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If you haven’t already, head over to KCRW 89.9 (the NPR affiliate in Southern California) to listen to Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board member Brigadier General Gerry Galloway, U.S. Army (ret) discuss the very practical approach the U.S. military takes when it comes to a changing climate. The section on national security begins at 16:35, and it’s worth a listen.
A short summary: The Pentagon is doing its job to prepare. Military bases and surrounding communities in the U.S. experiencing sea level rise and storm surge, as well as the overseas combatant commands dealing with our allies, partners and adversaries, have a duty to reduce the infrastructural and strategic risks of a changing climate. The military doesn’t have the luxury to wait for the political debate to settle.
General Galloway’s comments reflect his many years of experience on these issues within the U.S. Army, his deep knowledge as a professor of engineering, and his invaluable contributions to the Center for Climate and Security’s “Military Expert Panel Report: Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military’s Mission.”
General Ron Keys, United States Air Force (ret), in his capacity as Advisory Board member with the Center for Climate and Security and Chairman of the CNA Advisory Board, recently opened up the annual Common Good Forum with an excellent speech titled “Planning for Disaster – Climate Change and National Security.” In the speech, General Keys emphasized that the U.S. military doesn’t play politics with climate change and energy security, because it doesn’t have that luxury. The U.S. military looks at both climate change and energy security through the lens of how they effect its capacity to do its job as a war-fighter and humanitarian responder. A few key passages from the General: (more…)
In case you missed it, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs, Sharon Burke, wrote a compelling article for CNN titled: “US Military’s New Foe.” After four years in this important role at the Department of Defense (and years of working on these issues prior to holding that position), Burke’s insights are a particularly compelling addition to this discussion. In the article, Burke details the various ways in which climate change presents a threat to the U.S. military, including direct impacts on military bases (more…)
The U.S. Department of Defense is preparing itself for climate change risks to its military installations in the United States, and making the necessary investments. According to the Arizona Daily Star, the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment “will get close to $2 million in research grants over the next few years to help figure out how drought, dust storms, forest fires, lightning and rising temperatures could affect defense bases across the American Southwest.”