The Civil Contingencies 2010 conference was held in London earlier this week. It featured “20 expert speakers” and “numerous carefully selected suppliers” in the business of preparing for “major disruptions”. The discussion ranged from “the current flu pandemic to severe weather, widespread flooding, the risks posed by a changing climate and malicious threats”.

The event promised “a crucial opportunity for delegates to connect with speakers, policy setters and key drivers of the government agenda”, with the exhibition area offering “unrivalled opportunities to network with over 25 suppliers, service providers and stakeholders”.

Civil Contingencies 2010 - Tackling tomorrow's threats

While governments are dragging their feet when it comes to agreeing targets to cut carbon emissions, a ‘consensus’ is emerging around the need to prepare militarily for the adverse effects of climate change (meaning the adverse impact on western interests and not necessarily the environmental catastrophe itself). Vice Admiral Lee Gunn (retired) is the latest voice to call for military preparations for climate change, following the likes of NATOand Javier Solana. Read his article here: http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/op-eds/climate-change-could-be-the-next-great-military-threat.

Gunn’s recommendations to the US government include:

Invest in capabilities within the U.S. government (including the Defense Department) to manage the humanitarian crises–such as a new flow of “climate refugees”–that may accompany climate change and subsequently overwhelm local governments and threaten critical U.S. interests.

Controlling and restricting the movements of the world’s poorest inhabitants is already a central tenet of globalisation. Putting ‘climate refugees’ in the sights of the world’s military is another damning indictment of the ‘international community’.

Securing the State / Securing the Corporate Nexus

Leeds Metropolitan University, 27 November 2009: flyer

As part of the Climate and Violence series, this workshop will explore military and corporate responses to climate change and mass migration, and brings together key researchers on new military crowd control, surveillance and space technologies.

The world is holding its breath for a successful outcome to the International Panel of Climate Change to be held in Copenhagen December 2010. The meeting will bring together the world’s leading scientific experts in climate change, and its consequences.

The Copenhagen conference is rich in the number of technical issues covered including migration. However, what is less explored is how states will respond if told they could be facing over a billion people being forced to migrate if the world’s temperature rises by more than three degrees.

This workshop will, therefore, examine how the current revolution in military affairs has financed a new generation of weapons and control technologies in the “war against terror,” and how these will become rapidly reoriented toward area denial and for border exclusion purposes.

Speakers include experts on sub-lethal and paralysing weapons, new techniques of urban control and destruction, and the development of militarized robotics. Also discussed will be state responses to human security as the climate crisis deepens, and how these could go beyond the limits of international and humanitarian law.

To book your place for this workshop please visit the Leeds Met online Store

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