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The TV network Showtime has just released the first episode of its newest production, Years of Living Dangerously, which is investigating how climate change is already impacting our lives and security. A major thread of the first episode of the series is the drought in Syria in the years prior to the uprising (from 2006-2010/11). New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, who has been bringing attention to the issue since 2012, when he wrote about our report in “The Other Arab Spring,” visits the Syria/ Turkey border and hosts a series of interviews there and in Washington, DC. One such interview was with Susan Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor. In the interview, transcribed below, Rice does not mince words on climate change being a national security issue, and echoes our assessment from 2012: (more…)
Tom Friedman with the New York Times recently penned an insightful article on the intersection of water, climate change, human security and broader security concerns in Yemen. Most of the time Yemen shows up in the international news, it is about drone strikes on Al Qaida targets, or most recently, the release of abducted foreigners. Beneath all of this, Friedman points out, is the persistent insecurity over water resources. (more…)
The Center for Climate and Security thanks Tom Friedman for devoting his Sunday OpEd, titled “The Scary Hidden Stressor,” to our report “The Arab Spring and Climate Change,” and the issues and opportunities that it raises. A huge thanks also to the other authors involved: Anne-Marie Slaughter, Troy Sternberg, Jeffrey Mazo, Sarah Johnstone, Michael Werz, Max Hoffman, David Michel and Mona Yacoubian.
Tune in here this morning at 10am EST to the public release of our new multi-author volume “The Arab Spring and Climate Change.” The event will feature a fireside chat between New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, and former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, Anne-Marie Slaughter.
The volume is edited by Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia, includes a preface by Anne-Marie Slaughter, and essay contributions from Troy Sternberg of Oxford University, Sarah Johnstone and Jeffrey Mazo of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Caitlin E. Werrell and Francesco Femia of the Center for Climate and Security, Michael Werz and Max Hoffman of the Center for American Progress, and David Michel and Mona Yacoubian of the Stimson Center.
A video recording of the event is also available here.
Michael Werz and Arpita Bhattacharyya at the Center for American Progress have posted a good summary of the climate change sections of the National Intelligence Council’s (NIC) recently-released report, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” (you can find the full report here). Namely, they highlight findings from the study which demonstrate that 1) “Food, water, and energy demands will increase as populations rise and climate change will further constrain these resources…” and 2) “changes in resource availability and weather patterns will also likely influence migration…” They also mention some recent climate-security studies that are consistent with the NIC report, including one by us from last March:
The 2030 report adds to the growing body of research on climate change and security factors. Tom Friedman highlighted the role of climate change in the Arab Spring earlier this year, highlighting an important analysis by the Center for Climate & Security on climate change’s impact on the situation in Syria. The Center for American Progress has released three major reports on how climate change, migration, and security factors will play out in different regions of the world.
The NIC report also draws attention to potential “black swan” events, such as pandemics, accelerated climate change, and solar storms. In other words, known unknowns…