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Rear Admiral Dave Titley on CNN: “This is a blatant attempt…to politicize the security aspect of climate change”

Rear Admiral David Titley USN Ret_CNN Interview_2019_03_07Yesterday, 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.

 

Release: Planned Executive Order on Climate Security Scrapped, but Assault on Science Agencies and National Security Continues

Ponds_on_the_Ocean_ICESCAPE

Carried by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a team of scientists investigate how a melting Arctic affects the ocean’s chemical and biological makeup – NASA image acquired July 12, 2011

Washington, DC, February 24, 2019 – According to a Washington Post article published today, the planned Executive Order establishing a Presidential Committee on Climate Security, or PCCS, has likely been scrapped – at least in its initial form. This is probably due to the extraordinarily negative public response to the idea following an initial Washington Post article on the PCCS published on February 20 (wherein the Center for Climate and Security strongly criticized the proposed federal advisory committee). However, the National Security Council intends to move forward more quietly and less publicly with an internal, ad hoc group of scientists designed to provide an “adversarial” peer review of recent climate change findings by the federal science agencies, including the National Climate Assessment – a process that seeks to undermine scientific findings, as opposed to evaluate their soundness, and then feed that into national security policy. Presumably due to withering criticism from the security community in the wake of the initial report, recent intelligence agency assessments are exempt from scrutiny under this new working group (Department of Defense reports may be as well, though the Washington Post article does not make that clear).

Given that both the intelligence and defense communities rely on the sound and rigorously peer-reviewed climate change findings of the federal science agencies in order to do their jobs, the continuation of the committee under this new guise continues to present a real risk sound national security judgment. In that context, Rear Admiral David Titley, USN (Ret), Advisory Board member with the Center for Climate and Security, former Oceanographer of the Navy, and former Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Operations at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told the Washington Post today:

“I never thought I would live to see the day in the United States where our own White House is attacking the very science agencies that can help the president understand and manage the climate risks to security of today and tomorrow,” said Titley, who sits on the advisory board of the Center for Climate and Security, a nonpartisan group focused on climate-related risks. “Such attacks are un-American.”

(more…)

A New Independent Climate Change Risk Assessment from Military, Finance, Science and Energy Experts

Climatechangeriskassessment-2An international group of military, finance, science and energy experts today (13 July) released a new independent assessment of the risks of climate change, designed to support political leaders in their decisions on how much priority to give to the issue.  The Center for Climate and Security’s Co-Directors, Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell, acted as contributing authors to Chapter 21 of the report, titled “Climate Change Risks to National and International Security.” (more…)

What We Know: Climate Change and National Security

CanberraBushfiresThe American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest non-government general science membership organization, just launched its latest climate change communications initiative: “What We Know,” focused on highlighting “the reality, the risks and response to climate change.” The plainspoken, risk management approach to climate change is refreshing. The initiative provides a clear but thorough backgrounder on what we know about climate change, including the national security implications, as well as how to respond to these risks in the face of outstanding uncertainties. (more…)