Adjusting to change can be stressful and adjusting to significant broad threats can be destabilizing to society. Physical and social disruptions from a changing climate come in many forms.  Some are severe and obvious like sea level rise and flooding, which are the focus of many adaptation studies and planning guidance. However, destabilizing climate effects may also emerge in areas we haven’t even thought of yet and may be unprepared to address adequately — at least when they initially appear.

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Earth – a system of systems:  The system of intertwined physical, ecological, and social systems, which make up “living on Earth” reveal themselves in often unsuspected ways.  For example, a warming southwest United States and other locations means more frequent and intense wildfires.  Soot transported from the fires (and other sources) can blacken glaciers, which melt faster and accelerate additional warming and lead to more wildfires. Understanding, projecting and providing guidance for planning for social adjustments is a prime concern of scientists and decision makers in the United States and across the globe. The adjustments are necessary but society is continually adjusting and the good news is that there are pathways forward to continuing “living on Earth”.   

What the experts are saying about adaptation in the united States: In the first week of May,  the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) plans to release the report of the third U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA).  The NCA is a climate status report authorized every four years under the Global Change Research Act of 1990. It is based on the best available science and written by hundreds of scientists and experts from academia; government; the private; and non-profit sectors.

The USGCRP released the draft report for public comment nearly a year ago. The Security and Sustainability forum hosted a series last year on the draft NCA findings.  For free access to those recordings join SSF for free at www.ssfonline.org .  The recordings are posted under the Archive tab on the website.

In partnership with Second Nature, the National Council on Science and the Environment, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and Adaptation International,  SSF is reconvening the leaders of the assessment to discuss new insights and implications from the final report.

Registration is open for the  NCA webinar:

The National Climate Assessment Recommendations and Implications
May 9, 2014
11:30 to 1:00 PM EST

The panel includes

  • Kathy Jacobs: Director, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions, University of Arizona. Formerly, Director of the National Climate Assessment, and Assistant Director for Climate Assessments and Adaptation, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.
  • Emily Cloyd. Public Participation and Engagement Coordinator for the National Climate Assessment, USGCRP.
  • Jim Buizer: Director, Climate Adaptation and International Development, Institute of the Environment; Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona. Member, Executive Committee, National Climate Assessment Development Advisory Committee
  • Anne Waple. Director of Resilience Initiatives at Second Nature, Inc.  Formerly, Program Specialist for the Global Change Information System, USGCRP

The panel will discuss the findings and their implications and take questions from the audience.

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International Food Security

by Rita Jain on March 5, 2014

Aired on Jan. 7, 2014 1:15 PM to 2:15 PM EST

The fourth in our five-part webinar series addressed Food Security using the hypothetical of the Saudi government leases a large tract of land in Ethiopia to grow food for export. Why is this an issue? Because of the direct impact on the welfare of the local population.

Panelists

MichaelKugelmanMichael Kugelman: Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.and editor of The Global Farms Race (Island Press, 2012).

JimSetteleCaptain Jim Settele: USN (Retired): Director, School of Policy and International Affairs, University of Maine.

 

Joanna Spear: Director. Security Policy Studies, Elliott Spear JoannaSpearSchool of International Affairs at George Washington University.

 

 

John Lamb, Principal Associate, ScientistJohn Lamb: Global food security and agricultural development authority with Abt Associates  and former agribusiness team leader with the World Bank.

If you are not a member, register for FREE access to this session and all of SSF’s archives!

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Next week SSF is hosting two free webinars.

A Conversation with Transportation Leader Barbara McCann
December 4, 2013
1:15 PM to 2:15 PM EST

Barbara McCannBarbara McCann, the founding Executive Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. More than 500 jurisdictions, including more than half the states, have now adopted Complete Streets policies to make streets safe for all users.

In 2011 the NY/NJ Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers recognized her with the 2011 Transportation Advancement Award, given annually to a non-engineer “for contributions in advancing transportation programs through outstanding leadership.”

Barbara is also a co-author of Sprawl Costs and served as Director of Information and Research at Smart Growth America (SGA) where she authored the report, Measuring the Health Effects of Sprawl, the first research report documenting the relationship between sprawl and obesity. Previously, Barbara was a writer and producer at CNN.

Completing Our StreetsBarbara’s new book, Completing Our Streets will hit book shelves in late November. Published by Island Press, the work leads the charge for safer roadways where bikers, bus riders and citizens of all abilities commute in a secure environment.

Completing Our Streets is an inside look at the roots of this movement and how it has changed not only the road map, but also the culture in the communities embracing this practice.

International Public Health Security
Scenario: a new mosquito-borne disease out of Asia/Africa
December 3, 2014
1:15 to 2:15 PM

This is the third webinar in the International Environmental Security series which uses hypothetical scenarios to assess the issues. The Series is co produced by the National Council on Science and the Environment. Access the SSF archives, through a free SSF membership, to watch the first two webinars in this series . www.ssfonline.org

Panelists for the webinar include

Julie FischerDr. Julie Fischer, from George Washington University’s School of Public Health Julie co-directs a portfolio of research projects in global health security at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. From 2007-2012, She led Stimson’s Global Health Security project, exploring the tools, policies, programs, and partnerships that strengthen global capabilities for disease detection and response. Dr. Fischer is a former Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow and American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Fellow.

Eric ShibuyaDr. Eric Shibuya is Professor of Strategic Studies at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. His research interests are in post-conflict demobilization/reintegration, transnational political violence, and international environmental politics. He holds degrees from the University of Hawaii, University of Oklahoma, and Colorado State University. He was a Fulbright Fellow to Australia in 1999 and a 2002 Pacific Century Fellow. Dr. Shibuya has authored many articles on post-conflict demobilization, and well recognizes the connections between international security and public health.

The series is being developed being developed by Dr. Elizabeth Chalecki and Dr. Marcus King.

Elizabeth ChaleckiElizabeth Chalecki is a Visiting Research Fellow with the Stimson Center and author of Environmental Security, A guide to the issues. She is also moderating the sessions.

 

Marcus King
Marcus King
is the John O. Rankin Associate Professor of International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

We hope you are getting a lot out of our webinars. Please let your colleagues know about our webinars and the International Environmental Security series. Sponsors help us keep the webinars free and it is easier to attract sponsors with a larger following. They can register for free SSF membership, get on the email list and free access to the video archive.

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The National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee delivered its Special Report: Preparing the Nation for Change: Building a Sustained National Climate Assessment Process  (click to download the report) to the Federal Government on September 18, 2013.  The report provides Federal managers with advice and recommendations toward the development of an ongoing, sustained national assessment of global change impacts and adaptation and mitigation strategies for the nation.  A panel of primary authors will summarize the report’s findings and recommendations in today’s webinar.  Second Nature is the co-producer for the session delivered on November 6, 2013.

The panelists and topics.

JimBuizerModerator: James Buizer, Professor & Director of Climate Adaptation and International Development, University of Arizona and a Convening Lead Author of the report.

Sharon HaysOverview of the Sustained National Climate Assessment: Sharon Hays,Vice President, Office of Science and Engineering, Computer Sciences Corporation Sharon is a Convening Lead Author of the report.

Amy LeursCollaborative partnerships that sustain assessment activities: Amy Luers, Director of Climate Change, Skoll Global Threats Fund.  Amy is a Lead Author of the report.

Richard MossThe scientific foundations of a Sustained Assessment toward managing the risks and opportunities of climate change: Richard Moss, Senior Scientist, Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory & University of Maryland. Richard is a Lead Author of the Report.

Anne WapleThe role of higher education in a Sustained National Climate Assessment: Anne Waple, U.S. Global Change Research Program and Program Specialist for the Global Change Information

Members have access to this webinar video. If you are a member please make sure you are logged in to see the video.

If you are not a member, register for FREE access to this session and all of SSF’s archives!

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International Water Security

by Rita Jain on November 11, 2013

Part 2 of SSF’s 5 session series on International Environmental Security, delivered on November 5, 2013, examined the issue of diminishing access to clean water in many parts of the world.  As the pace of climate change increases, water conflicts may emerge as one of the most significant threats to society.

Elizabeth Chalecki Co-produced with the National Council on Science and the Environment, the webinar was moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Chalecki, Visiting Research Fellow with the Stimson Center and author of Environmental Security, A guide to the issues.

Panelists:  

Marcus KingMarcus King is the John O. Rankin Associate Professor of International Affairs from the  Elliot School at George Washington University. During the Clinton Administration, Dr. King held appointments in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he represented the United States in multilateral environmental negotiations including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service; and the Office of the Secretary of Energy where he represented the United States in negotiations with the Russian Federation and directly supported the Deputy Secretary. Dr. King has been leading efforts to assess how water shortages and poor quality in the Middle East and other areas will impact U.S. policy objectives. See the report on Water, U.S. Foreign Policy and American Leadership.  (Download the report).

Mohamed ChebaaneMohamed Chebaane, is an expert in water issues in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.  Dr. Chebaane has worked on water policy and technical issues with many international agencies and institutions including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).   Dr. Chebaane is the president and co-founder of Water for Life Solutions LLC., which provides solutions to achieve the social, economic, and environmental benefits from the management and sustainable use of water and the adaptation to climate change.

Todd ChamberlainK. Todd Chamberlain recently retired as a Colonel from the United States Army after serving in the Active Army, United States Army Reserve, and the National Guard for 30 years.   As the Chief of the National Guard’s Strategic Initiatives Group from 2008-2010, COL Chamberlain explored the potential impact of climate change on the National Guard’s future missions and participated on the Defense Department team which contributed to the “Crafting a Strategic Approach to Climate and Energy” section of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.  COL Chamberlain brings expertise in U.S. Military humanitarian and Military response in the region as a result of water shortages and climate impacts.

The webinar was co-produced by the National Council on Science and the Environment.

Members have access to this webinar video. If you are a member please make sure you are logged in to see the video.

If you are not a member, register for FREE access to this session and all of SSF’s archives!

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A Conversation with NYC’s Chief Urban Designer Alexandros Washburn

October 17, 2013

Aired on Oct. 15, 2013 1:15 PM to 2:15 PM EST PlaNYC is the plan released by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2007 to prepare the City for one million more residents, strengthen the economy, combat climate change, and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers. As NYC’s Chief Urban Designer, [...]

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Potential for Conflicts in the Arctic

October 10, 2013

Aired on Oct. 8, 2013 1:15 PM to 2:25 PM ET On October 8, the Security & Sustainability Forum kicked off a series of five, 60-minute webinars on international environmental security, co-produced by the National Council on Science and the Environment and led by experts from the Stimson Center and the Elliot School of International Affairs. Each webinar panel will [...]

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A Conversation With Vancouver Deputy City Manager, Sadhu Johnston, About Sustainability Leadership

September 23, 2013

Aired on Sept. 5, 2013 1:15 PM to 2:45 PM ET In this 60 minute online interview SSF’s Managing Director, Ed Saltzberg, leads a discussion with Sadhu about what Vancouver and other cities, collaborating as part of The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), are doing that can be emulated by municipalities across the globe. Check [...]

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Empowering Communities to Find Resilient Solutions

September 7, 2013

Aired on Sept. 5, 2013 1:15 PM to 2:45 PM ET After the devastation of extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy, Colorado Wildfires, and Oklahoma Tornadoes just this year, communities and decision-makers face the daunting task of recovering and rebuilding – both physically and emotionally. What can be learned from these experiences to prepare us [...]

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Community Shared Solar and Urban Neighborhoods

September 6, 2013

Aired on Sept. 4, 2013 1:15 PM to 2:45 PM ET In this free 90 minute webinar, solar experts explore emerging approaches to Community Shared Solar. This solar development model allows consumers to lease or purchase the output of a solar project, with each participant receiving a share of the benefits-usually credited to their utility [...]

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