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The Hon. John Conger, Director of the Center for Climate and Security and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment, appeared on MSNBC‘s Velshi and Ruhle show today, to discuss climate change impacts on the U.S. military, the geostrategic landscape (especially in terms of China and Russia’s activities in the Arctic), and migration and political instability. The interview was part of MSNBC’s week of climate change coverage, with Monday focusing on climate change and national security.
UPDATE: Chronology of U.S. Military Statements and Actions on Climate Change and Security: Jan 2017- August 2019
Since January 2017, at least thirty-two senior officials at the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) have publicly raised concerns about, and recommended actions to address, the security implications of climate change, both due to its effect on military infrastructure, readiness and operations, and its broader geostrategic implications for the United States. (more…)
Why does the Department of Defense call climate change a threat multiplier? Last week, Yale Climate Connections sat down with Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist at the Center for Climate and Security and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security) to find out more. She explains, “Extreme weather and water shortages increase the risk of political instability and terrorism.” As a threat multiplier, climate change aggravates other stressors that together can threaten a nation’s stability. (more…)
From April to June of this year, the U.S. military has issued not one, but three strategy documents that highlight climate change risks to the U.S. military mission. These include:
June 6: Department of Defense Arctic Strategy, U.S. Department of Defense
June 1: The Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report: Preparedness, Partnerships and Promoting a Networked Region, U.S. Department of Defense
April 22: United States Coast Guard: Arctic Strategic Outlook, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard
UPDATE: Chronology of U.S. Military Statements and Actions on Climate Change and Security: Jan 2017- April 2019
Since January 2017, twenty-eight senior officials at the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) have publicly raised concerns about, and recommended actions to address, the security implications of climate change, both due to its effect on military infrastructure, readiness and operations, and its broader geostrategic implications for the United States.
This includes then-Secretary of Defense, James Mattis; Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Paul J. Selva; Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer; Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Joseph Lengyel; Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment (IE&E), Lucian L. Niemeyer; Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, R.D. James; Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations, Energy, and the Environment, Phyllis L. Bayer; Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy, John Henderson; Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Glenn Walters; Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Bill Moran; Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, General Stephen Wilson; Army Vice Chief of Staff, General James McConville; AFRICOM Commander General Thomas D. Waldhauser; Air Force Director of Civil Engineers, Major General Timothy Green; NORTHCOM/ NORAD Commander, General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy; Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson; Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment, Alex Beehler; Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, General Robert McMahon; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford; Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller; Commander of Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), Admiral Philip Davidson; Commander of United States European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis M. Scaparrotti; Commander of United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), General Stephen R. Lyons; Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, General David L. Goldfein; Secretary of the Air Force, the Honorable Heather A. Wilson; Commander of US Africa Command (AFRICOM), General Thomas Waldhauser; Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Bill Moran; and the nominee for Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lieutenant General David Berger. The DoD also produced a survey report on the matter in January 2018, and a report to Congress on climate change threats to its critical military infrastructure and Geographic Combatant Commands in January 2019.
Below is a chronological list of written and verbal statements by these defense officials, as well as links to DoD reports and other government documents covering the climate-military nexus, that have been released during this Administration thus far. Each entry includes a link to its source, which includes more information and context. (more…)
Rear Admiral Dave Titley on CNN: “This is a blatant attempt…to politicize the security aspect of climate change”
Yesterday, Christiane Amanpour of CNN spoke to Rear Admiral David W. Titley, USN (Ret), Senior Member of the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board and former Oceanographer of the Navy, about the recent letter signed by 58 senior military and national security officials denouncing the William Happer-led process within the National Security Council to establish an adversarial climate change review panel. When asked why a group of people who aren’t normally vocal critics of Administration policy responded so vigorously to the proposed panel, Admiral Titley stated:
“What concerns so many of us who signed the letter is that this is really a blatant attempt by the National Security Council to politicize the security aspect of climate change.”
Watch a short clip here.
Watch the full interview here.