Mapping Climate, Peace & Security Relational Dynamics

The Peace Synapse graph: Thinking through climate, peace and security connections in the real world

This stunning image is actually a map of knowledge connections, between people, institutions, climate change impacts, and related response scenarios. It is a global knowledge graph (GKG) of climate, peace and security connections, running from January 2009 through 2016. Because it allows us to examine and to think through our shared opportunities for leveraging knowledge and responsive practical capability to deal with climate, peace and security connections, we gave it the working title Peace Synapse.

Four crucial insight areas emerge from this initial Peace Synapse graph:

  1. Connection toward collaboration: We can see where institutions and individuals and issues are reported together, but not so easily whether they are working together or in agreement.
  2. Evolving climate-security links: Peace and security are inextricably linked to stable climate conditions that have driven the rise of civilization as we know it; adaptation also means disruption and the evolving climate-security threat matrix must always be part of our thinking about resilience.
  3. Participatory reporting and innovation processes, such as the CCEN, ACCESS to GOOD and a new tool in development to facilitate open engagement with climate response planning, will allow us to harness the power of this tool.
  4. Ecological interrelationship: We now have, for the first time, a true opportunity to sort through the nonlinear influences that threaten or sustain peace and prosperity.

The climate system is a unifying ethical field that extends from the physical to the metaphysical and connects your actions to my well-being, and vice-versa, no matter how remote your life is from mine. The Golden Rule we have always treated as an abstract moral recommendation is now visibly playing out its logic in the physical world. Climate disruption is relational; climate solutions must also be relational.

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Mobilizing for action will mean building human capacity, connecting people, institutions, capabilities and innovations, and ensuring forward progress in building resilience. 

Geoversiv and a global community of partners will continue to use the Peace Synapse knowledge graph to map relational dynamics, track and foster knowledge sharing, and identify, connect and deepen reservoirs of capability. What the Peace Synapse also clearly shows is that there is no one entity that knows enough to be fully prepared for all of the ramifications of ongoing and escalating climate disruption.

National governments are charged—both by their own legal systems and through the commitments they have made to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its mobilizing Paris Agreement—with working “to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. Those commitments touch not only on scientific observation and energy policy; they are fundamental root elements of the public trust and relate to economic viability, political stability, resource access, global finance, and national and international peace and security.

The G20’s Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has issued its first comprehensive report with recommendations for corporate and public sector climate financial risk disclosures. This adds to the long-running, pioneering work of CDP, Carbon Tracker, and others, and will feed into a growing body of research, reporting, and carbon risk financial optimization analysis (such as is done by Carbon Delta).

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As you move through this detailed global map of knowledge connections, you learn which leaders and institutions appear connected in news reports, government research, policy planning, and emergency response scenarios. Our aim is to deepen, actualize, and apply this map to the geopolitical and geophysical world, ensuring that we have a stronger, more detailed, actionable approach to solving climate response crises and to achieving climate resilient long-term planning.

An enhanced role for local observers is crucial. For instance, knowing what local residents are observing and experiencing in the Canadian or Siberian Arctic coastlines and forests can give us critical information about the pace of change at all latitudes across the world. That we find a way to ensure this information is accurate, unfiltered by political operatives, useful to observers and actors elsewhere in the world, and adaptable to innovations of all kinds, may determine whether we can expect to live in a safe and prosperous world.

As we add national climate action strategies, carbon risk reporting, major financial sector change dynamics, water and food security connections, local observers’ experiences, and emerging information about the roots of human migration, we aim to ensure all decision-makers are informed by the most detailed, useful, locally relevant, and innovative range of knowledge and discovery. The climate system is a continuum with human peace and security interests. Getting down to business means mapping these relational dynamics.

climate-geopolitics-160810-online-026You can explore the full interactive Peace Synapse Global Knowledge Graph, built by Geoversiv using the GDELT mapping platform, here

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