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Meeting Information

Project Title: Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on Social and Political Stresses

PIN: DBASSE-CHDGC-11-01         

Major Unit:
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division on Earth and Life Studies

Sub Unit:
Board on Environmental Change and Society

Stern, Paul

Subject/Focus Area:
Behavioral and Social Sciences; Environment and Environmental Studies; International Issues; National Security and Defense

First Meeting
October 6, 2011 - October 7, 2011
Keck Center
500 5th Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20001

If you would like to attend the sessions of this meeting that are open
to the public or need more information please contact:

Contact Name: Alicia Jaramillo-Underwood
Phone: 202-334-1864
Fax: 202-334-3751


October 6th

8:00 Breakfast in the meeting room

8:30 Meeting begins
• Welcome and Introductions (TAB 1)
o Ralph Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences (invited)
o Robert Hauser, Executive Director, NRC Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
o John Steinbruner, committee chair
• Introduction of committee members and staff

9:15 Background on Committee on Climate, Energy and National Security (CENS) and its projects, Chris Elfring, Director, CENS

9:30 Initial discussion of the Project (TABS 2 and 3)
• Origins
• Questions re: Statement of Task and project description
• Background for conversation with the sponsor

10:15 Break

10:30 Briefing and discussion with the sponsor
• Background on the Center for Climate Change and National Security
• Other work of the Center
• Expectations
o How can the project add to/complement/build upon the ongoing work of the Center?
o What would be some of the most useful outcomes of the project for the Center?
• Q&A

12:00 Lunch

1:00 History of the field
• Origins of US government interest, some key studies (TAB 4)
• What the intelligence and security communities are thinking and doing

1:30 Broad discussion of the state of knowledge (TABS 5 and 6)
• What is the range of climate-security topics of concern to the intelligence and security communities?
• What are the scientific and other bases for the communities’ concerns?
• What do and don’t we know from research about these concerns? For example:
a. Which security risks from climate change are the most likely to be realized?
b. Which are most serious?
c. Is there a useful typology of climate-driven security risks?
d. Can we identify key social conditions that determine whether climate change will produce major stresses?
e. How does the speed of onset of climate-driven events (e.g., slow changes vs. extreme events) affect the severity of political and social stresses?
f. What scientific basis can be offered for identifying the high-priority risks?
g. What new information from natural or social science could change our assessment of the risks?
h. What help can the decision sciences offer for conducting analysis with uncertain knowledge?

3:00 Break

3:15 Broad discussion (cont’d)

4:45 Wrap-up and overnight homework assignments

5:30 Break for working dinner

6:30 Working dinner

October 7th

8:00 Breakfast in the meeting room

8:30 Meeting begins
• Recap of Day 1
• Report on homework assignments and discussion

9:15 Making choices:
Choosing foci for the study (issues and topics) (revisit TAB 3)
Developing the rationale for selection

10:45 Break

11:00 Bias and conflict discussion

12:00 Lunch (working)

1:00 Making plans for the project
• Meetings 2 and 3 and associated “workshops”
o Goals (what do we want to learn from them?)
o Format – what kinds of workshop would be most useful
o Topics
o Participants
• Initial thoughts on the study itself
o Possible main messages
o Possible sections of report

2:30 Break

2:45 Next steps, assignments

4:00 Adjourn

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Meeting

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the meeting:
Antonio Busalacchi
Otis Brown
David Easterling
Leon Fuerth
Sherri Goodman
Robin Leichenko
Marc Levy
Richard Olson
Richard Smith
John Steinbruner

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:
Project origins, scope, and background; bias and conflict; issues and topics for future workshops; possible sections and main messages of the report

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary: October 10, 2011