Cultivating Strategic Foresight for Energy and Environmental Security

Environmental Practice, Volume 11, Issue 03, September 2009, pp. 209-211

1 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2013

See all articles by David A. Bray

David A. Bray

Institute for Defense Analyses; Harvard University; Emory University - Goizueta Business School; National Defense University; Forbes Ignite; University of Oxford

Sean S. Costigan

George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies; Partnership for Peace Consortium; The New School, Graduate Program in International Affairs

Keith Daum

Idaho National Laboratory

Helene Lavoix

Independent

Elizabeth Malone

University of Maryland - Joint Global Change Research Institute

Chris Pallaris

Independent

Date Written: October 21, 2009

Abstract

Historically, people and their governments have not understood or been prepared for the social, economic, and political instability that can result from energy scarcity or deterioration of the environment. Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is an example from centuries ago where an isolated population irreversibly damaged its finite resources. The cutting of trees to move stone statues had a cascade effect on other resources and led to a dramatic decline in both population and prosperity (Diamond, 2005; Fagan, 2008; Pointing, 1991). More recently, in Darfur, human struggle over access to oil resources, compounded by problems wrought by persistent drought, produced both socioeconomic isolation and regional ethnic disconnection, magnifying a conflict that displaced nearly 2.5 million people (International Crisis Group — Sudan). We contend that disasters such as these can be mitigated or even averted if the complex connections and dependencies of the issues involved can be revealed and if there is a social network to connect isolated areas of expertise and knowledge in order to fully understand and visualize the problems and consequences to leaders and policy makers. This article describes a developing international effort to create a strategic foresight capability addressing the intersection of increasing energy demand and global environmental issues, such as climate change and declining natural resources.

Keywords: national security, natural security, foresight, forewarning, public health, global unrest, instability, declining natural resources, social upheaval, political unrest

JEL Classification: H1, I18, H50, H56, H70, L30

Suggested Citation

Bray, David A. and Costigan, Sean S. and Daum, Keith and Lavoix, Helene and Malone, Elizabeth and Pallaris, Chris, Cultivating Strategic Foresight for Energy and Environmental Security (October 21, 2009). Environmental Practice, Volume 11, Issue 03, September 2009, pp. 209-211, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2280230

David A. Bray (Contact Author)

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Sean S. Costigan

George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies ( email )

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Keith Daum

Idaho National Laboratory ( email )

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Helene Lavoix

Independent ( email )

Elizabeth Malone

University of Maryland - Joint Global Change Research Institute ( email )

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Chris Pallaris

Independent ( email )

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