Intelligence education and practice require significant adaptations to the global heating crisis, pandemic disease, and environmental threats. The latter are now and will increasingly influence traditional national security, yet most security analysis focuses almost exclusively on human agency, not complex environmental risks. This unique era in human history possesses unprecedented “wicked” security drivers altering more familiar international economic, geopolitical, and military variables. The security drivers present an acute cultural, intellectual, and institutional adaptation problem. The Intelligence Community (IC) community remains limited by bureaucratic tribalism, inertia, predictable human cognitive security biases, and fundamental knowledge gaps. U.S. politically driven controversies about climate and pandemics threaten its professional analytical effectiveness. The IC must go beyond business-as-usual incrementalism toward much greater interdisciplinary integration of science and natural systems into intelligence education and practice.
Terry O'Sullivan is an Associate Professor of Security Studies and Coordinator for its B.S. in Homeland Security at the University of New Hampshire. His teaching, research, and publications concentrate on broadly written domestic and international security studies, specializing in pandemics and public health security; the climate/global heating crisis; critical infrastructure security and resilience; terrorism; and the theoretical and policy implications of environmental security. He was formerly a research associate at USC's CREATE Center, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's first Center of Excellence.
James Ramsay is a Professor of Security Studies and head of the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University. He has over twenty years of experience in public health, security, emergency management, and environmental security. Prof. Ramsay's primary research area is climate security and its relationship to national and homeland security strategy. He is the Editor in Chief for the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and serves on the editorial review boards for Homeland Security Affairs, the Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counterterrorism, and is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Security, Intelligence and Resilience Education. His latest text is Theoretical Foundations of Homeland Security, and his current project is developing a text on Climate Security.