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Political Capital Lost in the Wake of Natural Disasters

800px-VOA_People_walk_through_Jakarta's_flooded_streetsExtreme weather events are making headlines around the world.  ReliefWeb’s global disaster map shows over 2,000 ongoing disaster events. Not showed on the map is the political fallout that often plagues governments that inadequately prepare for, or respond to, these disasters. Though such political consequences are nothing new (see here for more on “disaster politics”), as extreme weather events increase in frequency and intensity, it is quite possible that political volatility could also increase in frequency and intensity. Below is a sampling from around the world of governments currently dancing with disasters. (more…)

USPACOM’s Admiral Locklear: Climate and Security in the Asia-Pacific

1200307-M-ZE445-004Earlier this week, we briefly highlighted comments by Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), in the wake of the severe flooding that gripped Jakarta in January. As Admiral Locklear mentions, PACOM’s Area of Responsibility, or AOR, covers an incredibly large and diverse Asia-Pacific region, which includes “nine of the world’s ten largest ports,” “the world’s smallest republics” and “the most populous nations in the world,” and over half of the global population. Though you should read the full statement to get a more comprehensive picture of what the region looks like through a security lens, and how the United States is structuring its engagement in the region, we thought we would include excerpts below related to the impact of climate change on the “strategic complexity” of the Asia-Pacific security environment. It is clear that the U.S. is moving forward with an “Asia-Pacific Rebalance,” (previously referred to by some as the “Pacific Pivot,”) and it is heartening to know that U.S. military leaders in the region are responsibly addressing the security dynamics of a changing climate. (more…)

President Obama: America Must Lead on Addressing the Threat of Climate Change

Barack_Obama_2013If you played Joe Romm’s climate change inauguration drinking game, you may be too drunk to read this. President Obama devoted a long paragraph of his inaugural address to the issue, and stated emphatically that it was America’s responsibility to lead in combating the “threat” of climate change. (more…)

New Research: Global Flood Hotspots, and Climate Resilience

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Photo by Challiyan

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) have launched a project “focused on identifying the global flood hotspots for climate mitigation studies and mapping flood risks areas using satellite remote-sensing datasets.” An interesting, though not necessarily surprising, set of findings from the research: (more…)