June 11, 2009

Natural Security

By Sharon E. Burke

In the 21st century, the security of nations will increasingly depend on the security of natural resources, or “natural security.”  This concept paper outlines a new program of study at the Center for a New American Security to look at emerging natural resources challenges in six key areas of consumption and consequences – energy, minerals, water, land, climate change, and biodiversity – as well as the ways in which these challenges are linked together. Any solution to the country’s energy insecurity is likely to involve water, non-fuel minerals, and land-use issues; climate change and biodiversity cut across all concerns, with broad effects on resource vulnerability. Without an integrated, national-level approach that links together natural security challenges, the United States runs the risk of trading one dependency for another and exacerbating the consequences.

  • Sharon E. Burke

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