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Kennette Benedict: “Existential threats, fast and slow”

UN_security_council_2005Kennette Benedict, Executive Director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, has written an excellent piece explaining why the Bulletin decided to include climate change in their Doomsday Clock scenario, which until 2007 had focused solely on the threat of nuclear weapons.  Benedict states: (more…)

More on Climate Change and the Syrian Uprising

Shahrzad Mohtadi has written an interesting piece for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on the connections between climatic changes, bad policy and social unrest in Syria.

The article follows and expands on a piece we wrote in March for AlertNet and ClimateProgress, titled “Syria: Climate Change, Drought and Social Unrest,” which was then cited by Thomas Friedman at the New York Times in his OpEd “The Other Arab Spring.” (more…)

Parallels between Mutually Assured Destruction and Inaction on Climate Change

Dawn Stover has written an interesting (and colorful) piece for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists comparing the Cold War military doctrine of mutually assured destruction (or MAD) to inaction on climate change, asserting that those world leaders who have not acted adequately to curb greenhouse gas emissions could learn a thing or two from this Cold War posture. MAD is a concept of deterrence which rests on the rational choice assumption that nations with weapons of mass destruction will not use them against each other (or each others allies), because such an action would assure their own destruction as well as that of their enemies. In other words, survival instincts should prevent such a thing from happening. According to Stover, major industrialized nations that fail to act on curbing greenhouse gas emissions (and accept “carbon equity” from industrializing nations) are essentially assuring the eventual destruction of themselves, their enemies, their friends, and everyone else on the planet. As such, they are violating the very basic rational choice principles embedded in MAD.

On a related note, see our piece in the Bulletin comparing the security threats of climate change to those of WMD proliferation and global terrorism.