Ideas @ Work: #7 Climate Change and National Security

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Photo: Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan speaks at Norwich Todd Lecture Series
33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.
The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

Nearly a decade ago, the Military Advisory Board of the CNA Corporation, a government-funded nonprofit military research organization, identified climate change as a threat-multiplier in fragile areas of the globe. Two years ago, the panel of 16 retired American generals and admirals—NU’s own General Gordon R. Sullivan ’59 among them—issued a second report. In it, they concluded that the risks to national security from climate change were accelerating. Last year, General Sullivan gave a Todd Lecture on the topic. Citing the example of Syria, he noted how five years of drought in the country decimated farmers’ crops, forcing millions to migrate to urban areas. There, they quickly became disenfranchised by the government. “The result is civil war in Syria,” Sullivan said. The one-time U.S. Army Chief of Staff challenged Norwich students and faculty to lead the way in our nation’s response to the global challenge.

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