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National Security Impacts of Climate Change
April 05

National Security Impacts of Climate Change

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Date Thursday, April 5, 2018
Time 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Location Hannaford Hall, University of S. Maine, Portland, ME


Climate change is a national security threat that America’s military, intelligence community, and nations around the world are taking seriously. From sea-level rise threatening U.S. bases internationally, to climate change effects like extreme weather and food and water scarcity, climate change is a disruptive force that can lead to political instability and even war.

This event will bring together Maine’s U.S. Senator Angus King, who serves on both the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, with military and foreign policy experts from the American Security Project including Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (Ret), for a discussion on how climate change will impact America’s national security and what measures Congress and the Defense Department will need to take to address these concerns.

Join us on the evening of Thursday, April 5th from 7:00-8:30pm for this lively discussion.

Co-sponsored by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, American Security Project, and the World Affairs Council of Maine.




Speaker Biographies:

Senator Angus King

King Jr Angus

In January 2013, Angus King was sworn in as Maine’s first Independent United States Senator, filling the same seat once held by storied Maine leaders Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell, and Olympia Snowe.

A strong believer in the need for greater bipartisan dialogue and relationship building, Senator King is proud to join the long line of thoughtful, independent leaders from the State of Maine, and he works hard every day to bring Republicans and Democrats together to find common-sense solutions for Maine and America. He is a proven consensus-builder who “calls ‘em like he sees ‘em”, putting civility and respect ahead of political ideology.

Senator King is a member of the Armed Services Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on the Budget, and the Committee on Rules and Administration. He has made it a priority not to miss Committee hearings, earning him praise from his colleagues and the reputation as a workhorse in the Senate. Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) once called Senator King “one of the most serious and hard-working members” of the Committee.

In his time in the Senate, Senator King has worked to strengthen America’s national security, conducted critical oversight of the nation’s Intelligence Community, supported common-sense budget priorities that promote prosperity and reduce the national debt, fought the national opioid and heroin epidemic, coordinated efforts to revitalize Maine’s forest economy, advocated for policies that contribute to cleaner, cheaper energy and mitigate climate change, railed against the corrosive effect of unchecked money in politics, fought to improve access to health care, worked to strengthen the government’s support of veterans, and promoted increased access to critical community resources like rural broadband.

Senator King has already achieved significant legislative victories. In 2013, when students across America faced the financial threat of a significant increase in their student loan interest rates, Senator King spearheaded the effort to draft and pass through both the Senate and House the compromise legislation that not only averted rate hikes, but that also put the program on long-term stable financial footing. That hard-fought bipartisan solution, the Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, has since been projected to save millions of students across the country more than $50 billion in interest payments.

During the government shutdown of 2014, Senator King worked tirelessly with a small group of moderate senators, led by his colleague and friend Senator Susan Collins, to formulate the action plan that eventually led to the reopening of the government.

In fact, it is in small working groups like this that Senator King has focused much of his work. He co-founded the Former Governors Caucus, which brings together the Senate’s former Governors to chart pragmatic approaches to solutions, as well as the Senate Arctic Caucus, which hones in on Maine and America’s growing interest in the Arctic. Senator King also tries to informally bridge the partisan divide in Washington by frequently bringing his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to his home for barbeque dinners, where political talk is banned and the focus is getting to know one another. The bonds that are formed through these relationships often lay the foundation for successful legislation.

Senator King also served as the 72nd Governor of Maine, and during his two terms in the Blaine House, he focused on economic development and job creation. Then-Governor King also achieved significant reforms in education, mental health services, land conservation, environmental protection, and the delivery of state services. He was re-elected in 1998 by one of the largest margins in Maine’s history.

Senator King is married to Mary Herman and has four sons, Angus III, Duncan, James, and Ben, one daughter, Molly, and six grandchildren. He was born in Virginia and attended Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia Law School. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the Maine outdoors – either on his Harley or with his family in their camper.


Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (Ret)

John “Glad” Castellaw is co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Farmspace Systems LLC., a provider of aerial (drone) services and equipment.

Following graduation from the University of Tennessee, Martin (UTM), he led Marines around the world while flying more than two dozen different aircraft. During his 36-year career, he served with the UN during the Siege of Sarajevo, commanded the American force in the multi-national security and stability operation in East Timor, and was the chief of staff for the U.S. Central Command at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also commanded Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 (REINFORCED), Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, and the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing. His last tours were in the Pentagon as head of Marine Aviation and then overseeing the Marine Corps budget.

Following his return to his Tennessee family farm, Castellaw co-founded the non-profit Crockett Policy Institute. As the former president, he created the “SOLDIER 2 CIVILIAN” program to help veterans find jobs in precision agriculture. Active in the local community, he is a director for the Bank of Crockett and serves with regional economic organizations.

Castellaw, a recognized national security expert, is a member of the USGLC National Security Advisory Council, lectures on National Security at UTM, serves on several Washington, DC based groups including the Nuclear Security Working Group (NSWG), the American Security Project Consensus, and the Climate Security Working Group (CSWG). He also consults with major defense firms and a Hollywood film company.

His honors, in addition to several military decorations, include membership in the UTM Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Hall of Fame, selection as the 1990 Marine Aviator of the Year, and as a recipient of the 2016 R. Clayton McWhorter Innovation Award given by the Ned Ray McWherter Institute. He was awarded the Order of Timor Leste (East Timor) by Prime Minister de Araujo for his service in restoring peace and security to that country.

Castellaw has provided commentary for various media outlets including the BBC, El Arabia, The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal, The Knoxville News Sentinel, The Jackson Sun, and The Washington Times. He recently appeared in a National Geographic Network series on climate security.