1 min read

Problems Without Passports

Collective action or death.

William Burns, who I have written about before, recently gave an important speech about the world of intelligence. Burns covered many topics, but one of his ideas caught my eye: problems without passports.

We are, as President Biden reminds us, at an inflection point. The post-Cold War era is definitely over. Our task is to shape what comes next – investing in our foundational strengths, and working in common cause with our unmatched network of alliances and partnerships – to leave for future generations a world that is more free, open, secure and prosperous.

Second are the problems without passports, like the climate crisis and global pandemics, which are beyond the reach of any one country to address, and are growing more extreme and existential.

Over the years, I have covered the many complexities of climate change. The NOAA chief described the challenge this way.

Climate change is creating more and more intense, extreme events that cause significant damage and often sets off cascading hazards like intense drought, followed by devastating wildfires, followed by dangerous flooding and mudslides

One area, the costs of climate disruption, is starting to into greater focus. It's not good.

The total costs from climate-related events topped $165 billion in 2022 – the 5th time in six years that climate costs have exceeded $100 billion – including 18 separate billion-dollar climate disasters.

Watch this space.