Natural Security: A term coined by the Center for a New American Security. A research institution established in February 2007, CNAS was conceived to help develop “strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values”. So what is “Natural Security” and how does it fit in with the national security initiative?
As the CNAS website simply states, “Natural Resources + National Security = Natural Security.” The concept of Natural Security may have been around for some time, but was made concise and deliberate only last June in a publication by Sharon Burke, the Vice President of CNAS. To expand on the pseudo-quantitative explanation above, Natural Security deals with the challenges associated with global natural resources and how they may have national security implications. According to CNAS, “The program looks at the ways in which international demand for water, energy, land, and minerals can affect security, as well as the consequences of high consumption of these resources, such as climate change and biodiversity loss.”
The independent and nonpartisan think-tank works directly with the government on many national security issues, including Natural Security which is increasingly becoming a major concern in the political environment. It is evident that natural resources are quickly emerging as a high-priority issue in today’s world. Consumption of these resources has results, whether natural or political, and possessing knowledge of the challenges associated with natural resources is of great importance not only to geologists such as myself, but everyone.
The Natural Security website does an excellent job of presenting these issues based on resource consumption and/or consequences such as climate change. The Natural Security Blog highlights current natural resource issues by including postings on events such as the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last month and the always up-to-date links to Natural Security in the News. Take some time to visit the site and read the materials, including the blogs, included at the CNAS website. Follow the links within this post or in the sidebar to learn more about CNAS and Natural Security.