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Defense Drones and Disasters in the News

US Navy drone assessing coastal damage800px-thumbnail

SOLOMON ISLANDS (April 17, 2007) – A Scan Eagle drone launched from USNS Stockham to assess coastal damage to outlying islands from an April 2 earthquake and tsunami.

By Christine Parthemore, Executive Director, The Center for Climate and Security

Late last week USA Today and Military Times reported that the Department of Defense (DoD) has used surveillance drones within U.S. borders in recent years. The Pentagon provided further detail to assure the public that most instances were in support of civil authorities as part of disaster response exercises or real-time operations, including the 2013 California wildfires and 2015-16 Mississippi and South Carolina floods.

Knowing the sensitivities involved with unmanned defense surveillance systems operating in American skies, DoD has launched a website highlighting the process by which these military assets can legally be called to assist in responding to domestic natural disasters, which climate experts expect to grow more frequent and intense across the United States. (more…)

Our Flooded Past and Future: Old Stories, New Technologies and Responses to Future Climate Risks

gilgamesh_flood preparationFloods have wreaked havoc on communities since time immemorial, and play a significant role in the mythologies of disparate cultures, ranging from the Gilgamesh of ancient Babylon to Popol Vuh of the Mesoamerican Mayans. But while floods seem to have been prevalent in humanity’s misty past, they may play an even more prominent role in our future. (more…)

Drones, 3D Printing, Climate Change and Humanitarian Aid: Technology for Good

DRONE_2.0_Summit_by_DataDroneJeff Bezos’ announcement that his company, Amazon, would use drones in the future to deliver its goods has sparked a lot of discussion about the use of this technology in the civilian world.  A significant portion of the media attention to drones up until this point has been on their use as weapons and the accidental targeting of civilians. (more…)

Hurricane Sandy, Climate Change and National Security Round Up

As Hurricane Sandy rolled into the East Coast, she cut a swathe of destruction that has claimed lives, and crippled some critical infrastructures. She has also stirred up quite a discussion about climate change, resiliency and preparedness, as citizens, policy-makers and thought leaders try to determine how to better prepare for future climate events. (more…)