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The Climate and Security Podcast: Episode 11 with Dr. Marcus King

Marcus King_Climate and Security Podcast Episode 11Welcome 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…)

SAIS Review of International Affairs Special Volume on Climate and Environmental Security

Digging_irrigation_channels,_Palmyra,_SyriaThe 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.’

See below for the full list of articles, here for the Editor’s note, which summarizes each article, and here for the entire volume. (more…)

Columbia University: Environment, Peace and Security Executive Seminar

Tarbela_Dam_Pakistan_during_the_2010_floodsColumbia University is harnessing the knowledge of its Earth InstituteCenter 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…)

Pacific Environmental Security Forum: Militaries Must be Resilient to Climate Change

PACOM_AORU.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…)

Climate Adaptation A Crucial Part of African Peace and Security

Severe_Drought_Famine_in_East_Africa,_April_1,_2011_-_June_30,_2011A report was just released from a two-day workshop held last November: Climate Change Adaptation and Peacebuilding in Africa. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Institute for Security Studies, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and U.S. Department of State. (more…)

Geoff Dabelko’s Next Step and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s New Initiative

The Woodrow Wilson Center has just announced some big news, which is of great interest to many in the environmental security community.

First, Geoff Dabelko, long-time Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP), will be moving on to a professorship at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Though he will remain as a senior advisor to the ECSP, and will most certainly continue to be a leader in the field, his constant presence in Washington, DC will be missed. (more…)

Solomon Hsiang: Interpreting Climate-Conflict Results in the Journal of Peace Research Special Issue

Though we’re slightly late on this, we would be remiss to not highlight Solomon Hsiang’s second (and thorough) look at the series of studies in the recent climate change special issue of the Journal of Peace Research, which examined the relationship between climate change and different forms of conflict. His first round of commentary can also be found at his blog, Fight Entropy. The ‘climate-conflict’ field of inquiry is a relatively nascent one compared to the broader environmental security field, and this is a great look at some findings that will hopefully lead to more research.