What Security Experts Can Teach Climate Geeks About Assessing Risk

David Roberts chats with a national security expert about the connection between his work and climate change.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)/Flickr

Jay Gulledge was an academic ecologist for 16 years before he moved into his current role as an educator, researcher, and consultant on climate issues. He’s now the [deep breath] “Senior Scientist and Director for Science and Impacts at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and a Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly at Columbia University.”

Last year, Gulledge, acting under the aegis of climate nonprofit E3G along with co-authors Nick Mabey, Bernard Finel, and Katharine Silverthorne, produced a report called “Degrees of Risk: Defining a Risk Management Framework for Climate Security.” It’s about approaching climate change the way the national security community addresses its challenges, through the lens of risk management. I was late getting to it, but I wrote a post about the report last week. I also called Gulledge to chat about how the risk management approach can help clarify the climate conundrum.

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The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.