This project on climate change and national security fundamentally changed the perspective of its participants. Over the course of many months of meetings two very diverse groups—scientists and strategists—came together to explore the potentially profound implications of unchecked climate change on global security. The result was a sobering, sometimes even harrowing, set of assessments of what the world can expect if a carbon-based business-as-usual approach to civilization continues and expands in the years ahead. This volume is our attempt to concretely explore scenarios that most of us seem either to ignore or deny while we proceed with our daily tasks. The hope here is that by extrapolating on current trends and developments we might be better positioned to appreciate just how much current actions imperil future lives.
This book owes an enormous debt to several friends and colleagues who helped during the process of writing and researching. First, I would like to thank a distinguished group of nationally recognized leaders who helped to inform the discussion that took place over the course of a year, leading up to this book's publication. We identified and recruited these leaders from the fields of climate science, foreign policy, political science, oceanography, history, and national security to take part in this endeavor. Members of the group included Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling; Pew Center Senior Scientist Jay Gulledge; National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone; American Meteorological Society Fellow Bob Correll; Woods Hole Oceano-
graphic Institute Senior Scientist Terrence Joyce and former Vice President Richard Pittenger; Climate Institute Chief Scientist Mike MacCracken; John McNeill of Georgetown University; former CIA Director James Woolsey; former Chief of Staff to the President John Podesta; former National Security Adviser to the Vice President Leon Fuerth; Jessica Bailey, Sustainable Development Program officer at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Rand Beers, president of the National Security Network; General Counsel Sherri Goodman of the Center for Naval Analysis; CNAS Senior Fellow Derek Chollet; President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change Eileen Claussen; Gayle Smith, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress; Daniel Poneman, principal of the Scowcroft Group; Senior Fellow Susan Rice of the Brookings Institution; and principal of the Albright Group Wendy Sherman.
In particular, I want to single out the senior scientist from the Pew Center on Climate Change, Jay Gulledge, whose advice, good judgment, and expertise were essential to this project. In addition, we are deeply indebted to the National Intelligence Council and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for their generous support of the project. I am especially grateful for the assistance of Alexander Lennon and Julianne Smith of the Center for Strategic and International Studies who helped coordinate the discussions that produced an initial report on this topic, published jointly in 2007 by Center for a New American Security and Center for Stategic and International Studies. My thanks go to Bob Faherty of Brookings Institution Press who gave us the support to expand our initial publication into the much longer, more detailed version of the study that follows.
Finally, I need to thank Senior Fellow Sharon Burke of CNAS who provided a great deal of help in reviewing drafts of our chapters from the beginning to the end and all-purpose support in bringing this project to fruition; Christine Parthemore of CNAS who devoted countless hours in editing and research assistance to ensure that this publication was of the highest standards; and Whitney Parker of CNAS, who provided editing assistance as well as guidance throughout the publication process and kept all tracks running smoothly.
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