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By Elsa Barron
On January 9th, climate and security experts, many from the Center on Climate and Security (CCS), virtually convened for a US Naval War College conference, “The National Security Significance of a Changing Climate.” The conference organizer, Dr. Andrea Cameron, highlighted the timeliness of this conversation, as the United States enters an executive transition that will bring a heightened focus on climate change as a serious national security threat. However, even with that prioritization, comprehensively addressing the security implications of climate change will be a hefty task. Keynote speaker, Hon. Alice Hill, Member of the CCS Advisory Board, highlighted that the two largest challenges on this front are a lack of education about climate change and its politicization in the United States (see keynote here). By providing a space for a robust and nonpartisan discussion of climate change and its national security risks, the Naval War College hopes to help address those concerns.(more…)
By Marc Kodack
The Naval Academy is at risk from sea level rise and more intense storms that may force it to relocate by 2100, according to the featured article in the current issue of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings journal. The Naval Academy has been in Annapolis, Maryland since 1845. It is surrounded by water on three sides which increases its vulnerability to flooding. Some structures are no more than three feet above the water level. In and around Annapolis sea levels have increased by almost a foot since the 1920s. The sea level is forecast to rise between “0.6 and 3.6 feet by 2050.” (more…)
By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, US Navy (Ret)
The dominant media narrative that explains the reasons for current Central American migration to the United States centers on the dismal economic and security conditions across source states: Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The ‘failing economies’ and ‘corrupt governments’ narratives largely frame our understanding of the near en masse emigration of Central Americans northwards. However, those explanations don’t tell the whole story. The ongoing food security crisis across the region (caused by drought, crop disease, and water shortages) deserves special examination, not only because it might be a leading causal factor for the crisis, but also because it is undoubtedly one of its catalysts. As such, any U.S. policy prescriptions that do not help to address the catastrophic impacts of environmental changes on Central American agriculture, will fail to achieve their objectives.
On Tuesday, November 17, the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing addressing climate and security in the Arctic. It was titled Charting the Arctic: Security, Economic and Resource Opportunities. Witnesses included Rear Admiral Lower Half Timothy C. Gallaudet, USN Oceanographer and Navigator, U.S. Department of Defense, Vice Admiral Charles D. Michel, USCG Vice Commandant, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., USCG, Retired U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic, U.S. Department of State. Excerpts from their written statements are listed below. (more…)