Archive for July, 2007

CLIMATE & SECURITY II: THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

 

In an earlier post on this topic, I discussed the security implications of our growing national and global dependence on oil and the relationship between policies to curb oil consumption and policies to mitigate climate change. In this post, I’ll discuss how climate change itself quickly became a national security priority worthy of Congressional attention.

 

The story begins in February of this year, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a summary report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability (part of the second volume of the Fourth Assessment Report) in which they concluded “with high confidence that anthropogenic warming over the last three decades has had a discernable influence on many physical and biological systems.” (more…)

CLIMATE & SECURITY I: THE OIL PROBLEM

Monday, July 9th, 2007

 

This is the first of a two-part post in which I will revisit the connection between policies to mitigate climate change and policies to enhance national security. In the first post (today), I will consider the security implications of our increasing national and global dependence on oil and will discuss several climate and energy security policies in this context. In a follow-up post later in the week, I will turn to the security implications of climate change itself.

 

In the U.S., our conflicted relationship with oil is apparent each time we stop at a gas station. Collectively, it’s hard to imagine anything – with the obvious exception of food and water – so essential to our way of life. Yet, with gas prices firmly above three dollars per gallon, income spent on gasoline often does not feel like money well spent.

 

Add to this the fact that gas prices can be extremely unpredictable – subject to change based on the whims of OPEC, the paths of tropical storms, demand in China, the integrity of pipelines and speculation from Wall Street. Volatility is obviously troubling for individual consumers, but it is also troubling for those worried about the health of the economy as a whole. (more…)


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