Climate Change Is A Growing National Security Concern, Say Retired Military Leaders

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from The Huffington Post,

This Is Your Country With 10 Feet Of Sea Level Rise

A report released Tuesday from an advisory group of retired U.S. military leadership echoes the findings of other recent reports on climate change: It is real, it is already happening and it poses major threats to the U.S. and the rest of the world.

The federally funded Center for Naval Analyses and its Military Advisory Board, a group of 16 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals, affirm in the report that climate events like flooding, prolonged drought and rising sea levels, and the subsequent population dislocation and food insecurity, will serve as “catalysts for instability and conflict” in vulnerable regions of the world.

“We no longer have the option to wait and see,” former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta write in a foreword to the report, which they describe as a “bipartisan call to action.”

The report laments the politicization of climate change and continued inaction from Congress on the issue. “Politically charged debate has silenced sound public discourse,” it reads in part.

“We hope this report will both influence public opinion as well as influence national security policymakers and leaders,” retired Navy rear admiral and co-author David Titley told The Huffington Post. “We are speaking out because we believe the risk is accelerating, and will continue to do so unless action is taken now.”

CNA’s Military Advisory Board stressed the importance of addressing climate change collaboratively. “Neither the DOD, nor any other agency, can act alone to address the impacts of climate change,” the report reads.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told The New York Times on Tuesday that American foreign policy will be affected by the climate events predicted in this report. “The intelligence community takes it seriously, and it’s translated into action,” he said.

The report cites previous climate change and security assessments, as well as the work of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. Government’s Global Change Research Program. However, its authors also emphasize their own credentials.

“The messenger counts: This report is signed, not by environmentalists or climate scientists, but by 16 admirals and generals who collectively have over 500 years of service to our country,” said Titley, who formerly served as Oceanographer of the Navy and now teaches in the meteorology department at Pennsylvania State University.

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