"With Iran's nuclear program back at the center of world debate, it's helpful to understand with more clarity the attempts to digitally sabotage that program…What I've found is that the full picture, which includes the first and lesser-known Stuxnet variant, invites a re-evaluation of the attack. It turns out that it was far more dangerous than the cyberweapon that is now lodged in the public's imagination."
"New research suggests that space rocks as large as the one that fell over Chelyabinsk -- about 19 meters (62 feet) across -- are three to five times more numerous than scientists had realized. The study, led by Peter Brown at the University of Western Ontario, also found that larger and more dangerous ones are unexpectedly abundant. In other words, alien projectiles pose a serious threat. Is it a manageable one?"
Environmental activists have long been at the forefront of civil society development in China, despite the resistance of the Chinese leadership. But given the high importance of pollution to the Chinese people, it is time for Beijing to rethink its top-down approach to environmental governance, says Elizabeth Economy.
"Beijing has invested heavily to build up a nationwide surveillance network that lets police watch every major street and corner in main cities...But with smoggy days becoming more frequent, the effectiveness of the system has been greatly compromised. Some fear terrorists may choose a smoggy day to launch attacks."
President Obama gave this executive order on November 1, 2013. The order establishes the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, outlines coordination between federal and state planning, and requests a review of policies related to protecting natural and environmental resources.
"This winter, the maximum total Antarctic sea ice extent was reported to be 19.47 million square metres, which is 3.6% above the winter average calculated from 1981 to 2010. This continues a trend that is weakly positive and remains in stark contrast to the decline in Arctic summer sea ice extent (2013 was 18% below the mean from 1981-2010). To further complicate this picture, we find this net increase actually masks strong declines in particular regions around Antarctica, such as in the Bellingshausen Sea, which are on par or greater than those in the Artic."
On October 16, 2013, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, France, New Zealand, the United States and The Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union released a joint statement on establishing marine protected areas in Southern Ocean, in the Ross Sea Region and in East Antarctica, for scientific research and ocean conservation.
"Although the OPEC embargo seemed to provide proof that the world was running short of oil resources, the move by Arab exporters did the opposite: It provided massive incentive to develop new oil fields outside of the Middle East—what became known as "non-OPEC," led by drilling in the North Sea and Alaska."
In the Energy Report, Rosemary Kelanic analyzes a specific conflict scenario—an air war between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China or ROC)—to enhance broader knowledge about fuel requirements in wartime.
Stephen P.A. Brown and Mine Yücel examine how changes in U.S. oil and natural gas production may affect individual state economies, showing that some of the states providing new energy resources are becoming less economically diversified and more economically vulnerable to energy price declines.
Hydraulic fracturing has unlocked huge reserves of shale gas and oil, transforming the energy outlook in the United States and the world, even as local opposition and falling world prices threaten the industry.
"Militia-controlled mines in eastern Congo have been feeding raw materials into the world's biggest electronics and jewelry companies and at the same time feeding chaos. Turns out your laptop—or camera or gaming system or gold necklace—may have a smidgen of Congo's pain somewhere in it."
Multinational corporations dominate markets, trade, investment, research and development, and the spread of technology. To fight climate change, the international community needs to harness this power.
Authors: Varun Sivaram, Antonio R. Villaraigosa, and R. Nichols Nature Climate Change
The City of Los Angeles is nearly two thirds of the way towards its goal of generating a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Cities around the world can glean valuable technical, economic and political lessons from its experience, writes Varun Sivaram.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »