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Admiral Titley on Climate Security : a Scientist and a Sailor Speaks Sense to the Senate

Rear Admiral Titley USN RetTuesday, December 8th, the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness held a hearing titled: Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate. The hearing was convened by the chairman of the committee, Sen. Ted Cruz, also a presidential candidate. As such, much of the media coverage of this hearing has been on the partisan divide over climate change issues. Lost in the mud-slinging is the full testimony and responses from Rear Admiral David Titley, USN (Ret), former Oceanographer of the Navy and a distinguished member of our Advisory Board. With credentials as a scientist, and 32-years in the Navy, Admiral Titley has spent quite a bit of time conducting scientific inquiries and risk assessments, and acting on them. The very short version of his testimony is that “this is all about risk management, but if we don’t take significant actions now, the risk could become very difficult to manage.”

In this context, Admiral Titley made the case that we have more than enough certainty to justify a robust response to a changing climate – just as we have more than enough certainty about other security risks (from nuclear proliferation to international terrorism) to justify robust responses to those threats.

This objective reality – which our defense and intelligence communities understand full well – is critically important, and one that is too often lost in the partisan discourse.

If you are interested in a nonpartisan opinion from someone who has spent decades thinking through both climate science and matters of national and international security, it’s worth watching the full hearing to see what Admiral Titley had to say.

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