Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere: The Ecology of National Security

In this morning’s newspaper, on the hard-nosed national security types looking at ecosystem services as a core issue (sub/ad req):

Environmental problems, from water shortages, pollution and climate change to disease and food scarcity, are at the core of national security, Passell argues.

“They’re all related to the same set of problems,” Passell said in a recent interview.

Ecology is the study of how complex systems of living things fit together, how they get the water and energy they need to survive in a frequently hostile environment. Passell, a bearded 52-year-old ecologist and water expert, brings that sensibility to the task of national security.

Sandia, at heart a nuclear weapons lab, is known more for conventional national security than for the fuzzy work of ecology. But the connections between environment and national security are increasingly gaining traction in the national security community.