Loyola University Maryland


David Titley talk: Climate risk, national security and migration: People, not Polar Bears

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Loyola Notre Dame Library Auditorium, 6 PM - Reception at 5:30 PM in Library Gallery

David Titley is currently a professor of Meteorology as well as International Affairs at Pennsylvania State University, and the founding director of their Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk. He had a career with the US Navy for 32 years, where he rose to the rank of Rear Admiral and was commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, deputy assistant chief of naval operations for information dominance, and senior military assistant for the director of the Office of Net Assessment in the office of the Secretary of Defense. While serving in the Pentagon, he led the US Navy's Task Force on Climate Change. After retiring from the Navy, he served as Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Operations, chief operating officer for NOAA, and is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Questions to consider when preparing for attending this talk:

1. How do you and your classmates respond to this issue of Climate Change?  Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication has identified “Six Americas”, or six different ways that people in the US respond to the issue of climate change.  Take the SASSY (Six Americas Super Short Survey) to see how your views compare to other Americans.  Compare notes with others in your class.  Start the conversation.

2. What do you think is the difference between Climate Change Skeptics and Climate Change Deniers?  Which camp likely contains professionals in the act of scientific inquiry, and which likely contains fossil fuel apologists promoting pseudoscience?

3. What does climate change have to do with national security and global peace keeping?  One example is the melting of glaciers causing potential border conflicts (the glaciers demarcate the borders between Chile and Argentina, for example, and for Italy’s borders with Austria and Switzerland).  Another example is the ongoing humanitarian crisis of mass migration – how much of this is due to violent extremism, and how much is due to climate change induced drought?  Can you think of other examples from the news this week?

4. What questions will you have for David Titley, when he talks about climate risks for the human population?  Why do you suppose his focus is “people, not polar bears”?  Do you approach things similarly, or differently? Why?


Resources for further reading

 It is 30 seconds closer to midnight:  by Lynn Eden, Rod Ewing, Sivan Kartha, Herbert Lin, Suzet McKinney, Steven Miller, Raymond Pierrehumbert, Ramamurti Rajaraman, Robert Rosner, Jennifer Sims, Susan Solomon, Richard Somerville, Sharon Squassoni, and David Titley.  January 25, 2017

Why a war on science puts us all at risk:  by Laura Parker, National Geographic April 21, 2017

Earth the Operator’s Manual – Meet the Experts:  interview with Rear Admiral David Titley, August 17, 2010.

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