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  • July 12, 2023 7:34 AM | Anonymous

    IFCPP Advisory Board Member, Past Education Chair, and longtime colleague and friend, Ross Guthrie, retired from the Minneapolis Institute of Art last week. We're proud to recognize Ross as a true cultural property protection professional, and a leader in the field.

    IFCPP thanks Ross for decades of service to the community, and congratulates him for a well-deserved and hard-earned retirement. Following is the official memo from the Chief Operating Officer at Mia - a recognition that sums up well Ross's dedication, and longstanding contribution to the field...

    From: Michael Sanders, COO, Minneapolis Institute of Art:

    In August of 1991, a young Ross Guthrie stepped off the plane from Tulsa to embark on his new career at Mia. For context, that was just two months before the Great Halloween Blizzard, because in Minnesota all things are measured from that event.  Ross would survive the blizzard and spend the next 32 years ensuring the safety and security of Mia’s staff, collection, and facilities while maintaining an infectiously positive attitude.

    During his time here, Ross has helped with every significant exhibition and organizational milestone for the past three decades. Some of his favorite exhibitions have been Star Wars: The Magic of Myth (2000), Eternal Egypt (2002), Terra Cotta Warriors (2012), and Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation (2016). During the Louvre and the Masterpiece (2009), the Director of the Louvre asked if Ross was going to sleep under Vermeer's The Astronomer to keep it safe. Ross did not, in fact, sleep under the painting but it says a lot about Ross that it doesn’t seem completely out of the question.

    Ross has brought kindness and levity to every situation with which he has been involved. He famously, or maybe infamously, did a Tonight Show-based skit with Mike Newman (Ross was Johnny, Mike was Ed McMahon). He greatly enjoyed the celebrity-spotting at Mia’s Super Bowl parties. If a visitor contacted us to compliment the service they received at Mia, there is a better than average chance they were talking about Ross.

    Ross has worked under four Mia Directors and two interim Directors. He survived multiple museum expansion projects, including the Target wing expansion that involved a temporary loading dock (which he loved). There have been countless late night emergency phone calls that Ross has diligently responded to that helped keep the museum functioning safely.  More recently, Ross helped lead Mia through some of the most challenging times the organization has faced – COVID and the subsequent shutdown and the civil unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd.

    Through all of this, Ross has kept his trademarked calm and upbeat demeanor. He is quick to smile and joke with his colleagues and always an advocate for the Security department and staff. Ross’ legacy and impact at Mia cannot be overstated and he will be greatly missed.

  • July 12, 2023 7:32 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Security Management Magazine

    The average lifespan of a company is 10 years, according to an often-cited study by the Santa Fe Institute. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years. And, for large companies, consider that only 49 of the original Fortune 500 companies remain on the list. While there’s nothing that can guarantee long-term success, there are things that businesses can do to improve how they hire, innovate, and conduct activities, which can contribute to their success.

    One of the keys is a formal sustainability plan with a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) program as a major component. 

    What is DE&I, and Why is it Important?

    Diversity includes (but is not limited to) gender, age, nationality, background, culture, skills, neurodivergence, socio-economic status, and other attributes. And, while sustainability is usually associated with environmental stewardship, that’s just part of the equation. In simple terms, sustainability is defined as the ability to endure. This is where DE&I can help, as it can play a significant role in a company’s longevity.

    So, how can DE&I contribute to a company’s long-term success? Consider that DE&I can help:

    Attract the right talent. Two out of three job candidates seek companies that have diverse workforces. (What Job Seekers Really Think, Glassdoor)

    Increase job satisfaction and improve employee retention. Companies experience a 50 percent drop in turnover risk and a 75 percent reduction in sick days when workers feel like they belong. (The Value of Belonging at Work, Harvard Business Review)

    Enhance team performance. Three-quarters of organizations with frontline decision-making teams that reflect a diverse and inclusive culture exceed financial targets. (Diversity and inclusion Build High-Performance Teams, Gartner)

    Generate ideas and innovate. Companies with above-average diversity produce a greater proportion of revenue from innovation (45 percent) than companies with below average diversity (26 percent). (How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation, Boston Consulting Group)

    Gain a competitive business advantage. Companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33 percent more likely to outperform their competitors on profitability.  (Delivering Through Diversity, McKinsey & Company)

    A diverse workforce and an inclusive and fair environment are appealing to today’s business professionals. It’s clear that an inclusive, positive work climate that promotes diversity and equity can attract and retain the right people, drive engagement, and foster both creativity and innovation because it takes into account many different points of view. Ultimately, this can lead to a much more sustainable business.

    DE&I Starts with a Commitment

    If your company is serious about trying to improve sustainability via efforts like improving DE&I, it’s best to make a formal commitment and set goals. For example, many companies have signed the United Nations Global Compact and use its agenda and goals as a blueprint for aligning company strategies and operations with their universal principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. The UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiative, with 13,000 corporate participants and other stakeholders in more than 170 countries.

    Implementing a sustainability plan in your workplace should be approached like any other company initiative. It’s important to conduct a proper assessment and evaluate where your organization is pertaining to DEI and sustainability in order to define needs, set strategy and goals, and develop a way to measure success.

    Looking at my organization, Axis Communications, for example—in its 2022 Sustainability Report, Axis reported a significant 33 percent increase in gender diversity among both managers and employees in its global operations. Overall, 29 percent of Axis employees are women, and 71 percent are men. Although there is clearly still work to be done, the gap between males and females at Axis, especially in leadership positions, is narrowing.

    Using Axis corporate sustainability efforts as a guide, Axis Americas has been working on increasing DE&I in our hiring practices, as well. When we began a deep dive into the issue of diversity about five years ago, we didn’t score as well as our counterparts across the globe in this area, so we committed to making improvements. Not only was there an imbalance between the percentage of women and men, but the problem was being exacerbated by the lack of job applications from women. The same applied to the other identities.

    Accordingly, we committed to working harder to attract a pool of diverse and qualified candidates for our management positions. We’ve moved the needle from 27 percent women in management positions five years ago to 33 percent today. That’s a very positive growth indicator, and we’re working just as hard to increase the number of other types of diverse representation in management.

    Why focus on management positions first? Because these new hires bring new thinking and new networks of people with them.

    This change didn’t happen overnight. It was part of a formalized plan, and it’s exciting to see progress being made.

    Working Together to Make a Difference 

    No longer just a “nice to have” initiative, improving diversity has become a “have to have” initiative. A diverse employee makeup better reflects society and includes input from a wider variety of stakeholders, which ultimately helps diversify and improve the products and services that a company creates. To increase sustainability and DE&I efforts in security companies, the industry can and should band together to leverage industry associations, working groups, and committees to bring industry-wide change that benefits all of us.

    One great example is the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) Women in Security Forum. This group offers programs, professional development opportunities, and networking events with the goal of supporting the involvement of women in the security industry. The forum’s purpose is to engage all security professionals to promote, recruit, and cultivate the leadership of women for a more inclusive and diversified industry. 

    In just five short years, the Women in Security Forum has rapidly grown to over 1,300 members. This summer Axis Americas—which played a role in creating the forum—served as a co-chair of the forum’s inaugural Security LeadHER event in Nashville, Tennessee, which brought together security professionals committed to advancing, connecting, and empowering women in security. The work of the Women in Security Forum has also helped raise more than $100,000 in scholarships, provided mentoring opportunities, and included a partnership with Dress for Success where we’ve collected clothing and funds for women looking for assistance in elevating themselves to better jobs.

    Report Cards Can Help You Evaluate Your Efforts

    As companies begin or continue efforts to improve sustainability, they should evaluate their efforts—and there are resources available to help do so. EcoVadis, for example, is the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings, and it has created a global network of more than 100,000 rated companies. It works as a third-party to provide reliable, globally recognized sustainability ratings and insights that enable companies to reduce risk, drive improvement, and accelerate a positive impact on the planet and society.

    Axis undertakes an assessment each year carried out by EcoVadis to evaluate our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts. For the last two years, Axis has earned a Silver Sustainability Rating from EcoVadis. These ratings not only serve as a testament to your efforts, but they help the organization identify gaps and develop plans for ongoing improvement.

    The great news is that there are many examples of companies, in general, and in the security industry, in particular, that are incorporating DE&I initiatives and sustainability into long-term planning. This move not only improves diversity within employee populations, but it also encourages diversity of thought and, ultimately, innovation in the development, design, production, and quality of products and services.

    As we in the security industry work to continue to improve existing technology and invent new products, let’s continue tapping into an expanded talent pool that can add experience, perspective, and diversity of thought. Together, we can raise the bar for the industry and improve our collective sustainability and success. 

    See Original Post

  • July 12, 2023 7:30 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from the NonProfit Times

    Giving to nonprofits in the United States plunged during 2022, led by the disappearance of individual donors. Giving dropped to an estimated $499.33 billion – down 3.4% in current dollars and 10.5% after adjusting for inflation from a revised total of $516.65 billion in 2021.

    Giving also declined as a percentage of the nation’s gross domestic product, to 1.9% from 2.2%.

    Inflation, economic uncertainty, individuals returning to previous giving levels after the pandemic surge and the decline in the number of donors are the key culprits in the drop, according to researchers for Giving USA 2023: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2022. It is published by Giving USA Foundation, part of The Giving Institute. It is researched and written by the team at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

    Donations by individuals declined significantly as a portion of overall giving, to 64% from 66% during 2021. Individuals provided $319.04 billion in support, a decline of 6.4% in 2022 and 13.4%, when adjusted for inflation. In current dollars that’s $319.04 billion during 2022 versus $340.97 billion in 2021.

    Foundation giving was $105.21 billion, up 2.5% but down 5% in inflation-adjusted dollars. It made up 21% of all giving. Bequests hit $45.60 billion, up 2.3% but down 5.3% in inflation-adjusted dollars. It made up 9% of all giving. Corporations gave $29.48 billion, up 3.4% but down 4.2% after adjusting for inflation. It was 6% of all giving.

    In current dollars, total charitable giving increased 6.2% between 2020 and 2021 and decreased 3.4% between 2021 and 2022. The cumulative change in current-dollar total giving between 2020 and 2022 was 2.7%, according to the new data.

    “Nonprofits and donors alike experienced the steady, negative impacts of inflation, such as the growing cost of goods and high interest rates throughout 2022, and many of those challenges remain,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “However, Giving USA’s historical data also provide a case for hope: we have seen charitable giving rebound from each decline.”

    As usual, giving to religion took the top spot at $143.57 billion (27% of total amount donated), followed by:

    * Human services – $71.98 billion (14%)

    * Education – $70.07 billion (13%)

    * Gifts to grant making foundations – $56.84 billion (11%)

    * Health – $51.08 billion (10%)

    * Public-Society Benefits – $46.86 billion (9%)

    * International Affairs – $33.71 billion (6%)

    * Arts, Culture & Humanities – $24.67 billion (5%)

    * Environmental/Animals – $16.10 billion (3%)

    * Giving To Individuals – $12.98 billion (2%)

    Seven of the nine sector-related categories declined when inflation-adjust dollars were calculated. Only international affairs (up 2.7%) and foundations (1.95%) were in positive territory. Unallocated giving was negative $28.54 billion in 2022. This amount is the difference between giving by source and use (who received it) in a particular year. This amount includes the difference between itemized deductions by individuals (and households) carried over from previous years. The tax year in which a gift is claimed by the donor (carried over) and the year when the recipient organization reports revenue (the year in which it is received) might be different.

    Public-society benefit got hit hardest. Giving to public-society benefit increased 11.8% in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2020 and 2021. Between 2021 and 2022, inflation-adjusted giving to public-society benefit declined by 15.2%. The cumulative change in giving to public-society benefit between 2020 and 2022 is negative 5.1% in inflation-adjusted dollars.

    “I think there are a lot of silver linings in the data. The good news here is when we shared the findings, most people who had been paying attention to the economic data were not surprised,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and International Programs; Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy; Dean’s Fellow, Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

    Some of the data she referenced includes year-over-year inflation, the rate at which consumer prices increase, which was 6.5% in December 2022, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates seven times during 2022 and again on February 1, 2023. Most important when looking at donor behavior is that when accounting for inflation, workers’ average hourly earnings were down 1.7% in December 2022 compared to a year prior.

    The total estimate for giving by individuals in 2022 included itemized and non-itemized charitable contributions. Contributions included gifts of cash, securities and property. Mega-giving from six individuals, such as MacKenzie Scott, and couples totaled $13.96 billion during 2022.

    One of those not surprised by the drop in giving is Woodrow Rosenbaum, chief data officer for GivingTuesday and a non-resident fellow, Technology and Public Purpose Project at the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School.

    “There may be other factors as well, but the dominant trend has been for nonprofits to focus on large donor stewardship at the expense of everything else, and for lots of good reasons, as well as some that might be misguided. This is what we would expect to see” when affluent donors pull back, Rosenbaum said.

    “I think it has more to do with the pressing need in the nonprofit sector for short term dollars. It has driven us toward that at the expense of other activity combined with some scarcity mentality that contributes to continuing that cycle,” said Rosenbaum. “It works to get more money until you have too many eggs in that one basket and then have some type of correction which appears is what happened last year.”

    That sentiment of smaller donors not being asked is key to the decline, according to Shannon McCracken, CEO of the Nonprofit Alliance in Washington, D.C. “What the nonprofit sector inherently knows – but donors and the general public may not consider in seeing Giving USA 2023 highlights – is that increases in giving from corporations, foundations and mega-donors that help cover declines in individual giving on a pie chart are not equally distributed,” she said. “There are winners and losers. Institutional funders can be magnificent change-makers, but the everyday givers are the bedrock of democracy of giving.”

    Chris Pritcher, CEO at national fundraising firm RKD Group in Dallas, believes charities leaders must fundamentally change their pursuit of donors. “This study is the latest in a series of alarm bells, but it doesn’t even touch what might be the loudest alarm. I’m bothered by the fact that individual giving revenue is down 6.4%, but I’m more concerned that the number of donors continues to decline,” he said in reaction to the data.

    “Not enough people are being moved to contribute – because our practices perpetuate talking at them, not talking with them or listening to them,” said Pritcher. “As a sector, we have to change. We must work harder than ever to innovate and deepen relationships with donors, no matter how much they give.”

    McCracken offered additional perspective when it comes to rank and file donors. “For the last 10-plus years, there’s been a substantial shift in donor acquisition best practices to maximize efficiency by focusing on donors with the highest lifetime value,” said McCracken. “The natural follow-up question for nonprofits is whether that efficiency of fundraising for the years leading up to 2022 was worth it – that is, are they in a better financial position at present, with the 2022 softening, than they would be had they continued to prioritize the number of donors over gift size? If yes, that’s an intriguing context to overlay on the Giving USA data. If the answer is no, these numbers may inspire new definitions of fundraising efficiency.”

    Rosenbaum believes the cash is out there. “Theoretically, there is some limit to how much someone can give but there’s so much elasticity in the donor ecosystem that we are nowhere near that limit,” he said.

    Gifts via donor-advised funds (DAFs) are becoming more popular, especially in times when holders of such accounts believe they can’t deposit as much into the accounts and therefore feel the need to grant more from the DAFs, said Rosenbaum.

    It is hard to track the impact of DAFs in the Giving USA numbers. DAF funds are counted wherever the organization that hosts the donor-advised fund is counted. For example, a DAF that is held within a community foundation will be counted with community foundations in the giving to foundations subsector. Freestanding, national or commercial DAFs, such as Fidelity Charitable, are counted in the Public-Society Benefit subsector on the uses side.

    According to the most recent data from the National Philanthropic Trust, $72.67 billion was deposited into DAFs and $45.74 billion was granted during 2021. The average DAF account was $183,842.

    In addition, other types of organizations on the uses side sponsor DAFs. The contributions to these donor-advised funds appear in Giving USA in the specific subsector under which the primary organization is categorized. Some examples are DAFs within higher education institutions (in education) and within organizations such as World Vision (in international affairs), the Humane Society (in environment/animals) or the National Christian Foundation (in public-society benefit).

    Americans continued remembering charities in their wills. Giving by bequest has captured between 7% and 9% of total giving during the past 40 years, with high points in the five-year periods beginning in 1993, 1998, 2013 and 2018, the data show. Giving by bequest saw its largest period of growth during the five-year period beginning in 1998, with an increase of 40.7%.

    Many nonprofit advocates want to ensure living Americans have an incentive to give. “Nonprofits leaders and policymakers should be alarmed that the 2022 decline in donations from individuals illustrates the impact of a 20-year decline in the percentage of Americans who donate to nonprofits,” said Steve Taylor, a principal at public policy firm Integer in Washington, D.C.

    “In 2000, two-thirds of American households gave. By 2018, that percentage had fallen to less than half of households,” said Taylor who spent more than 15 years at United Way Worldwide, most recently as senior vice president and counsel for public policy.

    A coalition of nonprofits and others are working to reverse this trend by asking Congress to allow all taxpayers who donate to deduct those gifts from their taxes. “Since 2018, only about 10% of taxpayers have been able to take the deduction, with the exception of the $300/$600 non-itemizer deduction in place in 2020 and 2021,” said Taylor. “While renewing and expanding this deduction is just part of a solution, virtually all the empirical evidence shows that tax deductibility increases donations.”

    More troubling is when these numbers are paired with earlier research from the Lilly School that showed just 5.4% of American believe they had a personal interaction with a nonprofit – despite more than 10% of the population working at a nonprofit and tens of millions of people involved with organizations such as YMCAs, YWCAs and scouting.

    “The Giving USA results should be a bit of a reminder or maybe a nudge if not a direct catalyst for a lot of folks around the philanthropic sector to recognize and think about the importance of engagement and building those authentic relationships,” said Osili.

    Giving USA estimates primarily rely on econometric methods developed by researchers in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector and are reviewed and approved by members of the Giving USA External Review Panel. Members of the External Review Panel include research directors from national nonprofit organizations as well as scholars from such disciplines as economics and public affairs, all of whom are involved in studying philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

    The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy prepares all of the estimates in Giving USA for the Giving USA Foundation. Giving USA develops estimates for giving by each type of donor (sources) and for recipient organizations categorized by subsectors (uses). Most of Giving USA’s annual estimates are based on econometric analyses and tabulations of tax data, economic indicators and demographics.

    Data for giving by foundations come from Candid (formerly the Foundation Center). Giving USA researchers update data found within Giving USA each year. This is because current Giving USA estimates are developed before final tax data, some economic indicators and some demographic data are available. The estimates are revised and updated as final versions of these data become available. Final estimates are usually developed two or three years after their initial release.

    See Original Post

  • July 12, 2023 7:27 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Security Management Magazine

    Climate-related events and ramifications account for the top five global risks for the next decade in the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Risks Report. Climate change also ranked among the top five concerns cited by the Institute of Risk Management in its 2022 list. Extreme weather events such as hurricanes and flooding are increasing in many regions of the world. While climate change is often characterized as a long-term problem, its potential to increase the near-term risks of high-impact, high-probability weather events is a concern for organizations.

    Climate change is projected to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Heat waves will be more severe, leading to droughts, and intense precipitation will lead to floods. Warming temperatures will increase the intensity of extratropical hurricanes. There is evidence that Category 4 and 5 hurricanes with sustained winds of 135 mph or higher could become more frequent.

    The estimated losses due to climate change could be between $126 trillion and $616 trillion until the year 2100 given current commitments from organizations and governments, according to 2020 research published in Nature Communications. Losses from natural disasters worldwide in 2021 hit $280 billion, making it the fourth-costliest year since 2011, insurer Munich Re found. More than 50 major flood events caused $82 billion of economic losses globally in 2021. 

    In addition to the commercial liabilities associated with business disruptions, there are legal and corporate reporting implications. Rapidly developing climate related regulations can leave organizations open to legal action or fines, Chubb Institute found. According to the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) the impacts of climate change on a company’s financial situation must be disclosed by listed organizations. Similar climate change disclosure rules are in place for organizations listed on exchanges in Australia, Denmark, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The UN’s Global Framework for Climate Risk Disclosure calls on organizations to analyze the impact of climate change and report on the implementation of mitigation measures.

    Many organizations are experiencing the impacts from extreme weather events or expect to in the near future. Climate change could disrupt business models and destroy enterprise value that has taken decades to build. Recent severe storms, heat waves, and flooding events are just an early warning of what could come.

    The Organizational Impact of Climate Change

    Climate change can disrupt supply chains, cause financial losses, and damage facilities. This can have myriad effects on business operations and security plans.

    Business Travel

    A Category-3 hurricane on the U.S. East Coast can cause an interruption of approximately $32 billion to top-line corporate revenues, according to 2011 research from the Global Travel Business Association (GBTA). U.S. business travel losses from a storm of this magnitude include 514,000 cancelled trips and $606 million in spending due to hurricane related cancellations, GBTA estimated. In the decade since that initial research, storms have intensified—leading to even more travel ramifications.

    Weather related flight cancellations and delays have increased over the past two decades in the United States and Europe. In 2021 severe winter weather forced the cancellation of more than 300 flights at both Chicago’s O’Hare airport and Dallas/Fort Worth airport, The Financial Times reported. Airlines canceled more than 3,500 flights across the United States due to Hurricane Ian in 2022 while airports in Florida were shut down. The share of cancelled flights in the United States increased from 35 percent in 2004 to 54 percent in 2019, according to The Financial Times. The number of delays in European airspace rose from 3.5 million in 2003 to 6.5 million in 2019.

    Transportation Infrastructure

    The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) attributes 21 percent of all roadway crashes to inclement weather—affecting nearly 1,235,000 crashes each year. The FHWA estimates that 23 percent of non-recurrent delays on U.S. highways are related to snow, ice, and fog, resulting in an estimated 544 million vehicle-hours of delay every year. Trucking companies and commercial vehicle operators lose more than 32 billion vehicle hours annually due to severe weather-related congestion, costing trucking organizations anywhere from $2.2 to $3.5 billion dollars, the FHWA estimated. Without changes, this number is projected to increase substantially.

    Projections show that bridges, tunnels, and airports will become vulnerable as sea level rises. In the United States, around 40,500 miles of navigable waterways in rivers facilitate transportation by ships and barges. There is a climatic shift to a systematic and a long-term increase in flood incidence and scale in Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio, which have riverine transportation systems. Record water levels on the Mississippi River in 2019 disrupted the key transport network for exporting U.S. agricultural goods, causing losses valued at almost $1 billion, according to a 2022 report from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and RTI International, Act Now or Pay Later: The Costs of Climate Inaction for Ports and Shipping.

    In 1996, a record-breaking 24-hour rainstorm resulted in flash flooding in Chicago. There were extensive travel delays on highways and railroads, commuters were unable to reach Chicago for up to three days, and more than 300 freight trains were delayed or re-routed. These record-breaking weather-related events are becoming more common.

    Additionally, road infrastructure along approximately 60,000 miles in U.S. coastal areas is vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surges, according to the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit.

    A U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) assessment in 2012 found that Hurricane Irene-related flooding resulted in more than $733 million in damages, including the damage to or complete loss of 2,400 roadways, 300 covered bridges, and six railroad tracks.

    In 2021, Hurricane Ida struck the United States along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing a diversion of trucks—already in short supply across the country—for use in relief aid, The New York Times reported.


    In addition to causing closures or delays, flooding may damage airport facilities, including runways. Thirteen of the 47 largest U.S. airports have at least one runway within 12 feet of sea level, making them particularly vulnerable to coastal storm surge and inundation.

    Brookings Institute found that with just one foot of sea level rise, four significant U.S. airports will face significant flooding on more than 10 percent of their land. In New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, many critical transportation infrastructure facilities (including Newark and La Guardia airports) lie within the range of current and projected 50-year coastal storm surges, according to 2017 numbers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    Ports and Canals

    Larger storms coupled with sea level rise will increase the duration of port closures. An analysis of storm-related disruptions across 74 ports in 12 countries found that an additional meter in storm surge height or 10 meters per second in wind speed is associated with two days of average increase in the duration of disruption, according to the RTI-EDF report.

    Hurricane damage to U.S. ports have averaged almost $430 million per year, the report found. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused the complete shutdown of the Port of New York and New Jersey for more than eight days.

    Tropical storms in Asia-Pacific also have widespread ramifications for ports. In 2011, Cyclone Yasi cost the Port of Brisbane $52 million and 10 days of operations. Typhoon Haikui caused $10 million in damage to the Port of Shanghai in 2012. In 2019, Typhoon Lekima caused a loss of $65 million to the Port of Dalian and closed the Port of Wenzhou in China for 45 days, Insurance Journal reported.

    There are 12 major ports in East Asia that are highly exposed to typhoon hazards. These ports have a combined annual throughput of more than 160 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units—a measurement to determine cargo capacity)— which is around 20 percent of the global total. Almost 290 ports (14 percent of all ports) are at extremely high risk, with more than 30 percent of them located in Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States.

    The Port of Busan in South Korea, which is among the 10 most active ports in the world was inoperable for 91 days due Typhoon Maemi in 2003. Typhoon Maemi damaged 11 cranes and flooded the container yards, the RTI-EDF report said. A 10 percent increase in typhoon intensity can result in between 18 percent and 43 percent more downtime for Japanese ports, resulting in significant costs to the national economy, according to 2017 research from the University of Rhode Island.

    Even ports in Europe that are currently considered well protected against high intensity storms—like in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Hamburg—are expected to need upgrades for their flooding defense systems to address from future sea level rise, according to the RTI-EDF report.

    In South America, extreme rainfall in 2008 forced the closure of the Paranaguá Port, one of the most important ports in Brazil, resulting in losses of $350 million. More recently, landslides caused by heavy rainfall in November 2022 blocked road and rail access to the Paranaguá port, disrupting the flow of trucks headed to the coast, MarineLink reported.

    The Panama Canal area experienced a rainfall deficit of more than 25 percent in 2019, the RTI-EDF report said. As a result of severe drought in the region, the Panama Canal Authorities set limits on traffic that cost global shipping companies between $230 million and $370 million.

    The Domino Effect: Floods in Thailand

    In the 2011 monsoon season, Tropical Storm Nock-ten unleashed waves of flooding across Thailand. The floods spread across multiple river basins to inundate 65 out of Thailand’s 76 provinces, damaging 7,700 square miles of farmland, displacing millions of people, and resulting in 815 deaths. The flooding in Thailand highlighted the vulnerabilities of production and direct exporting when prevailing just-in-time procurement models and management had not fully accounted for the potential damage from supply chain disruptions, according to an article in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

    “Today’s global supply chain has achieved cost reduction by reducing inventory, shortening transportation timelines, and streamlining production systems,” wrote the researchers, Masahiko Haraguchi and Upmanu Lall. “However, with lean and complex supply chains, there is much more susceptibility to systemic risk, a financial term used to describe a risk originating from one node of a financial network which then harms the entire financial market. This notion of risk is applicable to supply chains. While a more efficient production and transportation system is more capital intensive and cost efficient, in the event of a natural disaster, the entire system may suffer disruption and break down.”

    The Thai floods showed that disasters in one country can significantly affect manufacturing industries in many countries. Direct losses from the floods were estimated at $15 billion to $20 billion, according to a 2013 report from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change. The floods affected about 10,000 factories, including 804 in just seven inundated industrial parks.

    Of those factories affected by the floods, 56.7 percent were owned or operated by Japanese organizations, Haraguchi and Lall noted.

    Honda operations were shut for six months, and its two production lines were beyond repair, according to a briefing from Just Auto. Its estimated production losses were more than $250 million, the C2ES report said. A shortage of parts forced Toyota to produce 30 percent fewer vehicles at its Japanese plants and postponed the launching of new models. HP estimated that more than half of its 7 percent revenue decline in the fourth quarter of 2011 was attributable to a shortage of hard disk drives caused by the flooding in Thailand. Construction firm Holcim was affected by severe flooding in both Thailand and eastern Australia in 2012, resulting in a loss of $15 million. With more than $46 billion in damages, the 2011 Thai floods were ranked by the World Bank as the fourth-costliest disaster at the time.

    Mitigation Measures

    “When risk management professionals hear that the Polar Vortex is collapsing, they aren’t simply worried about how cold it will get; they are focused on the impact to business operations,” wrote Ann Pickren for Continuity Central in 2019.

    For security and business continuity professionals, mitigation measures vary broadly, depending on a company’s unique risk profile. Organizations could check location specific risks based on historical patterns as well as mid- to long-term weather forecasts, Pickren wrote. Companies should conduct a disaster vulnerability analysis before expanding company operations to a new location. Organizations can globally distribute manufacturing sites to ensure that they are able to shift supply of products among sites in the event of a catastrophe.

    Multinational Spanish banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) has a total of 128 business continuity plans implemented in 25 of the 32 countries in which it operates, the C2ES report noted. “These plans were put to the test during floods and power outages in Venezuela, La Niña triggered floods in Colombia and storms and tornados in Alabama,” the report said. “By implementing its business continuity measures, in each case BBVA was able to continue to render its critical services and comply with its obligations to society and various authorities.”

    Security’s Role

    Through a global security operations center (GSOC) or similar security management hub, chief security officers (CSOs) can assume emergency management functional responsibility for coordination with the municipal and police authorities, hospitals, electricity department, disaster management cells of business associations, and the fire brigade. The CSO could activate emergency response teams; conduct a quick damage assessment; assist in search, rescue, and emergency evacuations of employees; provide medical assistance; and incorporate security and safety measures during infrastructure restoration work.

    The GSOC can be the technological hub for coordination between the company’s emergency management teams and federal and state government authorities. Alerts can be disseminated through various apps that can provide updated information on safety and security to employees. The GSOC can inform employees and vendors about areas that are likely to flood, assess damage to facilities from the video surveillance cameras, implement the measures which are mentioned in the emergency management standard operating procedures (SOPs), and provide updated information to the company’s communications director through the CSO.

    The site infrastructure—which also includes the main server or data centers—can be destroyed during an earthquake, fire, flooding, or a hurricane. The chief information security officer (CISO) or CSO can have a data loss prevention strategy in place for employees. It’s crucial to have a combination of onsite and offsite backups of the organizational data which can be stored at geographically dispersed locations of the organization and on cloud infrastructure.

    Assess Vulnerabilities

    Organizations can conduct vulnerability assessments of facilities and operations in high-risk regions. A climate monitoring expert group could be established to observe local climate changes. For example, organizations operating in Southeast Asia can conduct geographical assessments to understand flooding during incessant rains.

    Organizations could create an inclement weather policy for their employees. The policy will help organizations fulfill duty of care responsibilities.

    Other measures can include the identification of critical dependencies, materials, and utilities. Market vulnerability analysis can be conducted to ensure that the supply chain is not disrupted.

    Environmental Intelligence 

    Environmental intelligence uses the power of artificial intelligence to improve responsiveness to unpredictable weather conditions. The technology provides environmental data and forecasting capabilities to deliver greater insight into what weather is coming and how it might affect organizations. Organizations can mobilize facility and maintenance teams in advance to prevent damages to assets. Aviation operators are already leveraging environmental intelligence tools to assess weather risks and make necessary and agile decisions to protect personnel and maintain operations, IBM noted in a 2022 blog.

    “In the U.S., for example, Tornado Alley is moving eastward due to climate change, disrupting lives that were historically safe from that type of weather event,” the blog explained. “During this new shifting tornado season, an aviation operator using reactive weather forecasting technology will be able to shut down operations quickly. But an operator using environmental intelligence can understand where the most severe tornados may form next. They may have facilities on high alert from the beginning of the season, build those facilities with future climate patterns in mind, or even avoid new investment in high-risk areas.”

    Collaborate with Stakeholders

    Management can work with other organizations or industry groups to identify best practices while industry associations could work with governments to craft environmentally friendly policies.

    Natural disasters disrupt global supply chains for raw materials, plus equipment support and maintenance services. The CSO can engage with vendors in the critical function areas of banking, finance, logistics, fuel, telecommunications, and electricity to improve event response planning. CSOs could work with vendors in the following areas:

    • Create a separate chapter on vendor management in the business continuity preparedness manual. The chapter can include measures to ensure deliveries of essential goods and to have a stockpile of inventory and supplies during and after natural disasters.
    • Collaborate with vendors in analyzing levels of risk and vulnerabilities that could significantly disrupt the supply chain during a natural disaster.
    • Have a diversified network of vendors. This will help the organization access products through alternative routes and modes of transportation.
    • Identify other vendors across geographies with the same product.
    • Assess vendors’ vulnerabilities according to low-, medium-, and high-risk categories.
    • Organizations should have contracts with different telecommunications providers for redundancy and backups.

    Research into the effects of climate change and related mitigation measures is readily available. Climate change scenarios and models can present a range of future impacts of concern to organizations. Organizations can incorporate data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), NOAA, and the U.S. Geological Survey into their analysis.

    Organizations can also collaborate with universities or government agencies to better understand climate-related vulnerabilities and risks.

    For instance, Bayer partnered with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to develop scenarios of changes in hydrology, air temperature, sea level, and river flows that would affect the company and its markets over the next 10, 50, and 100 years, the C2ES report explained. Similarly, Australian mining company Rio Tinto commissioned the UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Change to develop a range of scenarios for how changes in key climate variables over the next 25 to 50 years might affect regions where the company operates.

    Such studies can form the basis for a variety of educational efforts such as briefings for senior managers, webinars for employees directly involved in planning for climate related risks, and guidance for specific business units, projects, or investments. Climate impact modeling tools can also be made available to managers for business continuity planning purposes.

    The world economy may lose up to 18 percent of GDP from climate change if no action is taken, according to a 2021 estimate from Swiss Re Institute. Economies in Asia would be hardest hit, with China at risk of losing nearly 24 percent of its GDP in a severe scenario, while the United States stands to lose close to 10 percent, and the European Union almost 11 percent. Organizations should learn and adapt in the long term and thrive in a world beset by the unpredictability of a changing climate.

    See Original Post

  • July 12, 2023 7:26 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from The Art Newspaper

    New information has emerged from the investigation into a sprawling art and collectibles heist that eluded authorities for more than two decades. Earlier this month, after the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that it had charged nine people with conspiring to steal artworks, memorabilia and antiques from 20 different museums and institutions, it was discovered that missing pieces by Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock may have avoided the fiery fate of other stolen items from the hoard.

    The thieves had taken to melting down or burning evidence to avoid arrest. Still, prosecutors told officials at the Everhart Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania—from which the Warhol and Pollock works were stolen in 2005—that a defendant reported seeing Warhol’s missing screenprint La Grande Passion (1984) within the last three years. According to The Times-Tribune newspaper of Scranton, the veracity of that claim has not been confirmed.

    Four of the nine people involved in the thefts were indicted on 15 June by a federal grand jury on counts of conspiracy to commit theft of major artwork, concealment or disposal of objects of cultural heritage and interstate transportation of stolen property. The suspects had targeted mostly small museums in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and North Dakota between 1999 until 2019. Stolen items range from Pollock’s unauthenticated 1949 painting Springs Water to $1m worth of Yogi Berra memorabilia from the baseball legend’s namesake museum in Little Falls, New Jersey. The thieves also absconded from various institutions with $400,000 in gold nuggets, $1m in vintage firearms and more than 30 golf and horse-racing trophies.

    According to the US attorney’s office, the gang burned Upper Hudson, a painting by Jasper Cropsey, in order to avoid detection. Other objects like championship rings were melted down into metal bars to sell in New York City. As such, chances of recovering the stolen items are low, authorities say.

    “After all these years, we are heartened by the identification, capture and (hopeful) prosecution of the nine defendants," Charles Barber, the interim director of the Everhart Museum, told Artnews. “The Everhart is dedicated to the preservation and protection of precious art and historical items. These thieves have proven to be the antithesis of that philosophy by their wanton destructions.”

    See Original Post

  • July 12, 2023 7:24 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Artnet News

    Torrential rain in Germany has caused the ceiling of the GemäldegalerieStaatliche Museen zu Berlin, to leak. Photos from one gallery show a sheet of plastic draped over the 1641 Rembrandt van Rijn canvas The Mennonite preacher Cornelis Claesz Anslo and his wife Aeltje Gerritsdr Schouten, and a white bucket on the floor in front of the artwork to collect the water dripping from the ceiling.

    The absurd scene was captured by David Grubbs, a musician and professor at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, and reported by Hyperallergic. Visiting the museum’s central Rembrandt display in Gallery X, he was disturbed to find a sheet of plastic duct taped to the wall, draped over the large painting, water dripping steadily into a bucket just inches away.

    “It was truly bizarre,” Grubbs told Artnet News. “To the right of this one, a smaller Rembrandt had been removed and a second ceiling leak was steadily plop-plop-plopping into a bucket.  There was a line of rainwater down the front of the plastic covering this larger Rembrandt; my guess is that given its size it was more difficult to remove and the covering (plastic and duct tape, literally) was temporary.”

    He did not see any museum staff or security guards tending to the artwork. “The small number of visitors were completely shocked—disbelieving,” Grubbs added.

    The museum’s guards discovered the leak around 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, a Gemäldegalerie spokesperson told Artnet News in an email. Germany experienced its “wettest spring” on record, according to the German Weather Service, with flooded roads, train outages, and postponed Berlin Open tennis matches, as reported by the Associated Press.

    “The restorers on site immediately provided ‘first aid’ and quickly secured the corresponding areas in the hall with special suction mats and a bucket,” the museum representative wrote. “Rembrandt’s painting of the Mennonite preacher Anslo was first protected with foil before the large-format, heavy painting was taken down shortly afterwards with the help of a lifting platform.”

    “No damage was done to the painting itself; thanks to the quick intervention, no water got to the work. It is currently being stored in the depot. The site of the water leak was inspected and secured,” the email continued. “The affected hall and the entire Picture Gallery remain open as usual.”

    The Gemäldegalerie is home to a collection of 20 Rembrandt works, a collection it claims is “one of the largest and most valuable in the world.” The museum displays 1,200 works of art, with a special focus on Dutch Golden Age masters and German and Italian painting from the 13th to 16th centuries.

    See Original Post

  • June 29, 2023 3:59 AM | Anonymous

    by Tim Keck, Safehaven Security Group

    The experts at SafeHaven Security Group, a national threat management firm, are on a mission to keep people safe by sharing the warning signs of violence with all who will listen. If you notice someone who exhibits more than three of these correlates, please get help. You can reach out directly at 844-SAFE GROUP or

    Warning Signs – Loner

    One of the most oft-quoted statements in the aftermath of a mass shooting is some version of “He was a loner.” There is a reason for that. But before we dig into what that looks like, let me define the term. For our purposes, a loner is someone who doesn’t have a single, deep, meaningful, healthy relationship with another human. We are created to have relationships and live in a community. We were never meant to be alone.

    We all need someone to care about, challenge, and hold us accountable; someone to talk to when we have problems. But the type of individual I’m talking about doesn’t have that. Many times, they don’t have that due to their own behavior. People have tried, but the person “runs them off.”

    Just to be clear, we’re not talking about someone who is simply an introvert. An introvert is someone who, when they are stressed, needs time alone to recharge their battery. If not alone, maybe with one other person. As long as the other person doesn’t speak.

    Just because a coworker prefers lunch alone in her car doesn’t make her a loner.

    As with all violence correlates, just being a loner doesn’t make someone dangerous. But when you see this one in combination with several others, please tell someone who can help.

    Warning Signs – Esteem

    Low self-esteem seems to be a common denominator in those who commit violent acts. Esteem is about value; these people don’t value themselves very much. Of course, if they don’t value themselves, how much do you think they value you? Probably not much.

    It’s easy to destroy something you don’t value.

    Warning Signs – Blames Others

    “That’s not my fault.”

    That is a statement we have all made. Sometimes we even said that it wasn’t our fault when it

    clearly was our fault. It’s a human thing. But the folks we are talking about don’t just fail to take

    responsibility for their actions; they find someone else to blame.

    “It’s Anna’s fault.”

    We all know people like this. They blame others for their problems when they should be looking in the mirror. Because until they take responsibility, they can never improve their situation. So long as they focus on other people to fix their problems, their frustration will grow, as will their anger.

    Warning Signs – Diminishing Inhibitors

    Think of the nicest person you know. Someone who is sweet and kind, that everyone loves. Now ask yourself this question: Do you suppose this caring and compassionate person ever wanted to reach across the table and just smack someone?!

    Of course, they have. We all have.

    But we generally don’t do that. Why? Because of the inhibitors and stabilizers in our lives. Things like a fear of the consequences, such as getting fired or prosecuted. Or maybe a moral belief that smacking people is wrong. Or the realization that you might get smacked right back!

    There are elements in our lives that keep us from acting on our baser impulses. That’s a good thing.

    But what happens when someone’s inhibitors and stabilizers start to fall away? 

    “I could never hurt anyone because it would make my wife so unhappy.”


    “I would never do that because of my kids.”

    Lost custody.

    “I would never do that because my job is so important to me.”


    “I’ve got nothing left to lose.”

    A person with nothing left to lose is a very dangerous person.

    SafeHaven Security Group helps organizations learn warning signs daily and interpret them correctly to avoid violence. Let us help you. The initial assessment is always free. 

  • June 29, 2023 3:56 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from The New York Times

    Even filled with grass and wildflowers, the craters remain so deep and wide that you can still sense the blasts of bombs that carved them 79 years ago.

    At the pockmarked entrance of an old German bunker, you can almost feel the rattle of machine-gun fire. Peering over the 100-foot cliff to the ocean below, you see clearly how exposed the young American men were as they climbed up grappling ropes early that morning of June 6, 1944.

    Of all the D-Day sites, none quite conveys the horror and heroism of that pivotal moment during World War II as the Pointe du Hoc.

    But it is disappearing, fast.

    The Nazi defense and lookout point between two landing beaches in Normandy, which American Rangers conquered, suffered another three landslides this spring. Inspections revealed that waves had chewed a cavity more than two and a half yards deep into their base.

    “There is absolutely no doubt we are going to lose more of our cliff,” said Scott Desjardins, the American Battle Monuments Commission’s superintendent of the site that receives an estimated 900,000 visitors annually. “We know we are not going to fight Mother Nature. What’s frightening now, is the speed at which it is happening.”

    Climate change and erosion are eating at the French coasts, raising gnawing questions about property rights, safety and sustainable development. But along the northern ribbon of beaches and cliffs in Normandy, where 150,000 Allied soldiers landed to confront machine guns and fascism, history, memory and even identity are at risk too.

    When the sites are gone, how will France recount to itself, and the rest of the world, the impact of that moment? Alternatively, at what cost should they be saved?

    “If I don’t have the site, I lose the history of what happened here,” said Mr. Desjardins, looking down at frothy waves pounding into the cliffs. “You may as well stay at home on the couch and read a book.”

    Even for a country with an official “memorial adviser” to the president, the 50-mile stretch that witnessed the Allied arrival takes commemoration to an exultant level. The Normandy tourism office lists more than 90 official D-Day sites, including 44 museums, drawing more than five million visitors annually.

    The edges of the country roads are decorated by tributary statues and banners flashing the faces of Allied soldiers who died in the fight. Village squares are named June 6, main roads are labeled “Libération” and tourist shops are packed with D-Day magnets and antique army paraphernalia.

    All of that is threatened: Two-thirds of these coasts are already eroding, according to the Normandy climate change report, and experts predict worse to come with the swelling sea levels, increasing storms and higher tides heralded by climate change.

    “The shore will go inland. We are sure of that,” said Stéphane Costa, a geography professor at University of Caen, and a leading local expert on climate change. 

    The French government is already declaring defeat. After centuries of bracing against the ocean’s outbursts with stony protections, it now pushes the principle of “living with the sea, not against it.” Communities around the country’s edges, including a number along D-Day beaches, are working on adaptation plans, which will include the prospect of moving.

    For many, the idea of abandoning a site of such potent history is not acceptable.

    “This is a symbolic place; It’s mythical,” said Charles de Vallavieille, standing on the shore of Madeleine Beach, which, starting June 6, 1944, became known as “Utah.”

    “Everyone must come here once in their life to understand what happened here,” ​said Mr. de Vallavieille, the local mayor.

    The farthest west of the five D-Day beaches, Utah Beach was quickly conquered by American soldiers who then pushed inland to the central square of Ste.-Marie-du-Mont, where American paratroopers — dropped in the night by plane — were already battling German soldiers.

    “An American paratrooper hid in the recess behind this pump,” reads a sign over two water faucets. “He held his rifle in the crook of his elbow, like a hunter,” it continues, firing at German soldiers and killing around 10 of them.

    Across the street, a large black-and-white photo of American soldiers praying during Mass hangs by the entrance of the village’s 11th-century church.

    Like many residents, Mr. de Vallavieille’s personal story is intimately linked to D-Day. American paratroopers shot his father, Michel, in the back five times that morning. They then rushed him to an army tent for lifesaving surgery and to England for further operations. Later, Michel de Vallavieille became mayor and opened one of the region’s first D-Day museums inside a former German bunker on Utah Beach.

    The museum has expanded along the dune many times to make space for some 1,300 artifacts, including an original B-26 bomber. But it increasingly finds itself in the cross hairs of climate change.

    Over the past number of years, Mr. de Vallavieille has been given permission to pad the beach before the museum with dump loads of sand. But the state permit to do ends in 2026, and declares it can only be renewed if the museum has developed a long-term plan to move — a proposition Mr. de Vallavieille passionately rejects.

    “For me, we absolutely have to protect it,” he said, pointing out that Dutch cities like Rotterdam had mastered dike-building. “The museum has to be here. It’s the importance of this place.”

    Directors at the Landing Museum in Arromanches-les-Bains felt the same way. They just reopened after a massive renovation to their building costing 11 million euros, or about $11.8 million. The museum’s internal risk assessment showed the site was unlikely to flood or erode, even given climate change, the director Frédéric Sommier said.

    If government politics bend, the price tag could still prove unsurmountable. In 2010, American engineers spent $6 million to secure the observation bunker at the tip of Pointe du Hoc, implanting concrete blocks at the cliff’s base and anchoring them into bedrock deep below.

    Sensors show the construction worked — the observation bunker has not budged since. However, pounding waves have eaten all around the concrete blocks below, said Mr. Desjardins. He is planning another $10 million renovation to better serve the site’s swarm of visitors, but even that does not include securing it against ocean storms.

    “We will have to change how we do things,” he said, adding that the region might want to “draw back” the sheer number of visitors to the area.

    An ongoing study by local university professors into social perceptions of climate change and the D-Day sites reveals mixed sentiments — many people living close to a site feel protective of it, but overall, Normans accept that most will have to move, said Xavier Michel, an assistant geography professor from the University of Caen who was leading the study.

    Cécile Dumont, 92, is one of the few D-Day witnesses still alive. She considers Utah Beach sacred ground, and would like to see the museum stay there. But, she concedes, it’s unlikely.

    “The ocean will take it all. We won’t have a choice,” she said from her small stone house in Ste.-Marie-du-Mont, surrounded by rose bushes and mementos of a long life — including a knee-highshell casing, which she now uses to store scrap paper.

    Ms. Dumont was a young teenager on D-Day, and vividly remembers the sound of planes overhead, bomb blasts, gunfire. Her father, a dairy farmer, dug a trench next to the house, where the family spent their nights praying for two weeks. “The bombing never stopped. It didn’t last just one day,” she said.

    She watched in awe as columns of soldiers arrived, first on foot, but quickly followed by tanks, jeeps, bulldozers. That first day, 23,000 soldiers, 1,700 vehicles and 1,800 tons of supplies were delivered to Utah Beach. They were followed by nearly half of the U.S. troops heading to the front — more than 800,000 soldiers — and all the supplies to support them, over the next few months.

    “People need to understand what happened here,” she said.

    Farther east, a different conversationis unfolding at the Juno Beach Center — a museum set where14,000 Canadian soldiers landedon D-Day. The beach here has actually thickened over the years, its dune consuming old German bunkers.

    Even so, Nathalie Worthington, the center’s director, said, “It’s not a matter of if we will be flooded, but a question of when.” Instead of spending money on protection plans, however, the museum leadership decided instead to invest in the global battle against what it considers the biggest threat to peace and democracy today — climate change.

    In 2020, the staff measured the carbon footprint of the museum, and committed to reducing it by 5 percent a year until 2050, in line with the French government’s climate change strategy.

    Since then, the center has introduced a reduced “low carbon” ticket price for visitors arriving by bicycle, cut its energy usage and ordered Canadian supplies from the gift shop by ship, instead of plane.

    They have also been building a carbon sink — planting trees in a nearby forest, where Canadian troops harvested wood during the war. Their hope, Ms. Worthington said, is that other museums will follow.

    “They deserve more from us than to just cry over their graves,” Ms. Worthington said of the former soldiers. “They lost their lives to liberate us, to give us what we enjoy today. So what are we doing to maintain it?”

    See Original Post

  • June 29, 2023 3:54 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Security Management Magazine

    The climate responds to physics, not politics. Regardless of individual beliefs or group ideologies, the current situation requires security leaders to adopt a clear-eyed, non-partisan perspective on the security risks posed by climate change, and to focus their energies on mitigation and adaptation.

    Today, the world is faced with the challenges presented by the nexus of climate change and security on a daily basis. Climate change is not a soft risk; it is a top security concern no less real or important than threats posed by workplace violence or cyberattacks.

    Along with the devastating environmental effects of climate change, the climate crisis is also a disaster for human health and psychological well-being. Researchers have seen a rise in climate-related grief, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and depression, as well as rising interpersonal aggression and violence and impaired cognitive and brain function—all of which have direct implications for safety, security, and business continuity.

    Security studies since the early 1990s have been looking at the connection between the environment and violence, and there is a growing body of research demonstrating the link. There is increasing acknowledgment within the research and policy communities—and among the public and private security sectors—that climate change acts as a threat multiplier for a range of adverse behavioral impacts. Awareness of this relationship and integration of these concepts into violence prevention and threat assessment practices will become increasingly necessary as the planet continues to warm. To understand the relationship, it is important first to be aware of the behavioral effects of climate change ranging from that of individuals and groups, to the potential for civil unrest and war.  

    The Behavioral Health Impact of Climate Change

    In a 2021 report discussing mental health and climate change, The American Psychological Association (APA) stated that, “The evidence is unequivocal that exposure to climate- and weather-related disasters has serious impacts on psychological well-being, and that the chronic impacts of climate change, such as higher temperatures and drought, also have significant negative effects on mental health.”

    When discussing the behavioral effects of climate change, it is helpful to consider two primary sources: direct and indirect exposures.

    Direct exposure includes the psychological impact of acute climate disasters that increase rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, substance use, and the risk of suicide—especially if such risk is recurring. A report from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in October 2022 noted a significant shift in the prevalence of weather and climate disasters. Focusing on those extreme events that resulted in $1 billion or more in damages from 1980 to 2022 (adjusted for inflation), the frequency increased from one such event every 82 days to now one every 18 days.     

    Advances in attribution science have increasingly provided the public, scientists, and decision-makers with the means to understand the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events, as well as the role of human-induced climate change.  The frequency, intensity and duration of these acute weather disasters are only expected to increase in the years to come.

    The impact can also be indirect, such as that caused by secondary effects of climate change, such as drought, sea level rise, migration, and displacement. These slower moving disasters can also cause significant mental health problems. Drought, for example, has been tied to farmer suicides. Food insecurity and thirst are tied to increased emotional distress.

    Extreme storms and flooding, drought and wildfires result in displacement, causing not only physical damage, but often lasting emotional scars.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, natural disasters caused more than 3 million Americans to flee their homes in 2022. The data showed that more than half a million displaced people never returned home. Behavioral scientists use the term “solastalgia” to describe the last grief experienced by individuals losing a beloved home or their sense of connection to place. In the United States, 64 percent of young homeowners expect to move due to climate change in the next 30 years, so the potential for this form of grief is wide reaching.

    Rising temperatures also exacerbate pre-existing mental health problems. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in February 2022 by researchers at Boston University found that days of extreme heat were associated with higher rates of behavioral health-related emergency department visits. Their research was based on the review of more than 330,000,000 hospital visits between 2010 and 2019. There was some evidence that the effects remained high for two to four days after extreme heat events.

    The Nexus with Violence

    While the behavioral health impacts related to climate change arise from extremes in both heat and precipitation, the science is strongest in the area of heat.  Researchers have demonstrated correlations between higher temperatures (especially heat waves) and increased suicide rates, increased hospitalization and mortality for those with diagnosed mental health conditions, increased conflict and violence, and lower sleep quality leading to cognitive and emotional changes.

    Floods are the most common form of disaster, but heat waves are the deadliest. U.S. Census Bureau and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data indicate that more than half the U.S. population was under an extreme heat watch or warning at some point last summer. On 20 July 2022 alone, more than 146 million Americans (46 of the country’s population) were under an extreme heat watch or warning.  From June to August 2022, persistent heatwaves affected parts of Europe, causing evacuations and more than 20,000 heat-related deaths, making these heat waves the deadliest meteorological events in 2022.

    The influence of warmer weather on aggression and violence has been extensively studied.  Both in laboratory experiments and field surveys, scientists have documented a causal relationship between heat and interpersonal aggression. (For more, see “Heat and Violence” by Craig A. Anderson;  “Effects of Rapid Climate Change on Violence and Conflict” by Courtney Plante, Johnie J. Allen, and Craig A. Anderson; and “Climate Change and Psychology: Effects of a Rapid Global Warming on Violence and Aggression” by Andreas Miles-Novelo and Craig A. Anderson.) There is a demonstrated relationship between heat and interpersonal aggression—as the temperature goes up, people’s behavior becomes more aggressive. Heat affects arousal and irritability, with decreases in attention and self-regulation, as well as an increase in negative and hostile thoughts.

    Published in 2022, the book Climate Change and Human Behavior, written by Miles-Novelo and Anderson, describes how high temperatures cause the brain to divert resources to other parts of the body to cool down, and that when people are overheated, they simply have trouble thinking straight. When the brain is not running at full capacity, it makes it harder for someone to process new information, manage emotions, and control impulses. They also found that there is cognitive disruption and distortion that can lead to poor problem-solving and over-reactions to perceived threats. When people are overheated, they also perceive other people as behaving more aggressively, increasing the odds of hostile confrontations, Miles-Novelo and Anderson wrote.

    Neuroscientists have found that the same part of the brain that controls thermoregulation is responsible for emotional regulation, and that climate-related aggression appears to be a function of serotonin, dopamine, the hypothalamus, and the limbic system responding to ambient heat. Likewise, the body responds to heat by producing more adrenaline, resulting in more reactive and aggressive behavior when someone perceives that they are being provoked. Anderson suggestedthat, “We are ‘hardwired’ for an increase in aggression in high-heat conditions.”

    From a violence prevention perspective, whether in the community, campus, or workplace, violence perpetrated by lone actors is a major concern, but not the only source of worry related to climate change.

    The U.S. intelligence community has voiced concerns about global warming for years, but its climate work has expanded and taken on extra urgency as heat waves, drought and disasters exacerbate political tensions around the world. In 2021, the intelligence community published its first National Intelligence Estimate focused on climate change. It stated that as part of a strategy To deter war and protect our country, the [Defense] Department must understand the ways climate change affects missions, plans, and capabilities.” The report emphasized that warming temperatures and increasingly erratic and intense precipitation may strain the country’s domestic military, energy, and economic infrastructure.

    Protests and Eco-Fascism 

    Civil unrest and mass action have become an increasingly disruptive and dangerous form of climate activism. From throwing cans of soup on priceless paintings in European museums, to blocking highways in Australia, and acts of sabotage at cement plants in France, protest groups have employed provocative techniques to call attention to what they believe has been inadequate climate action. Formal protest networks and groups have been instrumental in driving climate activism, and their tactics have become increasingly aggressive.

    In one recent example, protests against Atlanta’s Public Safety Training Center, referred to by opponents as “Cop City,” resulted in injury and death, as well as property destruction. The direct action campaign brought anti-policing activists together with environmental activists who were concerned with preserving the land where the training center would sit as an urban park and conservation area. Dozens of the protesters were arrested and face domestic terrorism charges.

    Social and political instability resulting from climate change can also raise the risk of group violence.  For example, research suggests that a single standard deviation increase in drought intensity can raise the chances of intergroup conflict in some regions by 62 percent.

    Eco-migration resulting from climate-fueled disasters can motivate ingroup vs. outgroup violence as migrants threaten or are perceived to threaten access to critical resources. As people move from one region to another in search of water, food, energy and housing security, tensions can arise.

    Eco-migration is likely to escalate exiting politically conservative, nationalist, anti-immigrant sentiments, and feed extremist ideologies. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that sea level rise could drive one in 10 people from their homes—with dangerous implications for international peace—and that “we would see ever-fiercer competition for fresh water and other resources. The impact of rising seas is already creating new sources of instability and conflict.” The Secretary-General warned that sea level rise could drive “a mass exodus of entire populations on a biblical scale.”

    Eco-fascism served as a motivator in the mass shooting incidents in Christchurch, New Zealand; El Paso, Texas; and Buffalo, New York, with each of the perpetrators mentioning eco-fascist themes in their manifestos. The ideology combines white supremacy with environmentalism, believing that controlling the population, criminalizing migration, and rejecting multiculturism are the only ways to save the planet from environmental destruction. This “Dark Green” environmentalism builds upon the “blood and soil” ideas of Nazism. Eco-fascists believe that controlling migration and population growth is necessary to protect increasingly scarce resources for the rightful occupants of a nation.

    Lastly, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland’s report A Climate for Terror explains that “while climate change may not be a direct ‘root cause’ of terrorism, it is recognized as a predominant destabilizing force that fosters an enabling environment for violent extremist organizations (VEOs).”

    Climate change serves as an ideological driver of terrorism and as a means for terrorist exploitation to control or coerce populations.

    Implications for Violence Prevention  

    Information about the relationship between climate change and violence can be valuable to any professional concerned with workplace, campus, or community violence prevention, including those involved in threat assessment and management.

    It will be important to prepare for the likelihood of an increased risk of violence and to adapt violence prevention and threat management approaches accordingly in response to the dynamics of a warming planet. Plans, policies, procedures, and even exercises will require recalibration to this new environment. Behavioral threat assessment and management (BTAM) models should consider current and projected climate change, as these factors can influence the timing, frequency, and intensity of threats and other behaviors of concern.

    Becoming a Climate-Informed Professional

    Becoming climate-Informed means developing an awareness of the impact of climate change in general, and specifically on human behavior, as well as integrating this awareness into professional activities. Climate-informed security management and violence prevention will help professionals better adapt to and mitigate the behavioral challenges associated with climate change, especially disruptive and dangerous behaviors.

    Becoming a climate-informed leader and practitioner is a process involving several steps, including:

    • Become climate literate and familiar with the science of climate change with information from diverse and credible sources. 
    • Learn about the impact of climate change on health and wellness.
    • Understand the relationship between climate change, human behavior, and violence.
    • Explore strategies to mitigate and adapt security, emergency management, and business continuity practices to climate change.
    • Lead as a climate-informed professional and sharing information with others in the field.

    The science of climate change is clear. Temperatures are increasing, sea levels are rising, and severe storms are becoming more frequent and intense. Climate change—in both scale and potential impact—is a strategically significant security risk for organizations of all types and sizes. The national and international security communities, including militaries and intelligence agencies, recognize and understand these risks, and they have started to take actions to address them.  Climate change is already having far-reaching impacts on the economy, the environment, and the way we conduct our everyday lives. It may very well be the most serious security challenge will face in our lifetimes, and it will require every professional to lean in and prepare for the changes ahead.

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  • June 29, 2023 3:50 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from AAM

    After twenty years of working in museums, I’ve seen all sides of the field—the good, the bad, and even the ugly. But regardless of the negative experiences, my hopes are still as high as when I began my career. I still believe deeply that museums can and should be happy and healthy places to work.

    If anything, they should be better places to work than average, given the nature of their missions. Museums are designed to spark curiosity and wonder, care for and present manifestations of creativity, share intellectual achievement, record our existence on this planet, and serve as anchors of learning within a community. Working toward those values should naturally be a joyful, meaningful experience.

    And yet, even as more museums are embracing an audience-centered, community-oriented approach, where people (namely visitors) come first, the staff experience does not always seem to be improving at the same time. Stories continue to abound of dissatisfying and even toxic environments, in which colleagues and managers are unkind, unsupportive, and even abusive.

    So, why are museums—despite namely being about learning, well-being, and inspiration—sometimes unhealthy places to work? The answer lies in the foundations of the museum field, and the solution lies in emotional intelligence.

    Many of the issues in our field stem from myths about what makes a successful workplace that have proliferated for generations. Only by dismantling these false beliefs can we resolve the disconnect between our values and practices.

    The first myth we must overcome is that content expertise, technical skills, or intellect naturally make someone a great employee or manager. These qualities are important, of course, but they are the baseline, not the indicator, of success. Research shows that 90 percent of the competencies that differentiate outstanding from average employees relate to the realm of emotional intelligence, like the ability to remain calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and practice empathy. But in the museum field, which for a century has privileged knowledge and intellect above all else, these are not skills that most employees are trained in or evaluated on.

    The second myth we must overcome is that authority equals influence. While leaning on hierarchical power can achieve results in the short term, those results are rarely sustainable without the genuine faith of the people you work with. True influence is developed through trust, investment in relationships, respecting the unique contributions of others, building consensus for ideas, and positivity. To influence others effectively and sustainably, you must understand yourself, have empathy for others, and know how to genuinely engage with others.

    Unfortunately, lack of training in these tenets of strong leadership has resulted in generations of museum employees unprepared to navigate the complexities of cultivating successful professional relationships. But not all is lost. Human beings have a unique capability that can repair the field—emotional intelligence.

    What is Emotional Intelligence?

    Humans are first and foremost emotional beings. Though the exact science is still unsettled, there is considerable evidence that our biology plays a significant role in how we feel and behave in response. Beginning in the 1990s, social scientists began to explore whether facility in understanding these emotions could be measured in the same way that knowledge and reasoning are with IQ tests. This concept of “emotional intelligence” rose to broader cultural consciousness beginning in 1995, when psychologist Daniel Goleman published his book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.

    At its most basic, emotional intelligence means the ability to recognize both one’s own feelings and those of others, and to manage emotions within oneself and in relationships with others. There are many models of the concept, but in my work I have found the most resonance with the one outlined by Goleman and his writing partner Richard Boyatzis.

    Many of these models describe the brain as consisting of two systems. System 1 is fast-reacting; it is constantly looking for perceived threats and responding to them emotionally. System 2, on the other hand, is slow, logical, and rational. But because system 1 is the older of the two, embedded deeply in human DNA as a survival mechanism, it is first to react and harder to ignore. Learning to regulate emotions means taking the time and effort to wait out these instinctive reactions long enough for system 2 to kick in and modulate them. This is what emotional intelligence is all about.

    According to Goleman, there are four aspects of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. He has articulated the competencies embedded with each of the four areas as follows:

    It Is All about You: Self-Awareness

    Self-awareness may just be the most important aspect of being a successful leader. In order to understand others and manage your relationships with them, you must first understand yourself. Self-awareness is about acknowledging your own emotions, the reasons behind them, and how they impact your behavior. A self-aware person is attuned to how others influence their emotional state, while also recognizing the implications of their emotions and behavior on others.

    An emotionally intelligent person knows their own strengths and limitations, can articulate their core values and purpose, and is open to honest feedback (both positive and negative). A self-aware person presents themselves to the world with self-confidence, especially in the face of stress or opposition.

    Because self-awareness is a combination of understanding yourself internally and how others perceive you externally, the best way to cultivate greater self-awareness is through reflection and gathering feedback.

    Beware the Amygdala Hijack: Self-Management

    Despite how intense they may feel, emotions are temporary. Acknowledging this fact, and waiting to react until the intensity dissipates, is key to self-regulation. This self-regulation is especially important in a professional environment, so that you can handle stress in a calm way, avoid acting on reckless impulses, and remain poised and positive even in challenging situations. But to build these skills, you must contend with what Goleman calls the “amygdala hijack.”

    The amygdala is a small part of the brain that plays a key role in defining emotions and storing memories. This includes triggering what is known as “fight or flight” response—believed to be a hold-over from our earliest days as humans when any perceived threat likely meant life or death. This protective response can be useful in some situations, but in modern life, it is often triggered for threats that are much less serious. It is a rare occasion that in museum work, for instance, a situation is literally life or death. So, why can’t we always keep our emotions and behavior in check at work? Why do we lose control?

    The answer, according to Goleman, is because information enters the amygdala milliseconds before it reaches the neocortex, where complex and rational thought takes place. So, even before system 2, that rational part of the brain, can figure out if something is a real threat, system 1 has caused an overreaction. This phenomenon is known as the amygdala hijack.

    If you struggle with managing these overreactions, one way to hone self-regulation is to reflect after experiencing them. This way, you can come to recognize what sets off an overreaction and be better prepared to avoid it next time that type of situation occurs. In the long run, this personal reflection can make a major difference in the overall health of a workplace, preventing the toxic group dynamics that derail teams and lead to dissatisfaction.

    Empathy and Connection: Social Awareness

    A key factor in shifting organizational culture is social awareness, and its close cousin, empathy. Socially aware people respect and relate well to people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, while demonstrating a genuine care for what others are going through. In working to understand other points of view, they listen attentively to others. They consider the reasons for another person’s behavior, acknowledging that there is something below the surface of it. They pick up on what is being said, and what is not being said; they are able to “read the room.”

    Social awareness is essential for working successfully with others. Some of the traits most closely linked to ineffective leadership—like insensitive and abrasive behavior, a cold and detached demeanor, impulsive decision-making, and arrogance—come down to an inability to read the room and understand what others you work with may be feeling.

    Building Empathy for Others: Think about the most difficult colleague you have. Take a moment to consider why you find them so difficult to work with. Now, flip the narrative…imagine you are that person. What challenges and pressures might they be experiencing that is causing their behavior? How might you reconsider your relationship with this person with this new insight? And how might you navigate that relationship differently if you approach it with empathy?

    Influence: Relationship Management

    The fourth and final competency of emotional intelligence is relationship management. In effective relationship management, emotionally intelligent people use their understanding of themselves and others to develop and navigate successful relationships, with a spirit of generosity.

    This is especially important for anyone that manages other people. It is not just about getting along well with others, but acting with sensitivity to the feelings of the people you are dealing with. In other words, you learn to modulate your behavior with different people based on their self-interest and the context of the situation. Relationship management is about influence.

    Relationship management is also about direct communication, transparency, coaching, and mentoring. The emotionally intelligent person does not shy away from conflict, but handles difficult conversations effectively—directly, and with confidence and compassion.

    Those that have mastered these skills are genuinely inspirational leaders. They sense other’s needs and perspectives and guide them towards goals in a way that meets their needs.

    Creating Happier and Healthier Museum Work Environments

    While IQ, a traditional measure of intellectual ability, can be important for measuring someone’s content knowledge or skill level, emotional intelligence far outweighs IQ as an indicator of success and performance, at all levels within an organization, but especially in leadership. Being emotionally aware of oneself and others, and better understanding what drives behavior, is the foundation of healthy relationships and successful work environments.

    Emotional intelligence is not just about likeability and sensitivity to others. It is also about having the courage and capacity to drive change. Staff at all levels within an organization have the ability to do this, working to disrupt the pervasive myths and structural deficiencies in our field and replace them with healthier alternatives. Through an accumulation of small acts, together we can accomplish these big changes.

    Here are some of the ways you can help to promote emotional intelligence at your museum:

    • Hold staff accountable for their behavior. Regardless of the content expertise someone may have, we must not excuse or normalize misconduct. While this is primarily the responsibility of leaders and managers, we can all play a part. For example, when we are confronted with toxic behavior ourselves, we can start by refusing to accept or engage with it, such as by leaving the room and reporting it to a supervisor. Emotional intelligence is not about suppressing emotions and suffering through abuse, but rather maintaining integrity and not letting the bad behavior of others influence your own.
    • Work on yourself. Start the process from within by building your own self-awareness and your connections with colleagues. Take time to reflect on your interactions with colleagues, especially in difficult situations. Find ways to understand them, both as co-workers in the office and as people outside of work. For structured support, consider working with a career coach, who can support you in achieving your definition of success.
    • Invest in emotional competency. If you are a leader or manager, prioritize training opportunities for your teams that explore skills beyond the typical content focus, such as team-building, communication, and management. Also build in time for your team to get to know each other beyond the tasks of their jobs. If you are not yourself a leader or manager, let your supervisors know that you would be interested in these opportunities.

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