Passport for June 2020

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

A Letter from WACMB’s New President

Dear WACMB Members,

I hope The Passport finds you healthy during these difficult times. I want to share some exciting news about the innovative programs that your World Affairs Council will provide to you in the months ahead when we cannot gather in person for our traditional monthly luncheon meetings.

We have developed an online video series entitled “Issues Around the World in the Age of Covid-19.” These ‘quick takes’ – each about 15 minutes in length – come from leading international affairs experts in our area, including faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and the Naval War College unit based at NPS. These short analyses will be emailed to you on the 15th and the 30th of every month; all you will need to do is to click on the link in the email, and you will be taken directly to the video. We will also post these videos on our website. We have an exciting line-up coming your way for the next several months. Look inside this Passport for the full schedule. I have volunteered to be the guinea pig, and will talk about my forthcoming book on global jihad. Look for the email on June 15!

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In addition to bringing you expert analysis twice a month online, we are also moving our discussion groups online. The MPC/WACMB group under the leadership of Judith Glickman is meeting virtually via Zoom. This group is currently full, but if you are interested in participating, please send us an email and we’ll see what we can do. The OLLI/WACMB group is currently on its summer hiatus, but will resume in the fall, when it will be moderated by John Hetz.

June also ushers in a new WACMB Board for 2020-2021. I would like thank Larry Johnson and Jerry Sullivan for their incredible service to our organization. Larry has been the president for the past two years and an active volunteer for much longer, and Jerry has been our treasurer for more years than I can count. Both have termed off the Board as our bylaws mandate, but they will continue to assist the World Affairs Council: Larry will become the WACMB liaison to the OLLI program, and Jerry will assist our new treasurer, Peter Albano, to ensure an orderly transition. In addition to new officers, we are excited to welcome several new Directors as well. Please look inside this Passport for a complete list of your new Board and brief biographies of our new Directors.

Please stay safe! And until we can meet again in person, do take advantage of our new online programs to stay on top of what’s happening in international affairs!

Glenn E. Robinson
President, World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area

WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups that address a new current topic each month. The sessions are are free and open to the public.

Click the headline above to read more.

Click the headline above to read more.

WACMB’s New Board Members

Peter R. Albano

WACMB’s new treasurer is an Investment Advisory Representative with Castle Rock Wealth Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor providing investment analysis, portfolio management, advisory services, and financial planning. Peter has served both individual and corporate investment management clients over a 45-year career with several financial services firms. Peter graduated from Hobart College with a BA in Psychology, and studied business cycle analysis at the American Institute for Economic Research. He served for nine years as a Director of the Carmel Bach Festival, and in his spare time plays a mean bluegrass guitar.

Philipp Bleek

An Associate Professor of Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies, Philipp focuses on the causes, consequences, and amelioration of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons threats. From 2012 to 2013, he served as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs. Philip hold a BA in Public and International Affairs from Princeton, an MA in Public Policy from Harvard, and a PhD in Government from Georgetown.

Judith R. Glickman

Since 2017, Judith has been a Principal at JRG Organizational Consultant, where she engages in strategic thinking, planning, actioning, governance, and leadership coaching. She came to organizational consulting after a long career in educational administration, working as Principal, Superintendent, and Head of School in public and private schools from California to the UK, and as a partner with Educators’ Collaborative consulting firm. Judith earned a BA in Biological Sciences and an MA in Education, both from UC Berkeley, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from USC.

Gary J. Ohls

In his academic career, Gary taught at the University of Colorado, Texas Christian University, and the Naval War College in Newport, RI, before retiring in 2017 from the Naval War College at NPS as a Full Professor of Joint Maritime Operations and of Strategy and War. In addition to his academic career, he spent 36 years in the Marine Corps, which he entered at the enlisted level and rose to the rank of Colonel. He has a PhD in History from TCU and three master’s degrees, and continues to teach as an adjunct at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He has published two books and is currently doing research for his next project.

Jessica Piombo

After completing her PhD in Political Science at MIT, Jessica began teaching in the National Security Affairs Department at NPS, where she is an Associate Professor. She focuses on political transitions, statebuilding, African security, managing ethnic conflict, and US foreign policy in sub-Saharan Africa. Jessica has been a visiting scholar at the University of the Western Cape, the University of Cape Town, George Mason University, and Stanford University, and has conducted research in Cambodia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Laos, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda. She is currently studying the impact of international assistance in post-conflict societies.

Douglas Porch

A Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former chair of the National Security Affairs Department at NPS, Douglas specializes in the study of counterinsurgency and North African military history. He has been an Academic Visitor at St. Antony’s College at Oxford University, and a Visiting Fellow at Oxford’s Changing Character of War Programme. He holds a BA from the University of the South, and a PhD from Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University. The author of ten books, he is currently conducting research on French combatants in World War II.

Issues Around the World in the Age of Covid-19

The following is the tentative schedule and list of topics for WACMB’s new “quick takes” video program. On the scheduled day, you will receive an email with a link that will take you to the video.

Program Report: Mike Clancy

For our February luncheon, we had the honor of hosting Mr. Mike Clancy, the former Science Director for the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, who spoke on “The Climate Crisis: A Major Challenge for the World.” Mr. Clancy gave a fascinating big-picture history of climate, including the natural 100,000- year climate cycles that periodically produce ice ages. For much of recorded history, the Earth has enjoyed a pretty steady climate within a gradual cooling stage that produced, for example, the ‘Little Ice Age’ that preceded the industrial revolution.

Yet beginning with the industrial revolution in the 19th century, and shifting into overdrive for the past 50 years, the Earth has experienced a sudden and massive spike in surface temperatures. Monterey County has warmed up 1.9 degrees Celsius (about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1900. This sudden warming is occurring at precisely the time the Earth should still be in a gradual cooling phase. As Mr. Clancy put it, the Earth’s temperature is headed in the “wrong direction” at a rate 20 times the speed of natural climate change. Both the direction and pace of change have been produced largely by human activity, particularly the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, where they trap heat. Carbon dioxide makes up about 72% of all greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and methane makes up about 20%. However, methane is far more potent, and will likely be released in very large quantities as the frozen (and methane-trapping) tundra melts in Alaska and elsewhere. Meanwhile, human activity emits about twice the level of carbon dioxide that the earth can absorb.

After reviewing the impacts of climate change, Mr. Clancy discussed the political processes designed to mitigate the worst impacts of a warming climate, such as the Paris Agreement. He noted that such processes have had little success to date. The two worst offenders in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, by a considerable margin, are China (on an aggregate basis) and the US (on a per capita basis).

Correction to the May Passport

The Great Decisions discussion program is produced by the Foreign Policy Association, not by the Council on Foreign Relations.

This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm