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Department of Defense Acknowledges Risks of Climate Change

IS CLIMATE CHANGE A NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT?

THE U.S. MILITARY AND MILITARY EXPERTS SAY YES!

 

2014 QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW

Full text is HERE. Quotes from the review are below:

"The impacts of climate change may increase the frequency, scale, and complexity of future missions, including defense support to civil authorities, while at the same time undermining the capacity of our domestic installations to support training activities."

"Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure. Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence."

"Finally, the Department will employ creative ways to address the impact of climate change, which will continue to affect the operating environment and the roles and missions that U.S. Armed Forces undertake. The Department will remain ready to operate in a changing environment amid the challenges of climate    change    and    environmental damage.    We have increased our preparedness for the consequences of environmental damage and continue to seek to mitigate these risks while taking advantage of opportunities. The Department’s operational readiness hinges on unimpeded access to land, air, and sea training and test space. Consequently, we will complete a comprehensive assessment of all installations to assess the potential impacts of climate change on our missions and operational resiliency, and develop and implement plans to adapt as required."

"Climate change also creates both a need and an opportunity for nations to work together, which the Department will seize through a range of initiatives. We are developing new policies, strategies, and plans, including the Department’s Arctic Strategy and our work in building humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities, both within the Department and with our allies and partners."

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WATCH THIS VIDEO on military aspects of climate change

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Analysis (Guy Quinlan)

IS THE CLIMATE CHANGE CRISIS REAL? 

THE U.S. MILITARY KNOWS THAT IT IS!

The U.S. military has been warning Congress for years that climate change is a real and serious threat to national security. In its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review,[1] the Department of Defense (DoD) stated:

“The U.S. Global Change Research Program, composed of 13 federal agencies, reported in 2009 that climate-related changes are already being observed in every region of the world, including the United States and its coastal waters. Among these physical changes are increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the oceans and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows.

Assessments conducted by the intelligence community indicate that climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments. Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease, and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.” [emphasis supplied]

In a 2015 report to Congress[2], the Pentagon stated:

“DoD recognizes the reality of climate change and the significant risks it poses to U.S. interests globally. The National Security Strategy, issued in February 2015, is clear that climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water. These impacts are already occurring, and the scope, scale and intensity of these impacts are projected to increase over time.” [emphasis supplied]

Does anyone believe the armed forces are taking part in a “hoax?” There can be reasonable differences of opinion about responses to the climate change problem, but there is no reasonable basis for denying that the problem exists.

 

Guy Quinlan

January, 2017

 

[2] U.S. Department of Defense, Report on National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate, July 2015, http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/150724-congressional-report-on-national-implications-of-climate-change.pdf

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The Waxman-Whitehouse letter (National security and climate change)

Here is a letter from Rep. Waxman and Sen. Whitehouse quoting military experts emphasizing national security aspects of climate change. The letter is a response to criticism by Republicans of a speech on climate risk by John Kerry; see also below.

McCain Gingrich Reaction to Kerry Climate Speech from Waxman Whitehouse 2014-2-20

Climate risks relevant to speech by John Kerry

By Climate Nexus

KerryWMDs_ClimateNexus

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Speech by John Kerry is HERE

VIDEO

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2010 QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW

In February 2010 the Department of Defense issued its Quadrennial Defense Review, a periodic assessment of national security issues facing the United States. In that report, the Pentagon stated:

“The U.S. Global Change Research Program, composed of 13 federal agencies, reported in 2009 that climate-related changes are already being observed in every region of the world, including the United States and its coastal waters. Among these physical changes are increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the oceans and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows.

Assessments conducted by the intelligence community indicate that climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments. Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease, and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.”

-The full text of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review can be found at www.defense.gov/qdr

Serious action on climate change is already overdue. Any continuing refusal to acknowledge massive scientific evidence is not “skepticism” but self-deception.

At the Copenhagen conference in December 2009 the Director of the U.S. Navy Task Force on Climate Change, Rear Admiral David Titley gave a somber assessment of the risks presented by climate change, including the likely need for greater humanitarian and disaster relief missions, and the dangers posed by such “wild cards” as ocean acidification and rising sea levels. But he also expressed the hope that “climate change may be viewed as a common enemy that will bring nations together toward a common end.”

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Credits for the video above:

Producer/Director Roger Sorkin is an award-winning filmmaker and a fellow with the Truman National Security Project, who received an M.A. in Communication from Stanford University’s Documentary Film & Video Program. For the last ten years his production company, Sorkin Productions LLC, has created films for non-profit organizations, academic institutions, government and corporate clients including the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Army, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Center for U.S. Global Engagement, and International Foundation for Electoral Systems among others.

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Last update 13Jan2017

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Citation

(2017). Department of Defense Acknowledges Risks of Climate Change. Retrieved from http://climate.uu-uno.org/view/article/51cbeff17896bb431f69f9aa