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In its recently released report, the Defense Science Board Task Force on “Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security,” called for the U.S. government to institute “a scientifically robust, sustained, and actionable climate information system… (see page 14).” The rationale for the recommendation is that currently, climate information is collected by a “loose federation” of government, university, industry and NGO entities, and that U.S. climate “observational and model assets” do not “constitute a robust, sustained, or comprehensive resource for generating actionable climate forecasts.” (more…)
Concern over the national security implications of oil dependence has received a lot of attention over the past few weeks, first with the release of the Center for Naval Analysis’ Military Advisory Board report, and now with an open letter to Congress and the American public from seven retired generals and admirals.
In its most recent Quadrennial Defense Review, the U.S. Department of Defense officially recognized climate change as a security threat. But policy-makers are not treating it like one. As we outlined in our piece in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the U.S. commits considerable resources to combating other security threats, like terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and these funds are certainly subject to trimming from time to time. However, they are never in danger of being virtually eliminated – as the U.S. Congress seems to be threatening now with climate finance – moneys that are essential for mitigating the risks of climate change, and incentivizing action in the developing world to do the same.
See Juliet Eilperin’s article for more on the situation in the U.S. Congress.