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Robert Taylor Joins the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board

Taylor, Robert

The Center for Climate and Security is pleased and honored to announce that Robert S. Taylor has joined its distinguished Advisory Board of military and national security leaders. Bob is currently the General Counsel of MCE Social Capital, an entity dedicated to providing financing and support to microfinance and other organizations in roughly 40 countries throughout the developing world.  In this position, Bob is addressing the challenge of lifting people and regions out of poverty in a sustainable fashion. In addition, Bob is a veteran of the Department of Defense (DoD), where he served as Principal Deputy General Counsel (PDGC) of DoD from 2009 to 2017. He spent nearly two of those years as Acting General Counsel.  He also served as the first Deputy General Counsel (Environment and Installations) in DoD, from 1995 to 2002. (more…)

Climate Change as a Threat Multiplier for Instability: Bloomberg

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Sherri Goodman on Bloomberg TV, September 20, 2019

On Friday September 20, Bloomberg TV interviewed the Center for Climate and Security’s Senior Strategist, Sherri Goodman, to discuss the role of climate change as a “threat multiplier” for instability – an apt term coined by the CNA’s Military Advisory Board back in 2007 under Sherri Goodman’s leadership. During the interview, Sherri was asked what her number one recommendation would be if she were still in her prior role as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security, and channeling the Center for Climate and Security’s Responsibility to Prepare framework, she stated:

My number one recommendation would be to incorporate this [climate change] into every aspect of defense planning, policy and programming, so that we are clear-eyed about what risks we face – the unprecedented risks – but also the unprecedented opportunities to seize the technology advantages, to move to lower carbon energy futures, and at the same time to take advantage of predictive analytics that will help us better understand these risks where they are occurring, and to be able to address them on a closer real-time basis.

The full interview is worth a listen (below and here).

 

NPR on Climate and Security Scenarios with Francesco Femia

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An aerial view of Offutt Air Force Base affected by major flood damage, March 17, 2019 (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt. Rachelle Blake)

In yesterday’s episode of NPR’s On Point, Meghna Chakrabarti interviewed journalist Emily Atkin and Francesco Femia, the Council on Strategic Risks’ CEO and Co-Founder of the Center for Climate and Security, to discuss the implications of climate change for global instability and conflict. The show built upon an article in the New Republic by Emily Atkin, The Blood-Dimmed Tide, exploring a catastrophic 2100 climate scenario. Francesco touched on a number of topics, including climate risks to military installations, the growing bipartisan U.S. national security consensus on climate change and security (including across the intelligence and defense community), as well as the strategic benefits of U.S. investments in climate prevention and preparation (and conversely, the strategic negatives, vis-a-vis its competitors and adversaries, of doing nothing). Listen to the On Point episode here. The segment with Francesco Femia starts at 25:05, but the full show is worth a listen.

U.S. Department of Defense Funds Research on Capturing Water from Fog

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Marine fog rolls in at Half Moon Bay, California

By Marc Kodack

Ensuring sufficient potable water supplies are available for its military and humanitarian operations, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) will be challenged to meet these potable water needs as climate change and its effects on water supply are felt around the world. To help address this, DoD awarded a grant to California State University, Monterrey Bay to test the efficiencies of capturing water, via mesh-based devices, from “fog events” along coastal California. The grant was from DoD’s Research and Education Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Minority-Serving Institutions. A mesh device produces potable water that can be used by people and for irrigation. The research will also “expand knowledge about the generation and dissipation of fog” using existing droplet measuring technology.

What Recent Homeland Security Analysis Says About Climate Risks to Military Communities

DHS Community Resilience Analysis_2018_12By Marc Kodack

As we begin to assess the full extent of the damage and lives lost caused by Hurricane Dorian, it is worth looking at recent assessments of community resilience commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security to help shape how we better prepare in the future. This includes making sure that the military communities that keep our bases operating are resilient to climate and non-climate related disasters. Military installations located across the U.S. have recently been affected by significant climate-influenced disaster events (and non-climate disasters) that presented serious risks to military communities, and have cost billions of dollars in facility and infrastructure repairs, and. These events include earthquakes in July 2019 at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, that resulted in the installation being in a “mission unsustainable” state for multiple days sustaining an estimated $2.5 to $5 billion in damages; severe flooding on the Missouri River resulting from record melting snow upriver exacerbated by a bomb cyclone in March 2019 which effected a third of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, with an estimated $650 million for “operations, maintenance, construction, and simulator costs;” and Hurricane Michael in October 2018 which struck Florida and Tyndall Air Force Base damaging every building on the installation resulting in $4.7 billion in damages (see also John Conger’s article on his eye-opening visit to Tyndall about 6 months after the hurricane hit). (more…)

Mogherini Post-EU Defense Meeting: Militaries should help address climate change

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High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini at a previous high-level climate and security event, June 22, 2018

On August 29, EU defense ministers met to discuss “the effect of climate change on defence and security,” as part of a two-day meeting covering a range of critical security issues. The meeting, hosted in Helsinki by Finland, who currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was chaired by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.  In her remarks following the meeting, Mogherini had this to say about the robust climate and defense conversation that occurred. (more…)

General Middendorp: Don’t leave climate to the environment ministers

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General Tom Middendorp, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (Ret)

In a new Op-ed in Politico, General Tom Middendorp, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (Ret), and current Chair of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (of which the Center for Climate and Security serves as Secretariat), puts a twist on Georges Clemenceau’s famous saying that “war is too important to be left to the generals,” with “don’t leave climate to the environment ministers.” In it, he encourages the European Commission’s President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen (who will take office on November 1), to continue her track record of taking climate security risks seriously during her tenure. To explain, he states: (more…)