center for Climate and Security , the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William & Mary (W&M) Law School, and the W&M Whole of Government Center of Excellence held a forum on preparing for this climate changed future, addressing the impacts that climate change will have on our military and coastal communities and national security efforts as a whole.
Read the full article in the Small Wars Journal here.
“The damn thing melted” – Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer on the Arctic, April 19, 2018
Over just the past few days, three senior military leaders from the Air Force and the Navy have raised significant concerns about the effects of climate change on the military mission in the Arctic.
First, on Tuesday, April 17, 4-star Air Force General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding his nomination to be Commander of United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). While the full hearing is worth watching (including the comments of Admiral Davidson, the PACOM nominee), a notable exchange on climate change between Senator Blumenthal and General O’Shaughnessy occurred at the 1:27:08 minute mark. Asked about whether or not climate change presents strategic challenges in the Arctic – part of NORTHCOMs and NORADs Area of Responsibility (AoR) – General O’Shaughnessy replied “Senator, it absolutely does.” General O’Shaughnessy then went on to detail increases in activity in a thawing Arctic, highlighting the need to consider strategic competition in the region with Russia and China. (more…)
Climate change impacts security in myriad ways and on multiple scales, from local infrastructure to international geopolitics. At the Center for Climate and Security, that has been reflected in a range of analysis covering these multiple types and levels of security risk, including a report on sea level rise and its impact on U.S. military infrastructure, and another on the connections between climate change and the Arab Spring. However, new risks are emerging seemingly every day, and some of them remain under-explored. Most recently, we conducted a pioneering look at the intersection of climate, security and nuclear affairs (including nuclear security and proliferation), bringing together experts from both fields to produce a roadmap for how these risks might be understood and managed together, rather than separately. In this context, a new journal article from Jeff Colgan explores new risks that are literally emerging from the ice, as Arctic melting reveals nuclear waste at an (abandoned) military site in Greenland. See his writeup – a cross-post from the New Security Beat – below. (more…)
It is not news that Twitter, for better or worse, has reached a new level of prominence in the political dialogue. As part of this new landscape, The Atlantic Council hosted a virtual “Twitter Town Hall on Nordic Contributions to Global Security” where people could submit questions directly to five Nordic country ambassadors to the US: Karin Olfsdotter of Sweden, Geir H. Haarde of Iceland, Kåre R. Aas of Norwary, Lars Gert Lose of Denmark, and Kirsti Kauppi of Finland. The Center for Climate and Security took the opportunity to ask the ambassadors a question on climate and security (naturally), and the ambassadors responded. The climate and security portion of the discussion is copied below, and the full town hall discussion is available on Twitter at #AskNordicAmbs. Thank you to the Atlantic Council and the ambassadors for the opportunity. (more…)
The Economist recently produced a short video, Warriors and weather: Climate change and national security in America. It’s a good overview of some of the issues the U.S. Department of Defense is grappling with in regards to climate change. The video is posted below. For those looking for more than a brief overview, also posted below are links to the documents and background sources for the information presented in the video. The background documents are listed in the order that they are mentioned in the video. (more…)
On Tuesday, November 17, the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing addressing climate and security in the Arctic. It was titled Charting the Arctic: Security, Economic and Resource Opportunities. Witnesses included Rear Admiral Lower Half Timothy C. Gallaudet, USN Oceanographer and Navigator, U.S. Department of Defense, Vice Admiral Charles D. Michel, USCG Vice Commandant, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., USCG, Retired U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic, U.S. Department of State. Excerpts from their written statements are listed below. (more…)