DoD Releases Report on Security Implications of Climate Change
The report finds that climate change is a security risk, Pentagon officials said, because it degrades living conditions, human security and the ability of governments to meet the basic needs of their populations. Communities and states that already are fragile and have limited resources are significantly more vulnerable to disruption and far less likely to respond effectively and be resilient to new challenges, they added.
“The Department of Defense’s primary responsibility is to protect national security interests around the world,” officials said in a news release announcing the report’s submission. “This involves considering all aspects of the global security environment and planning appropriately for potential contingencies and the possibility of unexpected developments both in the near and the longer terms.
“It is in this context,” they continued, “that the department must consider the effects of climate change — such as sea level rise, shifting climate zones and more frequent and intense severe weather events — and how these effects could impact national security.”
The undeniable existence of human-influenced global climate change is presenting new and challenging threats to the security of our nation. Climate change is considered a “threat-multiplier” by the DoD, aggravating already existing problems across the globe. Some of the climate issues that could be slightly problematic for America’s security apparatus:
- Sea level rise threatening billions of people across the globe, especially some of the world’s poorest & most vulnerable (think Katrina multiplied exponentially). One particular nugget to think about: America’s dominant naval power is a fundamental aspect of its global influence. Well, the DoD will now have to plan for all US Navy infrastructure that is at risk from the rising seas. In case you were not aware, the Navy has a few installations located near the water.
- Increasingly extreme weather that will lead to unprecedented damages & loss of life
- Longer, harsher droughts that drastically curtail food availability
- Spread of infectious diseases (warmer environs tend to serve as petri dishes for cataclysmic illnesses)
These climate threats exacerbate (read: threat-multiplier) catastrophic issues that the DoD already plans for like failed states, mass migrations, terrorism, & mass starvation (to name a few complications). Needless to say, our military is trying to prepare for the worst-case scenarios. Whether or not these preparations will work, that’s the scary part. “Catastrophic” threats do not tend to work out so well, especially when not everyone is willing to listen to the facts:
“This new focus has not been warmly welcomed by Republicans, with Colorado congressman Ken Buck proposing an amendment that would bar the Pentagon from spending money on adapting to climate change” (Milman)
Congressman Buck, your unprecedented willingness to damn us all is almost inspiring. I hope you get caught up in a nice coke & hooker two-fer.
This is not “political science” – global climate change influenced by humanity is an inescapable reality. The worldwide scientific consensus has unmistakably found that the temperature of the Earth is warming and that it is extremely likely, believe it’s around 97% now, that humans are influencing the change. If it was 97% likely that your house was about to burn down with your kids inside, would you not believe that the threat was real and try to stop it? Sometimes, I feel like I am talking to rationalize with Mac:
The DoD released the below document in January. Basically, its an all-encompassing description of the issues that I glossed over (idk why the hyperlink won’t work, just copy and paste): http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/471521p.pdf
Article Source: http://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/612710