ABC’s Earth 2100
documentary, airing tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST, will feature many ECSP speakers
—including Jared Diamond
and Peter Gleick
—as well as the Center for a New American Security’s (CNAS) Clout and Climate Change War Game
. Held in Washington, D.C., in July 2008, the war game focused on the national security implications of climate change.Earth 2100
explores possible worst-case scenarios for this century that could be triggered by a “perfect storm” of population growth, resource depletion, and climate change. Environmental security expert Thomas Homer-Dixon
tells host Bob Woodruff that “energy, climate food, population, economic pressures—any one of these challenges might be very serious in and of itself. But because they are happening all simultaneously, it’s going to be very difficult for our governments to cope.”
During the climate-change war game, “every country sort of hewed to what you would expect,” said CNAS Vice President for Natural Security Sharon Burke at an ECSP event earlier this year.
“The EU team spent the first two hours debating whether they could really be a country; the Indian team instantly came up with a negotiating strategy that sounded cooperative and brilliant but was completely impossible to execute; the Chinese team was, ‘No, we’re not going to do anything unless you pay us’; and the American team was keen to lead, only nobody was following,” she said.
One of the key lessons from the game, Burke added, was that “everything comes down to what China is prepared to do.” She also described insights from the war game in a New Security Beat guest post.
Several war-game participants are now members of the Obama administration, including Todd Stern, the lead U.S. negotiator on climate change; Michèle Flournoy, under secretary of defense for policy; and David Sandalow, assistant secretary for international affairs at the Department of Energy.
An ABC producer working on Earth 2100 consulted ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko earlier this year.