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Coastal Cities, Climate and Security: Lessons from Katrina 10 Years Later

 New_Orleans_USACE-Blackhawk-A-09-04-05_0072By guest author, Lieutenant Colonel Gary Sargent, USA (ret)

Tomorrow, August 29th, marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, and Americans viewed the wholesale destruction of a major US city by water and wind. Katrina presented a worrying picture of what may befall other coastal cities around the globe as water levels rise and the world faces a much more challenging, changing climate. Ten years later, lessons from the disaster are more relevant than ever. (more…)

Putin’s Flood: Climatic Events, Governance and Global Security

Climate change will place enormous stresses on the fragile states of the world, but it also has the capacity to affect the ability of more developed nations to govern effectively, which will have consequences for global security. Take Russia. Last week’s floods in the Krasnodar region were the worst natural disaster in the area in a decade, bringing a month worth of rain in a matter of hours. A recent Foreign Policy article asks the question of whether or not the devastating floods were “Putin’s Katrina.”  Criticisms rest on the government’s inability to warn citizens before the flood, and get them out of harm’s way.  Despite seemingly being a failure of local governance, a torrent of blame is being aimed at the national government, and government in general. More blame may be on the horizon, as the floods damage critical Russian grain, metal and crude oil exports. (more…)

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