Climate and Social Stress

Author: National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309278562
Format: PDF, Docs
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Climate change can reasonably be expected to increase the frequency and intensity of a variety of potentially disruptive environmental events--slowly at first, but then more quickly. It is prudent to expect to be surprised by the way in which these events may cascade, or have far-reaching effects. During the coming decade, certain climate-related events will produce consequences that exceed the capacity of the affected societies or global systems to manage; these may have global security implications. Although focused on events outside the United States, Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis recommends a range of research and policy actions to create a whole-of-government approach to increasing understanding of complex and contingent connections between climate and security, and to inform choices about adapting to and reducing vulnerability to climate change.

Climate and Social Stress

Author: John D. Steinbruner
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In recent years, with the accumulation of scientific evidence indicating that the global climate is moving outside the bounds of past experience and can be expected to put new stresses on societies around the world, the U.S. intelligence and security communities have begun to examine a variety of plausible scenarios through which climate change might pose or alter security risks. As this study developed we focused our efforts in three specific ways. First, we focused on social and political stresses outside the United States because such stresses are the main focus of the intelligence community. Second, we concentrated on security risks that might arise from situations in which climate events (e.g., droughts, heat waves, or storms) have consequences that exceed the capacity of affected countries or populations to cope and respond. This focus led us to exclude, for example, climate events that might directly affect the ability of the U.S. military to conduct its missions or that might contribute directly to international competition or conflict (e.g., over sea lanes or natural resources in the Arctic). We also excluded the security implications of policies that countries might undertake to protect themselves from perceived threats of climate change (e.g., geoengineering to reduce global warming or buying foreign agricultural land to ensure domestic food supplies). These kinds of climate-security connections could prove highly significant and deserve further study and analysis. They could also interact with the connections that are our main focus; for example, an action such as buying foreign agricultural land might go almost unnoticed at first, only creating a crisis when the country where the land is located experiences a crop failure it cannot manage with imports. Third, we concentrated on the relatively near term by emphasizing climate-driven security risks that call for action by the intelligence community within the coming decade either to respond to security threats or to anticipate them. Although these choices of focus helped bound our study, they left it with some notable limitations.

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change

Author: National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309287766
Format: PDF
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Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth's atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world's nations, it is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns of rainfall will change. But the future is also partly uncertain -- there is considerable uncertainty about how we will arrive at that different climate. Will the changes be gradual, allowing natural systems and societal infrastructure to adjust in a timely fashion? Or will some of the changes be more abrupt, crossing some threshold or "tipping point" to change so fast that the time between when a problem is recognized and when action is required shrinks to the point where orderly adaptation is not possible? Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change is an updated look at the issue of abrupt climate change and its potential impacts. This study differs from previous treatments of abrupt changes by focusing on abrupt climate changes and also abrupt climate impacts that have the potential to severely affect the physical climate system, natural systems, or human systems, often affecting multiple interconnected areas of concern. The primary timescale of concern is years to decades. A key characteristic of these changes is that they can come faster than expected, planned, or budgeted for, forcing more reactive, rather than proactive, modes of behavior. Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change summarizes the state of our knowledge about potential abrupt changes and abrupt climate impacts and categorizes changes that are already occurring, have a high probability of occurrence, or are unlikely to occur. Because of the substantial risks to society and nature posed by abrupt changes, this report recommends the development of an Abrupt Change Early Warning System that would allow for the prediction and possible mitigation of such changes before their societal impacts are severe. Identifying key vulnerabilities can help guide efforts to increase resiliency and avoid large damages from abrupt change in the climate system, or in abrupt impacts of gradual changes in the climate system, and facilitate more informed decisions on the proper balance between mitigation and adaptation. Although there is still much to learn about abrupt climate change and abrupt climate impacts, to willfully ignore the threat of abrupt change could lead to more costs, loss of life, suffering, and environmental degradation. Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change makes the case that the time is here to be serious about the threat of tipping points so as to better anticipate and prepare ourselves for the inevitable surprises.

Climate Change Human Security and Violent Conflict

Author: Jürgen Scheffran
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642286267
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Severe droughts, damaging floods and mass migration: Climate change is becoming a focal point for security and conflict research and a challenge for the world’s governance structures. But how severe are the security risks and conflict potentials of climate change? Could global warming trigger a sequence of events leading to economic decline, social unrest and political instability? What are the causal relationships between resource scarcity and violent conflict? This book brings together international experts to explore these questions using in-depth case studies from around the world. Furthermore, the authors discuss strategies, institutions and cooperative approaches to stabilize the climate-society interaction.

Climate Variability Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the Semi arid Tropics

Author: Jesse C. Ribot
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521019477
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Climate fluctuations can trigger events that lead to mass migration, hunger and famine. Rather than attributing the blame to nature, the contributors look at the underlying causes of social vulnerability, such as the processes and organisation of society in the semi-arid tropics. Past and present susceptibility to destitution, hunger, and famine in the face of climate variability can teach us about the potential future consequences of climate change. By understanding why individuals, households, nations, and regions are vulnerable, and how they have buffered themselves against climatic and environmental fluctuations, present and future vulnerability can be redressed. Through case studies from across the globe, the authors explore past experiences with climate variability, and the likely effects of, and the possible policy responses to, the types of climatic events that global warming might bring.

Hazards Risks and Disasters in Society

Author: Andrew E. Collins
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0123964741
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Hazards, Risks, and Disasters in Society provides analyses of environmentally related catastrophes within society in historical, political and economic contexts. Personal and corporate culture mediates how people may become more vulnerable or resilient to hazard exposure. Societies that strengthen themselves, or are strengthened, mitigate decline and resultant further exposure to what are largely human induced risks of environmental, social and economic degradation. This book outlines why it is important to explore in more depth the relationships between environmental hazards, risk and disasters in society. It presents challenges presented by mainstream and non-mainstream approaches to the human side of disaster studies. By hazard categories this book includes critical processes and outcomes that significantly disrupt human wellbeing over brief or long time-frames. Whilst hazards, risks and disasters impact society, individuals, groups, institutions and organisations offset the effects by becoming strong, healthy, resilient, caring and creative. Innovations can arise from social organisation in times of crisis. This volume includes much of use to practitioners and policy makers needing to address both prevention and response activities. Notably, as people better engage prevalent hazards and risks they exercise a process that has become known as disaster risk reduction (DRR). In a context of climatic risks this is also indicative of climate change adaptation (CCA). Ultimately it represents the quest for development of sustainable environmental and societal futures. Throughout the book cases studies are derived from the world of hazards risks and disasters in society. Includes sections on prevention of and response to hazards, risks and disasters Provides case studies of prominent societal challenges of hazards, risks and disasters Innovative approaches to dealing with disaster drawing from multiple disciplines and sectors

Preventing Stress Improving Productivity

Author: Cary Cooper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134708297
Format: PDF, Docs
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In a representative study made of European workers, twenty-eight per cent of employees reported that stress affects their health and their performance at work. Occupational stress is a serious problem for the performance of individuals, organisations and as a consequence, for national economies. Preventing Stress, Improving Productivity investigates the ways in which companies can combat stress by changing the working environment rather than only treating individual employees with stress symptoms. Costs and benefits of stress prevention are discussed, with an emphasis on appraoches that involve both the work situation and the individual worker. The heart of the book consists of eleven European country chapters, each overviewing the current status with respect to occupational stress and its prevention in that country and then presenting one detailed case study an example of good preventive practice. Preventing Stress, Improving Productivity identifies five factors that are critical for a stress reduction programme to work, both in terms of employee health and well-being and from a financial point of view. Successful strategies combine participation from workers and support from top management. Useful as a reference for psychologists, human resource managers, occupational physicians, ergonomists and consultants, this book will also be an invaluable aid to managers in the day-to-day running of organisations.