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Rear Admiral Titley on Climate Change as a National Security Issue

110427-N-QF368-025Rear Admiral David Titley, USN (Ret), formerly chief operating officer of NOAA, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy, and director of the US Navy’s Task Force Climate Change, has written a great piece for WBUR on the climate threat. As noted in the introduction, Admiral Titley was once a skeptic of climate change, but has for many years since, in a variety of positions within the U.S. Navy and U.S. government, urged and implemented action on the issue as a matter of national security. From the article:

When I was in the Navy, we tried to strip away the emotions associated with climate change as a political issue. It’s a change, and just like changing demographics, political regimes and economic conditions, we need to deal with it. If we don’t, we’re putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage — and the United States military never wants to be at a competitive disadvantage.

The Department of Defense plans for everything, and particularly for potential changes in “the battlespace,” the geography in which we operate. With global sea levels projected to rise anywhere from 20 centimeters (8 inches) to 2 meters (6.6 feet) this century as a consequence of climate change, that’s a change we have to account for and plan for.

Given Rear Admiral Titley’s breadth of experience and expertise, as a meteorologist, oceanographer and senior leader in the U.S. Navy and NOAA, his warnings and suggestions for action are worth taking very seriously. Click here for more.


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