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NMSU climate change series continues with focus on security issues

Release Date: 04 Feb 2020
NMSU climate change series continues with focus on security issues

New Mexico State University’s Climate Change Education Seminar Series continues with a closer look at how climate change affects global and national security concerns.

Lee Gunn, retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral and a member of the board of directors of the American Security Project, will give a presentation titled, “Climate Security: Threats and Responses at Home and Abroad.” His talk begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Rio Grande Theatre.

Gunn has served as president of the Institute for Public Research at CNA Corporation. CNA, which also encompasses the Center for Naval Analyses, is a non-profit, non-partisan research and analysis shop that generates reports to advise policymakers on critical issues of the day. Gunn is a member of CNA’s Military Advisory Board, which was convened in 2006 to study the implications of climate change from the perspective of national security.

The Military Advisory Board produced a landmark report in 2007 titled, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, that in Gunn’s words presented the global phenomenon as a “looming, and indeed current, threat to our national security.” The report referred to climate change as a “threat multiplier.”

“Until we issued our reports in 2007, there were few members of the national security establishment whose voices were heard in this conversation,” Gunn wrote in a 2017 commentary in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. He added, “In our view of the world from a security perspective, only Americans and American leadership are capable of contending with both the causes and consequences of climate change. Americans must be mobilized immediately, as generations of Americans have mobilized in the past, to face the most important climate change threats to our national security.”

Gunn’s talk is the second of four spring semester NMSUCCESS talks. NMSU and community collaborators began the series in spring 2018 with talks by experts from around the country for the once-a-month seminars. Future topics will include carbon sequestration and mass extinction threats. The series’ goal is to shine a light on research and issues related to climate change for this region and the world.

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