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New BRIEFER: Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Military’s Battle Against Sea Level Rise

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde

The Center for Climate and Security’s Virginia Fellow, Matt Connolly, writes about the challenges the Hampton Roads region and its U.S. military infrastructure are facing in a new briefer titled: “Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Military’s Battle Against Sea Level Rise.” For the full briefer, click here. For a summary, see below.

Summary and Key Points: Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Military’s Battle Against Sea Level Rise  (more…)

Military leaders: rising sea level a threat to Virginia-North Carolina

120620-N-RY232-371Last Monday, a sobering panel discussion was held in Norfolk, Virginia regarding the threat posed by sea level rise to both national security, and the Hampton Roads region – an area which comprises Virginia Beach, Norfolk-Newport News, and the Virginia-North Carolina metropolitan area. The panel consisted of U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Philip Cullom, Admiral Larry Baucom, USN (ret), Captain Joe Bouchard, USN (ret.), Jonathan Powers, Iraq war veteran and the White House’s Federal Environmental Executive, and Ben McFarlane of the Hampton Roads Planning Commission. (more…)

U.S. Drought Worsens

Parched_ground_-_Flickr_-_Al_Jazeera_EnglishClimate Central’s Andrew Freedman recently reported on the U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest numbers, which reveal that “all categories of drought increased across the country between Nov. 20-27, with the largest increase occurring in an area from Alabama northeastward to Virginia.” Freedman also reports on a recent statement by Deutsche Bank Securities’ chief U.S. economist, Joseph LaVorgna, who predicted that “the drought will be responsible for a 0.5 to 1 percent drop in U.S. gross domestic product this year, a significant drop considering the relatively slow pace of growth throughout the year.”

Also, as we have written previously, the drought may have worrying security implications for other countries that are tied to the U.S. through the global food market. And given that a number of these countries have themselves experienced major droughts recently (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Spain, Argentina), this prolonged U.S. drought could have serious global consequences.

Thoughts On Independence Day

Today, Americans celebrate their 236th year of independence from Great Britain, and over two centuries of national resilience. Hamburgers will be eaten, cold beers shall be drunk, and fireworks will fly. But not everyone will be able to enjoy the festivities. In Colorado, for example, a punishing drought followed by wildfires have driven people from their homes, and caused enormous devastation (this has led to sensible laws restricting open burning, and private firework use). In Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC, Ohio and Illinois, a heat wave combined with a severe storm have left millions sweltering in their homes without power, and as of yesterday, had led to at least 26 deaths.

In this context, our first thoughts are with all those who do not have the luxury to enjoy the day’s celebrations to their fullest, and who have experienced loss of life and security.

Our second thoughts dwell on the country’s future. In the face of an uncertain climate, we wish the United States continued years of resilience and prosperity, innovation and adaptation in the face of rapid change, and leadership on the global stage. In the past, the United States has been able to adapt to changing circumstances with energy and optimism, and to assist the world in doing the same. There is no good reason why that cannot be the case for at least another 236 years.

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