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Welcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!
In this episode Joan VanDervort, Member of the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board and former Deputy Director for Ranges, Sea and Airspace in the U.S. Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness), talks about how climate change impacts military training and readiness. Joan pulls from her extensive career in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to explain how training is the cornerstone of readiness. Climate factors, like intense rainfall impacts on infrastructure and increased heat causing trainee and soldier hospitalizations, pose serious risks to training and ultimately to the ability to successfully carry out military missions. Joan also discuss how the DoD tracks the migration of diseases as well as the health of military personal going into combat. Tune into this episode for insights into military readiness that can only come from decades of experience as a civil servant.
By John Conger
In the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the U.S. Congress asked the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide a report on “vulnerabilities to military installations and combatant commander requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years.” That report was delivered to Congress yesterday, prosaically-titled Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense.
The first sentence in the “background” section of the study is worth noting. It reaffirms that the DoD continues to take climate change seriously, as it has across four administrations, both Republican and Democrat. The sentence reads: “The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations.” (more…)
On yesterday’s Government Matters: Defense, a news program that provides non-partisan information and analysis to federal managers and contractors in the defense space, the Center for Climate and Security’s Director, John Conger, and the New America Foundation’s Sharon Burke, discussed the impacts of climate change on military installations and energy security, respectively. Click here for the interview with John Conger, and here for the interview with Sharon Burke.
The Center for Climate and Security is pleased and honored to announce that Admiral Paul Zukunft, United States Coast Guard (Retired), has joined its distinguished Advisory Board of military and national security leaders.
Admiral Zukunft served as the 25th Commandant of the Coast Guard from 2014 until 2018. During his tenure as Commandant, the Coast Guard attained its highest appropriation in history to modernize its fleet and upgrade aging infrastructure while concurrently attaining four clean financial audit opinions –
the only Armed Service to do so. His 41 years of active duty service and 8 commands to include three Coast Guard cutters spanned the globe and the Service has emerged as the gold standard for promoting maritime safety and security. In 2010, he served as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill where he directed over 47,000 first responders, a flotilla of more than 6,700 vessels and over 120 aircraft. (more…)
On December 31, the American Foreign Policy Council’s excellent Defense Dossier published a timely new volume titled “Resource Security and Changing Global Environmental Conditions.” The entire volume is worth a read, covering natural resource stresses on a broad array of security issues including military readiness, water and food stress, and energy security. The volume also includes articles from four Center for Climate and Security experts, including Rachel Fleishman and Sherri Goodman who write about climate change and the U.S. military, and Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell, who address the security implications of a recent special report from the IPCC. Click here to read.
On December 13, a Caribbean regional consultation hosted by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) was held in Aruba. The conference, titled “Climate and Security in the Caribbean Region: A Roadmap to Resilience,” brought together experts, practitioners and policymakers to discuss climate change and its effect on security across the Caribbean region. The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), the US consortium partner of the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI) that co-organized the event along with The Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Aruba Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the Clingendael Institute and the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI), supported the event. (more…)
On December 30, NBC’s Meet the Press, hosted by Chuck Todd, devoted its entire Sunday program to the climate crisis. While the full segment is worth a watch, an exchange on the national security and defense implications of climate change with Michèle Flournoy, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (the 7th-ranking Pentagon official), and Craig Fugate, former Director of FEMA, proved especially interesting. Their responses are consistent with the views of military leaders across both Republican and Democratic Administrations, as well as those of the Center for Climate and Security, including its Climate Security Consensus Project. Below are excerpts from the exchange. (more…)