Elders for Regenerative Living (ERL) Monthly Meeting
Jul 8 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm PDT
July topic: Climate change is leading to a less secure, more crisis-prone world
Host: Steven A Browning
Facilitator: Jim Burke
According to a study released in April, 2021, by the US National Intelligence Council called “Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World,” climate change is leading to a less secure, more crisis-prone world that will: strain global institutions; test the “resilience and adaptability” of the international system that has been the basis of international relations since WWII; and, exacerbate risks to human and national security and force nation states to make hard choices and tradeoffs.
Other analysts project that for every ½ degree temperature rise, violent conflict increases by 10%. Rising temperatures will exacerbate water, food, health and energy insecurity, which will increase political instability, regional tensions and mass migration, particularly in the developing world.
Ambassador (ret) Steven A. Browning will explain how such global, existential threats require historical levels of international cooperation. If humanity successfully confronts this problem, it will be because world leaders infused the global order with a sense of common purpose unlike any we have seen before. Addressing climate change is now at the forefront of US national security and foreign policy strategies. Will the rest of the world follow suit and make combatting climate change their highest national priority? Or, as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of “vaccine nationalism,” will world leaders pursue their own national interests and leave other countries to fend for themselves? Browning will discuss the implications of combatting climate change through international cooperation, nationalistic competition or a hybrid of the two called by some “coopetition.”
Bio – Steven A. Browning
During his 34-year diplomatic career Ambassador (ret.) Steven A. Browning has seen first-hand not only the impact of a changing climate on the lives and livelihoods of individuals living in countries on the front lines of a warming planet, but also the impact on governments struggling to protect their citizens from the multiple levels of disruption caused by climate change.
He served as the Department of State’s Special Coordinator for Ebola Response (2014-15), one of an increasing number of zoonotic diseases caused by human expansion into wild and natural environs. As the US Ambassador to Uganda (2006-09), he oversaw the US government’s efforts to help the government of Uganda respond to multiple challenges exacerbated by climate change. And, as US Ambassador to Malawi (2003-04) he worked to help the government and people of Malawi adapt to a changing climate and increase food security in the country.
Also with the State Department, Browning served in the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Iraq. As a teacher in international schools, he lived and worked in Syria and Jordan. Each of these countries is now struggling with its own climate change challenges. (Not to mention his hometown of Odessa, Texas, capitol of the Permian Basin, and its heavily carbon-dependent economy.)
The Elders for Regenerative Living (ERL) group meets on the second Thursday of every month for our online meeting. Each monthly presentation will provide us more depth about the given topic so that we can make smart decisions about what subsequent actions to take.
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We will be using Zoom video conferencing technology, which is straightforward to join by computer. Simply click on the link that was provided to you in the registration confirmation email from Zoom. (If this is your first time using Zoom, please arrive 15 minutes early in case any help is needed.)
For all other participants, to make sure we can start on time, please join the call at least 5 minutes early.