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Summer Reading List: New Offerings on Climate Change and Security

beach_readingChoosing what to read on the beach has been a perennially difficult choice. We are making that choice easier. A range of new volumes, reports, testimonies and concept notes on climate change and security have been released recently, and all of them are worth a read in the sun (apologies to those south of the equator currently experiencing winter). Below is a list of those that came across our desk, and have been printed out for transport to the shoreline. (more…)

BRIEFER: Climate Change and Vietnamese Fisheries, Opportunities for Conflict Prevention

The Center for Climate and Security’s Dr. Marcus Dubois King writes about the climate change-fisheries-conflict nexus in a new briefer titled “Climate Change and Vietnamese Fisheries: Opportunities for Conflict Prevention.” The article will also appear in a forthcoming multi-author volume from the Center. For the full briefer, click here. For a summary, see below.

Summary: Climate Change and Vietnamese Fisheries: Opportunities for Conflict Prevention

Vietnamese fisheries in the South China Sea are a vital economic resource that is in decline and susceptible to climate change. Chinese vessels have engaged Vietnamese counterparts as they pursue catches in waters claimed by China. Projected further northward migration of fish stocks into these waters caused by warming ocean temperatures could aggravate tensions as Vietnamese fishers follow. Likewise, climate change’s impacts on Vietnamese aquaculture threaten food security in areas including those experiencing heavy inward migration. Ethnic minority groups experience a disproportionate share of the negative consequences; a situation that may aggravate existing tensions. Vietnam is an emerging strategic partner in the region. Vietnamese conflict with China and internal instability are inimical to U.S. interests. As it rebalances foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific, the U.S. government should dedicate more resources, including military assets and climate finance, toward improving climate resilience and fisheries management in Vietnam. Constructive engagement on climate change can promote Vietnamese internal and external security while reducing the possibility of conflict with China. Click here for the full briefer.

After the Elections: The Pacific Pivot and Climate Change Resilience

No matter how the U.S. Presidential election turned out, the decision by the U.S. national security establishment to refocus its attention on the Asia-Pacific region was likely to proceed apace.

Last week, Stars and Stripes reported on U.S. Army operation “Orient Shield,” and framed it in context of this strategic pivot: (more…)

A Week of Storms, Floods, Loss of Life, and Tested Resilience

The unprecedented Hurricane Sandy, which hit heavily-inhabited low lying areas along the East Coast of the United States, has claimed over 110 lives, according to the most recent reports. While it is too soon for anyone to definitively claim that the storm resulted from climate change, its unusual path has raised that very question, and a number of experts are also reinforcing the simple fact that projected climatic changes, and projected rises in sea levels, will likely make these kinds of extreme events more common in the coming decades (and that places like New York City may need to permanently expand their flood zones). The hurricane has led both New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, to make strong public declarations about the need to prepare for expected climatic changes. (more…)

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