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Senate Democrats Release Climate Report – Highlight National Security Risks

By John Conger

On August 25, 2020 the U.S. Senate Democrats Special Committee on the Climate Crisis published The Case for Climate Action: Building a Clean Economy for the American People.  Like the report put out by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in July, it lays out a case for climate action that invokes climate threats to national security among its supporting arguments. 

I testified before the Senate Committee in February as it was developing its report, and highlighted the Climate Security Plan for America, which was submitted as our formal testimony.

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New Research Shows Importance of Military Personnel Communicating the Risks of Climate Change

Marines gather to listen to Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, speak aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Sept. 19, 2012.

By Dr. Marc Kodack

While senior military leaders, due to their apolitical reputation, can influence skeptical audiences about climate change risks to national security, enlisted personnel can be even more persuasive when they deliver personal messages, according to new research in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Communication. The experimental study examined how to construct a climate change communication strategy using a pro-climate framework, and focused around national security concerns delivered by enlisted military personnel to groups who are more prone to skepticism regarding the scientific consensus on climate change.The bottom line up front from the study is simple: active duty U.S. military personnel are increasingly concerned about climate change, and that evidence-based perspective is influential with conservatives.

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Emerging Threat: As the Arctic Melts, Russian Plans to Militarize Could Create a Nuclear Hotspot

Russian_arctic_claimBy Jasmine Owens

New opportunities are arising for various countries as climate change devastates the Arctic. However, Russia has already begun to stake its claim by increasing its military presence in the region.

The Arctic is experiencing momentous transformations as climate change wreaks havoc in the region. It is warming at twice the rate than the rest of the world. This is creating a positive feedback loop: as the temperatures rise in the Arctic, the sea ice that used to reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere is melting more, which causes the darker ocean water or land to absorb more light and thus increases the temperatures in the region. Due to the rising temperatures, the Arctic is predicted to be completely ice-free during the summer by 2050, even if significant international action is taken now to reduce carbon emissions. There is also a major concern that over time, the Arctic will lose all ability to produce ice, leaving it ice-free year-round. (more…)

RELEASE: As ASEAN Meets on Disaster Relief, New Report from Military Analysts Urges Indo-Asia Pacific Leaders to Make Climate Change a “Security Priority”

CS Indo-Asia Pacific Cover ImageWashington, DC, August 12, 2020 – As ASEAN convenes the 13th Meeting of its Joint Task Force on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) released a new report urging leaders to make climate change a “security priority” in the Indo-Asia Pacific. The IMCCS is a group of senior military leaders, security experts, and security institutions across the globe – currently hailing from 38 countries in every hemisphere – dedicated to anticipating, analyzing, and addressing the security risks of a changing climate.

The emergence and ongoing consequences of COVID-19 have exposed serious societal vulnerabilities, even in wealthy nations, and demonstrated that foreseeable crises can have severe social, economic, political and security consequences. Furthermore, the COVID-19 crisis is a wake-up call for using science as a basis for risk management. Likewise, climate science should be incorporated into security policy and planning to avoid worst outcomes. This is according to the new report by the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS), titled “Climate and Security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.” The report, which is part of the World Climate and Security Report 2020 Briefer Series, articulates six main points. (more…)

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