The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Humankind has become a new force of nature. We’ve already had such a profound impact on the natural systems of the Earth that a new geological epoch has emerged, one which some geologists and earth system scientists call the “Anthropocene.”
What are the implications of living in a different world from the one featuring a stable climate, known as the Holocene, in which human civilization first emerged and thrived? With scientists telling us that we have little more than a decade left to avert the worst-case scenarios of climate change, how can an effective response be mobilized in time?
In this talk, Ms. Dumaine will draw from her own experiences in government and academia, as well as from recent research and current events, to consider how climate change is linked to concepts of security. Issues she will invite you to consider include whether or not climate change fits into a traditional national security paradigm and what some of the barriers and needed responses are to dealing with such an all-encompassing and existential challenge to the future of civilization and life itself.
Carol Dumaine has taught Climate Change and Security at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. since she retired from government service a few years ago. An experienced intelligence analyst, Ms. Dumaine worked for the U.S. Intelligence Community for over 30 years.
She is a co-founder and consultant with Immanent Futures, a small company focused on identifying emergent disruptive change in the global security environment. Her interests center on better anticipating and devising effective approaches to addressing global and transnational security challenges. These include climate change, in particular, but also global public health risks, biodiversity loss, and challenges of disinformation.
Ms. Dumaine specialized in the latter half of her career in applying strategic foresight techniques to emerging global security issues and in organizing and leading multinational interdisciplinary platforms for engaging with external, non-government expertise on these issues.
From 2007-2010, Carol Dumaine served as the head of the Energy and Environmental Security Directorate, in the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she and a small team created a Global Energy and Environmental Strategic Ecosystem.
Prior to this, she served as director of the CIA's Global Futures Partnership, a strategic "think-and-do tank" that undertook unclassified global outreach on strategic issues facing the intelligence community.
She was a 2007 Service-to-America National Security Medal Finalist for spearheading the Global Futures Forum initiative, a multinational network linking representatives of intelligence services with leading thinkers from academia, business, strategy and other non-government sectors in communities of practice focused on transnational security issues.
Her publications include “Confronting Climate Change and Rethinking Security” (SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2015, with Irving Mintzer). Ms. Dumaine is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and holds a Master’s in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS.