In addition, a group of 58 senior retired U.S. military and national security leaders are also advocating for the view that climate change is a serious threat to security. Finally – to end on a pessimistic note – it is extremely unlikely that we can simply change our energy policy today and all will be fixed. “Most don’t remember what caused the Syria conflict to start. Finally, in an area in which the science is most definitely not settled, more frequent or more dangerous hurricanes or tornadoes threaten vulnerable communities across the country. Climate change and national security aren't two separate issues, retired Brigadier General Stephen Cheney told Public Radio International last week. He knows well the cruciality of the seas—how they produce much of our oxygen, enable most of our international trade, and provide increasing amounts of our energy. 1625 Prince Street “The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense missions, operational plans, and installations,” states the 22-page document, which was published Thursday. When national security planners look to prevent future threats to our security, they know that you cannot act with certainty: once you have 100% certainty, it is too late to act. The congressionally mandated analysis looked at a total of 79 military installations around the country. Fact Sheet – Will China's Future be Cleaner? This book provides a careful guide to how climate change will affect specific countries and geographical regions. Joshua W. Busby Associate Professor of Public Affairs, University of Texas-Austin However, Americans and Europeans cannot afford to simply think that the dangers of climate change lie in the developing world. Policy interest in climate security risks has grown rapidly and affects the policy agenda in relation to, among other questions, food and energy security, migration policy, and diplomatic efforts. The recent outbreak of tornadoes across the Midwest should remind us: living in a wealthy nation does not afford us protection from violent and unpredictable weather. There is a temptation to say “if only the Senate could pass the Graham-Kerry-Lieberman climate policy act then all would be solved.” Unfortunately, the climate system is largely ‘locked-in’ for the next 30-40 years. Nonetheless, he says climate change is a threat to national security in several ways. A changing climate is important enough that our national security planners are studying it closely. ASP has been a leader in looking at the national security implications of the Climate Change, since the publication of the Climate Security Index in 2009. For the Harvey response, officials deployed more than 6,000 active duty troops and 6,000 members of the Texas National Guard. ..Find out more, Posted by Andrew HollandNov 24, 2020 | Read More, Posted by Adam VanGorderJan 19, 2021 | Read More, Posted by Patrick HinesJan 13, 2021 | Read More, Posted by Andrew HollandJun 24, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectJan 02, 2020 | Read More, Posted by Andrew HollandDec 11, 2019 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectNov 04, 2019 | Read More, Posted by Andrew HollandJul 12, 2019 | Read More, Posted by Andrew HollandMay 23, 2019 | Read More, Posted by Andrew HollandApr 22, 2019 | Read More, Posted by Andrew HollandMar 05, 2019 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectFeb 21, 2019 | Read More, Posted by Andrew HollandDec 11, 2018 | Read More, Posted by Connor WagnerOct 15, 2018 | Read More, Posted by Katherine SeeversJan 19, 2021 | Read More, Posted by Rylee BoydJan 19, 2021 | Read More, Posted by Claire BrennerJan 19, 2021 | Read More, Posted by Rylee BoydJan 12, 2021 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectJan 07, 2021 | Read More, Posted by Annie AlemanDec 23, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectDec 22, 2020 | Read More, Posted by Alicia OrrDec 18, 2020 | Read More, Posted by Patrick HinesDec 18, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectOct 13, 2020 | Read More, Posted by Matthew WallinSep 29, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectSep 21, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectSep 01, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectAug 26, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectAug 19, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectJun 17, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectJun 03, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectApr 14, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectMar 19, 2020 | Read More, Posted by American Security ProjectDec 06, 2019 | Read More, Posted by John MadeiraSep 11, 2020 | Read More, Posted by Matthew WallinFeb 28, 2020 | Read More, Posted by Alexandra HackbarthSep 27, 2019 | Read More, Posted by Andrew HollandSep 17, 2019 | Read More, Posted by Matthew WallinFeb 28, 2019 | Read More, Posted by Andrew HollandDec 19, 2018 | Read More. Projected climate change poses a serious threat to America’s national security. It is spurring more disastrous and deadly weather events like catastrophic hurricanes; the response to these events often includes troops, billions of dollars in disaster relief, and other resources. Each of us is a hard-nosed leader with decades of experience evaluating national security risks. But he still describes himself in published writings as “a simple mariner,” and he is a mariner with a message: Ice is rapidly melting at both polar caps. Perspective – Beijing's Quandary: Clean or Dirty Growth? This blog post, cross-posted from Energy, Security, Policy, explains why it is so important. Stavridis says global climate change, which is causing the polar cap melt, has an especially “pernicious” effect on national security because it is hard to see and often occurs over time. Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2882 By Chloe Thompson Opinion Contributor Aug. 1, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. Our Climate Is Our Security American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy, What we are reading | American Security Project, As Climate Envoy, John Kerry will lead Climate Action from the National Security Council, Building Caribbean Resilience with Fossil Fuel Revenues, Sanctions on Nord Stream 2? It was Vice President Dick Cheney who first enunciated the “1% doctrine” in which the War on Terror empowered the U.S. government to say “Even if there’s just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty.” What we have now is at least 95% certainty from the science community, and yet you have many American politicians (including more than a few who supported Cheney’s pre-emptive doctrines) saying we cannot act because we do not have certainty. Trump Drops Climate Threats from National Security Strategy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), which measures weather events that incur at least $1 billion in damages, found that from 1980 to 2018, these billion-dollar disasters occurred at a rate of 6.3 events per year​. And – they are the most threatening to national security planners because rapid changes like this will inevitably cause reactions by people that could cause conflict. (November 12, 2018) Climate change is a growing threat to our very existence. Climate change is a pressing risk to national and global security. Not so for melting ice, or rising sea water. The report’s findings on the direct impacts of climate change on our national security is all about risks to the critical, hard infrastructure that helps sustain our national strength, and the military personnel who support it. On 14 June 2017 the Senate referred the following matter to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 4 December 2017: Implications of climate change for Australia’s national security. “Just last year, Hurricane Florence caused $3.6 billion in damages to Camp Lejeune, home of the Marines’ expeditionary units on the East Coast.”. The letter was sponsored by CCS and the American Security Project. The predicted effects of climate change over the coming decades include extreme weather events, drought, flooding, sea level rise, retreating glaciers, habitat shifts, and the increased spread of life-threatening diseases. (April 8, 2019). Consistent droughts in the Southwest threaten the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers in the Southwest. I will not get into arguments about the science of climate change: I will leave that to the scientists. President-elect Barack Obama said on Tuesday attacking global climate change is a "matter of urgency" that will create jobs as he got advice from Al Gore, who won a … ), Farming Away Emissions for a More Secure America, Perspective - U.S. Strategy in the South China Sea, Perspective – Arctic Climate Change: Implications for U.S. National Security. “And folks having to move from their family farms into cities where they then were not getting any support, and therefore a civil war began.”. The group gave a few examples of these challenges in a 5 March open letter to the Trump administration. Perspective – A Closer Look at the U.S. Strategy on Sanctions, Protecting Yourself from Disinformation in 2020, ASP COO Andrew Holland in High North News, U.S. Congress Gives Support for New Fusion Public-Private Partnership, Trump Administration Decision to Withdraw from Syria Another Sign U.S. This is not as simple as a one-step process; it will require decades of concerted national and international action. Further – it is unequivocal that this warming is being driven by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. President Barack Obama warned Wednesday that time is running to out to address what will be irreversible effects of climate change, pressing … It started because of a 10-year drought.” Goldfein told lawmakers at the hearing (“The Need for Leadership to Combat Climate Change and Protect National Security,” 9 April 2019). 1. "The [2012] insurrection in Mali where the Tuareg went north -- drought caused that," said Cheney. It is spurring more disastrous and deadly weather events like catastrophic hurricanes; the response to these events often includes troops, billions of dollars in disaster relief, and other resources. These abrupt changes could manifest themselves in sudden changes in the Indian Ocean monsoon seasons – harming water supplies across all of India and Pakistan. “Its effects are even used by our adversaries as a weapon of war; ISIS used water shortages in Iraq, in part driven by a changing climate, to cement their hold on the population during their reign of terror from 2014 to 2017.”. One of the big problems about predicting the security affects of climate change is in the art of prediction itself. No region of the world will be left unaffected. USA, The Need for Leadership to Combat Climate Change and Protect National Security, data from the National Interagency Fire Center. As environmental media outlet Inside Climate News reminds us, The Worldwide Threat Assessment included “climate change” as a global threat to … WASHINGTON — President Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine whether climate change affects national security, despite existing reports … But for the most recent years of 2018–2019, billion-dollar disasters have occurred at a rate of 12.6 events per year, a significant increase, according to NCEI. It will require a ‘whole of government’ focus that directs actions towards mitigating emissions, building resilience into domestic infrastructure, financing adaptation, and planning to respond to disasters. And, that warming is accelerating: the warmest decade on record was the 2000s, with each of the three decades previous to that warmer than the decade before. But – we have to start somewhere. Climate change is an accelerating threat to national security. Climate Change as a National Security Concern. But, it should be clear that these could affect the security of individuals and communities across the country. Nowadays, Stavridis, who served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander from 2009 to 2013, has a busy post-naval career as a security expert commentator, author, and operations executive for the Carlyle Company. In terms of the actual frequency of disastrous events, experts point to a disturbing increase in recent years. “It’s a pretty significant national security threat,” he tells Security Management. Nonetheless, he says climate change is a threat to national security in several ways. adshelp[at]cfa.harvard.edu The ADS is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under NASA Cooperative Agreement NNX16AC86A Fact Sheet – China's Fossil-Fueled Growth, Perspective – Choosing the American Model: Development Finance as a Soft Power Tool in Africa. A recent example of this occurred in the United States in 2017, when for the first time in 100 years two Category 4 hurricanes hit the U.S. mainland. Climate change poses security risks, according to decades of intelligence reports: Intelligence analysts have agreed since the late 80s that climate change poses serious security risks. Military leaders will be faced with ever more tough decisions in terms of providing humanitarian assistance in the face of extreme weather events and disruptions to their own supply chains while coping with declining defense budgets in many parts of … That’s the finding of a recent report by the CNA Corporation’s Military Advisory Board, a panel I serve on along with some of our country’s most senior retired military leaders. Once we move beyond the scientific debate, we do see that there are real threats to international stability and security from a changing climate. A terror attack, he explains, captures everyone’s attention and is a visible security threat. Global climate change presents a serious national security threat that could affect Americans at home, impact U.S. military operations and heighten global … There is no doubt that runaway climate change threatens the long term national security of many countries as well as the overall stability of the world. The Global Security Defense Index on climate change evaluates the extents of governments in considering climate change to be a national security issue. Framing climate change as a national security threat has obvious advantages. able to play a leading role in confronting climate change not only because it commands authority and respect from the public At a U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing in April, Goldfein cited the Syrian Civil War as an example of how climate change’s impact has already destabilized some nations. . ​​Photo by Storms Media Group, Alamy Stock Photo, Climate Change as a National Security Threat. Indeed, the concept of contingency planning is being embraced by others who are sounding the alarm about climate change effects because they say that better preparation on the front end will make a large difference. This blog post, cross-posted from Energy, Security, Policy, explains why it is so important.. A changing climate is important enough that our national security planners are studying it closely. The IPCC consensus warming of an average one or two degrees Celsius increase over a multi-decade period is not that worrying. It is not difficult to foresee conflict emerging from any of these possibilities. 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Both hurricanes required major military deployments. These changes are so dangerous simply because they are so difficult to predict. The president claimed yesterday that the true danger to U.S. security is not climate change, but regulations Others in the military and government are echoing Stavridis’ view in various ways. national security interests . O ver the past several years the U.S. intelligence community has engaged with the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council (NRC) concerning a range of issues related to climate and security. The climate is notoriously difficult to predict, and models are imperfect. “When extreme weather hits the United States, it degrades the fighting force,” the group said. Similarly, the number of acres burned in U.S. wildland fires increased from 5.3 million acres in 2008 to 8.8 million acres in 2018, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center. Influence is Waning. The fact is that the earth is warming, and has been for at least a century. over the next 20 years . Mr. Frank De Jong’s letter “Militarizing climate change” of Dec. 10 seems misguided on many fronts. Instead, the possibility of rapid or dangerous non-linear changes in climate could cause widespread damage. The response to Irma required activation of approximately 8,000 Florida National Guard troops. Climate change is destabilising the world and becoming 'threat to national security', US security chiefs warn. ..Find out more, Fact Sheet – Nuclear Arsenals of the U.S., Russia, and China, This fact sheet explores the basic statistics behind each country's nuclear capabilities and explores the prospects of Chinese inclusion in a trilateral nuclear agreement with Russia and the United States. Submissions to this inquiry close on 4 August 2017. Reviews "Climate Change and National Security is a must-read for undergraduates, graduate students, and research professionals alike. Such instability presents national security challenges because it can breed more terrorist attacks and push the United States into more foreign conflicts. Recognizing that the impact of climate change is … Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis has spent nearly 11 years living day-to-day on deep ocean, in places where no land can be seen. Specifically, he says that the Pentagon’s Northern Command, which deals with non-military domestic emergencies, should receive more funding for planning and training related to environmental events. Retired Navy rear admiral calls extreme weather a national security threat. ..Find out more, Perspective – U.S. Strategy in the South China Sea, By: The other, Houston’s Hurricane Harvey, was the second most destructive natural disaster (measured by damage costs) in American history, second only to Hurricane Katrina. Our domestic security is threatened by the effects of climate change. Examples of threats include how rising sea levels threaten low-lying infrastructure across the Gulf Coast. Or a rapid collapse in tropical forest, due to altered moisture levels in the air. American Security Project, As the U.S. seeks to strengthen its position in the South China Sea, this paper examines strategies to increase American leadership and boost allies in the region. Moreover, rising sea levels are damaging the U.S. security infrastructure, including coastal military bases, Stavridis adds. National security and defense officials are recognizing climate change as the threat it is. . Another challenge, Stavridis says, is that climate effects such as rising sea levels, droughts, and desalinization of water supplies can destabilize countries, which can lead to violent conflict and even full-blown wars. Department of Homeland Security, Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, June 2012 “We judge global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for US. And the potential consequences of this development go beyond environmental damage. Dan Eggleston, president and board chairman of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, advocates that states and localities increase their disaster mitigation efforts now. We have enough knowledge to know that climate change is potentially dangerous. Join our mailing list to receive weekly newsletters and exclusive invites to upcoming events. ASP has been a leader in looking at the national security implications of the Climate Change, since the publication of the Climate Security Index in 2009. "It dried up their crops, they had to move, and they had to make a living. Not only does it increase the sense of urgency, but it also creates a path for environmental solutions. In the same letter, the group of leaders also noted how disastrous weather events can cause significant harm to the nation’s security infrastructure. Finally, in a development that threatens the very existence of a nation, Kiribati, the country’s Cabinet endorseda plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres of Fiji in order to move Kiribati’s population if a rising sea swallows their islands. “When disaster strikes, local fire departments will be the first to arrive,” Eggleston said. ), The Year that Was with BGen Steve Cheney, USMC (Ret. As Robert Rapier recently posted, shutting down all coal plants today would only lead to .2 degrees less warming. That means that addressing climate change is not simply a matter of deploying new energy sources or buying more efficient light bulbs. CCS is a nonpartisan research institute of the Council of Strategic Risks that supports policies that will best manage the effects of climate change on security. Eggleston also argued for federal support for building code adoption incentives, community preparedness efforts, and emergency response initiatives. As explained by the group of 58 military and national security leaders in the open letter, “Our climate will continue to change, and the threats will continue to grow.”, ASIS International Last year, a report issued by the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) found that more than 200 U.S. military installations had been flooded by storm surges, compared to about 30 in 2008. Given this, Stavridis says that the U.S. military must recognize that it will be increasingly called on to respond to natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, and drought. The Defense Department, the Intelligence Community, and the Department of Homeland Security are closely studying the effects of climate change, particularly how it will impact our security. I am not a scientist, so I will leave the rest of the explanation to NASA scientist Jim Hansen, who discussed the science of climate change in a recent TED speech. Like Stavridis, General David L. Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, also argues that instability caused by climate-induced events like drought can have significant security consequences. “Around the world, climate change is a ‘threat multiplier,’ making other security threats worse,” the group said. It would be a stretch to say that any of these examples threaten the narrowly defined ‘national security’ of the United States: we’re not likely to see civil conflict or state collapse here at home from violent weather. For example, changing patterns of glacier formation, precipitation, and snowmelt in the Himalayas will alter the river flows of the great East Asian rivers, upon which about 20% of humanity depends. One, Hurricane Irma in Florida, was the most powerful Atlantic storm in recorded history. “This diverts resources away from the armed forces that are needed to ensure security,” Stavridis says. But, we should all agree that the science is conclusive enough that we cannot simply ignore it – or claim that it’s some sort of UN plot. In each of these cases, climate change acts as a threat multiplier: it’s not just that the effects of climate change (sea level rise, melting glaciers, drought, etc) that will be dangerous, but it’s how people living in the affected regions react. […] Holland: Why Climate Change is A Matter of National Security […], Perspective – Diplomacy in the 21st Century Middle East, This report explores three diplomatic projects in the Middle East, in an effort to highlight noteworthy efforts at collaboration in contrast to stories about conflict. “These efforts can include acquiring and demolishing flood-prone buildings,” he said at the hearing. But – climate change is not a matter of ‘belief’ – it is a matter of fact. The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review labeled climate change as a "threat multiplier," meaning the stressors already present around the world ("poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions") will likely be amplified and worsened by the introduction of climate impacts. Climate change presents a serious threat to the security and prosperity of the United States and other countries. Finally, Eggleston, like many other advocates, added that risk from climate-related events will only be increasing in the future, so the issue is a long-term one. Sam Dorman is a … Or, changing patterns of drought in Africa could further exacerbate problems of food security for millions in dry regions like the Sahel, pushing migrants across contested borders. The 2020 field has warned about climate change's purportedly catastrophic impacts -- including Sanders, who called the issue a bigger national security threat than ISIS. “This diverts resources away from the armed forces that are needed to ensure security,” Stavridis says. The report recommends "quickly reducing and … Stavridis also advocates for cooperation among the nine combatant commands and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, so that they can produce contingency plans that will factor in security challenges induced by climate change. DOD's six … They had to make a living department of Homeland security, Policy, explains why it is collapse. Hits the United States, it degrades the fighting force, ” he said the! Us is a threat to national security 6,000 members of the actual frequency disastrous! The earth is warming, and has been for at least a.. For us require decades of concerted national and global security not afford to simply think that the is. 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Being driven by man-made greenhouse gas emissions, Perspective – Choosing the American Model: Development Finance as a security!

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