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CIA Director on the Geopolitical Risks of Climate Geoengineering

CIA_floor_sealCIA Director John Brennan recently spoke at a Council on Foreign Relations event. His remarks covered a broad range of near and long term national security risks, including the benefits and costs of geoengineering for combating climate change (transcript and video below). It is not surprising that geoengineering solutions to climate change (which can be conducted unilaterally by states and non-state actors with international consequences), are an area of interest for the CIA director. As Brennan points out, there is a lack of “global norms and standards” for addressing the geopolitical implications of developing this technology, and that’s not a tenable situation. It’s a topic many shy away from, but ignoring it won’t make it go away.  (more…)

Leon Panetta on Climate Security in the DoD, CIA and the Pope’s Encyclical

Secretary of Defense the Honorable Leon Panetta addresses service members at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marc I. Lane/Released)

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta addresses service members at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. (photo by Staff Sgt. Marc I. Lane)

Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency,  sat down with America Magazine, the National Catholic Review, to discuss “Laudato Si” the recent climate encyclical from Pope Francis. Panetta, a life-long Catholic with decades worth of work in the security and intelligence sphere, provided some interesting insights into how the two threads intersect in his life, including how he incorporated climate risks into his work while at the Department of Defense and the CIA. This isn’t, however, the first time Panetta has spoken on the issue. See “Secretary of Defense Panetta Reaffirms Climate Change as a National Security Risk” for more (2012). Here is the full interview. Below are excerpts specifically related to climate security.  (more…)

Gen. Petraeus: Climate change remains a threat

"David H. Petraeus press briefing 2007" by Robert D. Ward

“David H. Petraeus press briefing 2007” by Robert D. Ward

In an recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, “America on the way up,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret.) and Michael O’Hanlon with the Brookings Institution, make the case that the 21st Century could be the North American Century. (more…)

Climate Change and Security in the News: Week (and a Half) in Review

Damascus_PanoramaThe past week and a half saw a lot of mainstream attention paid to the human and national security implications of climate change, and what needs to be done about it. Here’s a quick snapshot: (more…)