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Articles by Geoff Dabelko

Geoff Dabelko is director of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. He blogs here and at New Security Beat on environment, population, and security issues.

All Articles

  • Lithium: Are “blood batteries” next?

    The strategic minerals debate is back-but starring some new rocks. One that has received much recent attention is lithium, which is used in cell phone batteries, as well as those under development for electric cars. Turns out lithium isn’t found in too many places. Around 50 percent of known reserves are in Bolivia, underneath some […]

  • Science diplomacy: An expectations game

    In “The Limits of Science Diplomacy,” Director David Dickson argues that scientific collaboration can achieve only very limited diplomatic victories. A conference hosted by the Royal Society in London earlier this month, entitled “New Frontiers in Science Diplomacy” (agenda), seems to have arrived at a similar conclusion. But this view of science diplomacy is […]

  • Changing the climate with China’s military

    When I heard President Obama call for more regular dialogue between the Chinese and American militaries, my first thought was, “Why not the environment?” Perhaps it is not a front-burner issue for both institutions — but that is exactly the point. If dialogue is to improve understanding, build ties, and lower the prospects for confrontation, […]

  • Fallout from Jordan's radioactive water

    water in Jordan

    Last week, I wrote on New Security Beat about startling new research that found very high levels of naturally occurring radioactivity in some of Jordan's fossil groundwater. Measurements up to 2,000 percent higher than the international drinking water safety levels were found in the Disi aquifers in southern Jordan. Duke University's Avner Vengosh and his international team published the results in the highly respected, peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology.

    Last Friday a Jordan Times story featured government assurances that all of the country's water was safe -- and tried to discredit the messenger. In a transparent attempt to raise doubt about the scientists' motives, the article points out that lead author Vengosh is Israeli-born (he is now a U.S. citizen).