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RELEASE: Landmark Report from Security Experts Identifies Ecological Disruption as the 21st Century’s Most Underappreciated Security Threat

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Washington DC, February 9, 2021 – The Converging Risks Lab of the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) released a landmark report today, The Security Threat That Binds Us, that identifies ecological disruption as a major and underappreciated security threat and calls on the United States to reboot its national security architecture and doctrine to better respond to this evolving threat landscape. Ongoing stresses to critical Earth systems, including to water, food, wildlife, forests and fisheries, heightens the risks of future pandemics, conflict, political instability, loss of social cohesion, economic harm, and other security outcomes.


The Importance of Climate and Health Security: Sherri Goodman on the ‘Things That Go Boom’ Podcast

By Mackenzie Allen 

Leading health experts have warned about the possibility of a pandemic like COVID-19 for many years. Yet as a nation, the United States was disastrously unprepared. In part, this may be due to health security having been largely disregarded as a critical aspect of national security. This pandemic has exposed the folly of that, making a stark case for the need to rethink national security, and reorient society towards building resilience to nontraditional threats. 

This was the topic of the Things That Go Boom podcast released in late August featuring Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist at the Center for Climate and Security, Chair of the Board at the Council on Strategic Risks, and former U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security). Goodman explains that climate change is among the most serious threats that we face today, and that adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change has “to be a key part of everything we do… it can’t just be an add-on”. This is consistent with the comprehensive “climate-proofing security institutions” recommendation of the Center for Climate and Security’s Responsibility to Prepare and Prevent framework, of which Goodman was a co-author.


BRIEFER: Brazil – A Climate, Nuclear, and Security Hotspot

By Andrea Rezzonico and Meggen Watt Petersen

Excerpt: This briefer, part of CSR’s series on hotspots experiencing unique combinations of climate, nuclear, and security challenges, examines Brazil’s nuclear developments, environmental challenges, climate change impacts, and socioeconomic landscape. The magnitude of Brazil’s geographic footprint, natural resources, and population helps define the nation as a global power. Yet a growing sense of agitation is rooted alongside the strengths: its pushback against global climate goals; a general public disconcerted by government corruption and increasingly authoritarian actions; a gnawing dissatisfaction with the handling of the pandemic; and a bold assertiveness to prioritize an expensive, indigenous nuclear-powered attack submarine while overlooking what are regarded as perhaps more pressing humanitarian needs. While the country is attempting to manage a multi-layered crisis, it could eventually sink beneath the convergences of these issues and become an alarming case study in what might occur if current institutions are not bolstered to address its growing security threats.

Read the full briefer here.

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