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Countries Should Assess Climate Risk the Way they Assess Other Security Risks

National security leaders deal with deep uncertainty on a daily basis about everything from North Korea’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon to the location and timing of the next terrorist attack by non-state actors such as ISIS and al-Qaida. Security decision-makers don’t use uncertainty as an excuse to ignore security threats.

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China, Water Transfers, Disease and Climate Change: Transferring Risk with Water?

Liujiaxia-DamChina is in the process of constructing a massive “South-North Water Transfer Project” connecting the more water-abundant south to the water-stressed north. There are a number of motivations for building the project including natural water scarcity, increased demand from both increased industrialization and population, decreasing water quality, and recent instances of severe droughts (with implications for global food supply). There are still some uncertainties about how exactly climate change will impact water resources in China, but projections of significant rainfall variability are well-founded, and the government is taking the potential risks seriously. In that context, this project could be seen as part of China’s climate adaptation strategy, though it is already apparent that there are some serious unintended consequences. (more…)

Climate Change and Security Conferences: Fall/Winter 2013

Conference_table2There are some interesting conferences on the horizon investigating the risks of climate change.  Many of these are either streaming the conference live or will post conference videos and materials at a later date, so even if you are not able to attend in person, you can check them out. We will update this list as we come across others. (more…)

Nicholas Stern: I underestimated the risks

Nicholas_SternThe Guardian reported on Saturday that Nicholas Stern, who authored a highly respected and influential and review on climate change commissioned by the UK government in 2006, has stated that he underestimated the pace of climatic change, and the associated risks. From the article: (more…)

Study: Very hot temperatures correlated with greater risk of violence in East Africa?

A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and led by John O’Loughlin of the University of Colorado, Boulder, looks at correlations between temperature and conflict in nine countries in East Africa (Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda). The authors utilized data from over 16,000 conflicts that occurred between 1999-2009, and determined that “very hot” temperatures do indeed increase the risk of conflict, though “socioeconomic, political and geographic factors” are still the key main drivers. (more…)

Bob Inglis: The Conservative Case for Addressing Climate Change

NPR recently interviewed former South Carolina Republican congressman Bob Inglis about his new “free enterprise” initiative for addressing climate change, and promoting clean energy. In making the conservative case, he states:

It’s not conservative to waste stuff…and to cause somebody else’s kids to go on the sands of the Middle East to fight for that stuff that we’re wasting.

The full transcript of the interview is here.