The Collaborative Institute

Building Connections

March 4, 2011
by The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)

Playing Games with Climate Change

The online game, Global Warning, was recently launched in January 2011 by the National Security Journalism Initiative. It presents a fun and interesting way to learn about the human security implications of climate change, and the difficult decisions that policy makers face– and it is hard!

Players are challenged to test their knowledge in four regions of the world that are vulnerable to climate change. The player will be asked some questions that lead to a scenario where they’ll consider the various factors that would help determine the outcome of a climate emergency. Players can find out if their decision-making considerations match those of a diplomat, an aid worker, a scientist or an economist.We like it for several other reasons as well:

It is a Student-lead Initiative:
It was initiated by a Medill School of Journalism graduate student team that began publishing its findings on the national security implications of climate change online, using text, videos and interactive stories to “tell the story.” In a three-month investigation, a team of Northwestern University student reporters has found that the nation’s security establishment is not adequately prepared for many of the environmental changes that are coming faster than predicted and that threaten to reshape demands made on the military and intelligence community. This is despite the fact that the Defense Department has called climate change a potential “accelerant of instability.” (Press Release, Meddill National Security Zone)

It is Useful and Relevant:
Some within the U.S. government are bracing for climate change as one of the next major threats to national security. Is the U.S. ready for the coming risks? That is the question 10 reporters examined for this project.

Give your decision-making abilities a spin and let us know what you think of this entertaining and informative online tool!

November 10, 2010
by The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)

Increasing Concern Over Climate Change as National Security Threat

With the recent elections, Congress appears poised for an even further shift away from climate change legislation. Republican strategist Karl Rove, for one, is rejoicing that "climate is gone," in favor of profit-seeking practices that jeopardize health and security.

However, as depicted in Bruce Lieberman’s posting "Continuing Concerns Over Implications Of Climate Change for National Security," climate change is increasingly being recognized for its potential threat to human and national security:

"At a recent briefing on Capitol Hill, far from the alert attention of mainstream news organizations, retired General Anthony Zinni warned that the global loss of forests, freshwater, fish and arable land is driving political instability and threatening global security.

‘Whether it be climate change, whether it is the disruption of the environment in other ways … we’re going to see more failed and incapable states,’ said Zinni, a former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Central Command.

The briefing, hosted by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Center for a New American Security, marked one of a number of recent discussions across the nation’s capital, across the nation, and overseas about how policy thinkers and military planners are viewing continued climate change as a national security issue." 

Where is the disconnect between government and military thought-leaders? What can the armed services do to counteract increased security threats from climate change when national policies do not reflect a sense of urgency?

Also be sure to check out "Climate Change A Growing Concern for U.S. Navy."

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