Thursday, 14 December 2017

Climate change: and impacts on national security from increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, desertification > 'means more failed states, more terrorist organizations, and more bases destroyed by flooding'

Climate change is changing the face of geopolitics:
Futures Forum: Climate change: and 'security'
Futures Forum: Climate change: National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change
Futures Forum: Climate change: and "contributing to creating the kind of fragile environments in which terrorist groups can thrive"

The latest bill from the American president contrasts with his administration's stance on climate change:

Trump’s new defense bill includes a dire warning on climate change

Climate change means more failed states, more terrorist organizations, and more bases destroyed by flooding, according to the US military. (Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride/ U.S. Air Force via AP)

WRITTEN BYZoƫ Schlanger
13 DEC 2017

US president Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act on Tuesday (Dec 13), a bill that sets policy for the US military for the coming fiscal year. Surprisingly, the bill contains a sizable discussion of climate change.

In the bill, current and former top US military brass attest to the national security threat of a rapidly changing climate. By signing the bill, Trump also ordered a report on “vulnerabilities to military installations” that climate change could cause in the next 20 years.

The bill’s acknowledgement and anticipation of climate change as an urgent threat contrasts sharply the Trump administration’s past denial. The administration has scrubbed mentions of climate change from agency websites, blocked federal scientists from presenting research on the topic, and top Trump officials—like energy secretary Rick Perry and environment chief Scott Pruitt—have stated their denial of the mainstream scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet.

“As global temperatures rise, droughts and famines can lead to more failed states, which are breeding grounds of extremist and terrorist organizations,” the bill reads. “In the Marshall Islands, an Air Force radar installation built on an atoll at a cost of $1,000,000,000 is projected to be underwater within two decades.”

“A three-foot rise in sea levels will threaten the operations of more than 128 United States military sites, and it is possible that many of these at-risk bases could be submerged in the coming years,” it continues. “In the Arctic, the combination of melting sea ice, thawing permafrost, and sea-level rise is eroding shorelines, which is damaging radar and communication installations, runways, seawalls, and training areas.”

Secretary of defense James Mattis is quoted saying that the consequences of climate change “impact our security situation.” Gordon Sullivan, former chief of staff of the US Army, is quoted as saying climate change will “lead to instability in geopolitics and impact American military operations around the world.”

Read the full text of the defense bill’s climate change section below:


(a) Findings.—Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Secretary of Defense James Mattis has stated: “It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.”.

(2) Secretary of Defense James Mattis has stated: “I agree that the effects of a changing climate — such as increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, desertification, among others — impact our security situation.”.

(3) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford has stated: “It’s a question, once again, of being forward deployed, forward engaged, and be in a position to respond to the kinds of natural disasters that I think we see as a second or third order effect of climate change.”.

(4) Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has stated: “Over the next 20 years and more, certain pressures-population, energy, climate, economic, environmental-could combine with rapid cultural, social, and technological change to produce new sources of deprivation, rage, and instability.”.

(5) Former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gordon Sullivan has stated: “Climate change is a national security issue. We found that climate instability will lead to instability in geopolitics and impact American military operations around the world.”.

(6) The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has stated: “Many countries will encounter climate-induced disruptions—such as weather-related disasters, drought, famine, or damage to infrastructure—that stress their capacity to respond, cope with, or adapt. Climate-related impacts will also contribute to increased migration, which can be particularly disruptive if, for example, demand for food and shelter outstrips the resources available to assist those in need.”.

Trump's new defense bill includes a dire warning on climate change — Quartz

The ironies have not escaped notice:
President Just Signed Bill That Says Climate Change a National Security Risk, But Does He Know That? - Ecowatch

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