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Welcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!
In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to Dr. Marcus King, Senior Fellow and Member of the Advisory Board at the Center for Climate and Security, and Director of the Master of Arts in International Affairs Program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Sweta asks Marcus to define environmental security, which he describes as the study of conflicts related to a lack or abundance of natural resources, particularly as it relates to impacts associated with climate change. Droughts and water scarcity impacts are especially salient on the world stage, and Marcus highlights his case studies in increasingly vulnerable places in the Middle East and North Africa (e.g., Syria, Nigeria, Yemen) which are experiencing and are ripe for future humanitarian crises, interstate conflicts, and mass migrations. Listen to Marcus describe the nuances between environmental migrants versus climate refugees and how these already vulnerable populations are prime recruitment targets for terrorist groups such as Boko Haram. This is an eye-opening episode! (more…)
The SAIS Review of International Affairs has just published an excellent new volume titled: “The Era of Man: Environmental Security on a Changing Planet.” Contributors to the volume include a range of key experts in the climate, environmental security, security studies and foreign policy fields, covering topics that span sectors and the globe.
The Center for Climate and Security’s contribution to the volume includes an article by Werrell, Femia and Sternberg titled “Did We See it Coming? State Fragility, Climate Vulnerability, and the Uprisings in Syria and Egypt,” which builds on reports from 2012 and 2013. The article examines two popular indices, one measuring state fragility and the other measuring climate vulnerability, to assess whether or not deteriorating water and food security dynamics in both countries in the years leading up to the uprisings, were captured in these different tools.
The Center for Climate Security’s Advisory Board member, Dr. David Titley, and his colleague Katarzyna Zysk, also contributed to the volume with: “Signals, Noise, and Swans in Today’s Arctic.” The article looks at ‘the “signals” (ongoing trends), the “noise” (short-term fluctuations) and the “swans” (the wild cards) in the environmental changes in the Arctic and their geopolitical implications.’
Columbia University is harnessing the knowledge of its Earth Institute, Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) and Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program for an Executive Seminar on Environment, Peace and Security, September 17-21, 2014. Full details of the seminar can be found here. Given the increasing risks associated with environmental and climatic stressors, this executive seminar will provide a valuable foundation for those wanting to learn more about this growing area of interest. Deadline for applications is September 1, 2014. (more…)
U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) and the Australian Department of Defence (ADoD) recently hosted the 2013 Pacific Environmental Security Forum, an 18-country gathering charged with answering the question: “As climate change continues to increase both the intensity and frequency of natural disasters, how should militaries in the Pacific region respond?” (more…)