2012 National Council for Science and Environment Conference on Environment and Security [Ronald Reagan Building]
Plenary 1: Integrating Climate, Energy, Food, Water and Health
Moderator: Frank Sesno, Professor and Director, School of Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University
Jeff Seabright, Vice President for Environment and Water Resources, The Coca-Cola Company
Daniel Gerstein, Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Technology, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Geoff Dabelko, Director, Environmental Change and Security Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Rosamond Naylor, Director of the Center on Food Security and Environment, Stanford University
The environment impacts human health in many ways - through air and water quality; providing vectors for infectious diseases; and exposure to toxics used for many purposes, including (ironically) for increasing the safety of food and water. These are just a few. Changing environmental conditions lead to changing health threats. Health threats on a large scale can quickly become security issues as populations begin to move or as nations erect barriers to real or perceived external threats. Large scale health threats can arise from large scale environmental changes, from new pandemics with environmental vectors, or in stressed communities with limited health services.