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The U.S. is a Pacific Nation, Here Is Why That Is Relevant to National Security In A Changing Climate

800px-US_Navy_110405-N-WP746-276_Hawaii-based_surface_Navy_and_other_combatant_units_participated_in_Koa_Kai_11-2,_an_integrated_training_event_with_the_On March 10, the U.S Senate hosted a discussion on climate change. Sen. Schatz, representing a Pacific state, has a unique perspective on how climate change will play a role in the security of the Asia-Pacific region, and his statement for the Congressional record goes into great detail on this facet of the issue. The statement also provides a thorough look at how the U.S. is preparing for the security risks of climate change in the Pacific, in the Arctic and in the U.S. homeland.

Below we have copied Senator Schatz’s statement for the record. You can find the full Congressional record here. It is worth a read for all those interested in national security writ large.

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Hear, Hear! Climate Security in the U.S. Congress Today

800px-United_States_Capitol_Building-_west_front_editThere are two hearings this morning in the U.S. Congress that are especially relevant to the climate and security discourse – one on preparedness for extreme weather events  – or a lack thereof – and the other on fisheries treaties (see below). These hearings are both relevant because climate change is all about the water, and both extreme weather events and fisheries are all about the water. Extreme rainfall variability, precipitated (pun intended) by climate change, will likely lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. A warming ocean (which is where most of the earth’s heat goes) is already influencing major fisheries across the world. And an increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts in some regions of the world will likely have an impact on freshwater fisheries as well. In short, climate change is likely to exacerbate water-based stresses on human societies. Or as CNA’s Military Advisory Board put it in 2007, climate change is a “threat multiplier.” We’ve listed the details of both hearings below.

First, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is holding a hearing at 10am Eastern titled “Extreme Weather Events: The Costs of Not Being Prepared.” UPDATE: A video of the hearing is now up. As listed on the Committee website, panelists will include: (more…)

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