This is a new feature to highlight the top tweets of the week to hit my Twitter feed (@wmrogers). The list is completely subjective, of course, but I hope it is helpful to readers interested in following natural security news a little bit closer.
This is an interesting story to follow given the potential increase in demand for governments to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions due to climate-related and other natural disasters. Institutions like the U.S. military may be called on to support HA/DR missions in order to help dampen the impact of these natural disasters, which can have knock-on effects for security and stability.
The Hill’s Energy and Environment Blog links to a Wall Street Journal report on a new study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that challenges that assumption the natural gas reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to other fossil fuels. The study notesthat methane (CH4) leakages throughout the lifecycle production process could offset the greenhouse gas benefits. The study is very important given the recent attention to natural gas production in the United States, largely from shale rock.
The New York Times’ Matthew Wald explores the idle state of nuclear energy, noting the mixed demand for nuclear power, with shrinkingdemand from Japan and Germany and increasing demand from China and India. The future of nuclear energy could have a structural effect on the global energy system, with Japan for example shifting to increase hydrocarbon consumption, including liquefied natural gas.
The Diplomat reports that China may be planning to map the South China Sea for energy resources, which could exacerbate the perennial territorial dispute between China and its neighbors. Tensions are already high in the region over a standoff between the Philippines Coast Guard and China’s maritime services.
@ClimateChangeUS links to a story in the Wall Street Journal reporting on a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council that finds that nearly 60 percent of U.S. states have failed to prepare for water-related effects due to climate change. According to the Wall Street Journal report, “California, New York and Maryland are among the states ranked as most prepared. New Mexico, Arizona and Texas are among those that have done little, according to the report.” The latter states, I should note, already face water challenges, with Texas experiencing extreme drought.
Follow me on Twitter @wmrogers for more natural security news suggestions.