Disaster Security: Using Intelligence and Military Planning for Energy and Environmental Risks

This is a book recommended by a close friend who is also a climate scientist. Chad Briggs and Miriam Matejova takes the audience interested in scenarios, simulations, and disaster planning through different exercises developed under the umbrella of the US Department of Energy and the US Air Force.

Militaries often use war games and simulation exercises for scenario planning. These exercises can be very applicable for energy and environmental security scenarios as well. These scenarios present different security challenges and their potential cascading impacts on global systems – from the melting of glaciers in the Andes to hurricanes in New York and Hawaii, and on to hybrid disasters, cyberoperations and geoengineering can carry very high risks.

The authors emphasize the very “human” element to tackling climate change and that the records and historical accounts and modeling are no longer paint a complete picture. Although this is a rather new approach, it has a close overview of the lessons and solutions to the world’s pressing energy and environmental security challenges.

“We wanted to emphasize that it’s not just about climate change. That’s a really important factor but it’s there in the background. Human actions as well are really important. These aren’t just natural disasters; these depend upon human actions and human vulnerabilities”

Some of the lessons learned were really interesting. He notes, local knowledge is far superior to the technical and published reports or effective strategies to cover for institutional blind spots in training.

In today’s networked world, environmental disasters are becoming more likely with the traditional notions of hard security becoming increasingly challenged. I thought this book was quite enlightening and a good one to have in the toolbox – for partnership practitioners – it is increasingly important to be ready to be ready for the unpredictable and extreme – to be aware of the vulnerable and complexities and to be flexible in thought – whether they be disasters or climate adaptations.