RELEASE: The Center for Climate and Security Encouraged by Congressional Testimonies on Climate Change and National Security
Washington, D.C. — The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), a policy institute with an Advisory Board of retired senior military officers and national security experts, is encouraged by testimonies delivered today at a Congressional hearing titled “U.S. Security Implications of International Energy and Climate Policies and Issues.” CCS Co-Directors Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell stated: “Today’s testimonies reinforce the fact that our military and national security leaders are taking climate change very seriously. Policy-makers on both sides of the aisle should take note.” (more…)
There will be two hearings in the U.S. Congress this week that are directly relevant to the intersection of climate change and security. Below is the basic information for both hearings taken from the websites of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, respectively. Stay tuned for more coverage of these hearings over the next few days. (more…)
Former U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, retired Admiral Robert Papp Jr., has just been appointed as the U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic Region. Given the rapid physical and political changes in the Arctic, this is an important new position.
Recently, Admiral Papp discussed dealing with climate change in what he called “the world of consequence management.” His full quote:
I am not a scientist. I can read what scientists say, but I’m in the world of consequence management. My first turn in Alaska was 39 years ago, and during the summertime we had to break ice to get up to the Bering Strait and to get to Kotzebue. Thirty-five years later, going up there as commandant, we flew into Kotzebue at the same time of year; I could not see ice anywhere. So it is clear to me there are changes happening, but I have to deal with the consequences of that.
At the Atlantic Council in March, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, head of U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) – in charge of all U.S. forces in the Pacific region – revealed some practical wisdom he communicates to those that work for him. He stated:
… if there’s one thing I tell everybody that comes to work for me – every commander – I [say] ‘While you’re here, you may not have a conflict with another military, but you will have a natural disaster that you have to either assist in, or be prepared to manage the consequences on the other side. And that has been true every year.
In the context of typhoon Neogori, which recently hit Okinawa, Japan (also host to the U.S. Kadena Air Base), and the likelihood of an increase in extreme weather disasters in the region over time (due to population and climate change dynamics), these words are likely to remain relevant for some time to come.