Pentagon Moves Ahead With Obama-Era Climate Preparation Plan Despite Trump's Orders
The Department of Defense (DoD) has warned for years that climate change is a national security threat and, despite President Trump's orders, the agency continues to take steps to help the military navigate and prepare for the impacts of a warming planet.
As Military Times reports, the Pentagon is plowing ahead with its 2014 "Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap" even though Trump issued an executive order in March seeking to reverse Obama-era federal climate and clean energy initiatives.
Under Obama's orders, the Defense Department issued directive 4715.21 in January 2016 to implement the roadmap, which "lays out reasonable adaptation and mitigation actions to ensure or at least bolster our national security against measured and measurable climate change events, whatever the causes, or the duration, of the observed events," as retired Navy Adm. Frank Bowman said.
But now—thanks to Trump–the agency is reviewing directive 4715.21 "to determine if it should be suspended, revised, or rescinded," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Evans told the publication.
However, the department is still preparing for the effects of climate change even though Trump told them to stop. For instance, as Military Times reports, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic has been taking steps to protect the Hampton Roads base in Virginia—home to 60 Navy ships, hundreds of fix-wing and rotary aircraft and more than 83,000 active duty personnel. The 2014 climate roadmap, which Trump invalidated, stipulated that the assets were protected from a "projected sea-level rise of 1.5 feet over the next 20 to 50 years."
"I can't talk the science, but I can tell you what we've done," Todd Lyman, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic spokesman, explained. "For many years, NAVFAC has been replacing any single-deck pier with double-deck piers. We've also built structures here at a higher elevation than code requires in an effort to improve stormwater management. The goal is for us to continue our mission, maintain resilience."
According to Military Times:
The DoD has found space to maneuver by separating the argument of climate change from the threats that more extreme sea states, wind and flooding can generate. Essentially, the DoD is moving forward by leaving the semantics of climate change to others.
"As Secretary Mattis has said, the department evaluates all potential threats that impact mission readiness, personnel health and installation resilience, then uses that information to assess impacts and identify responses," Evans said. "The effect of a changing climate is one of a variety of threats and risks, but it's not a mission of the Department of Defense."
It looks like the Pentagon's strategy is just to avoid using language related to climate change and instead focus on how the military can fortify its installations against extreme weather events and natural disasters (which, like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, are linked to climate change.)
Unlike his White House boss, Defense Sec. Jim Mattis does not believe that climate change is a
"hoax" invented by the Chinese.
"Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today," Mattis wrote in March. "It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning."
To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.
A new EarthxTV film special calls for the protection of the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people that call it home. EarthxTV.org
- Meet the 'Women Warriors' Protecting the Amazon Forest - EcoWatch ›
- Indigenous Tribes Are Using Drones to Protect the Amazon ... ›
- Amazon Rainforest Will Collapse by 2064, New Study Predicts ... ›
- Deforestation in Amazon Skyrockets to 12-Year High Under Bolsonaro ›
- Amazon Rainforest on the Brink of Turning Into a Net Carbon Emitter ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Anke Rasper
"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.
- World Leaders Fall Short of Meeting Paris Agreement Goal - EcoWatch ›
- UN Climate Change Conference COP26 Delayed to November ... ›
- 5 Years After Paris: How Countries' Climate Policies Match up to ... ›
- Biden Win Puts World 'Within Striking Distance' of 1.5 C Paris Goal ... ›
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?
- This Indian Startup Turns Polluted Air Into Climate-Friendly Tiles ... ›
- How to Win the Fight Against Plastic - EcoWatch ›
In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
- Appalachian Fracking Boom Was a Jobs Bust, Finds New Report ... ›
- Long-Awaited EPA Study Says Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water ... ›
- Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Much Higher Than ... ›
Colombia is one of the world's largest producers of coffee, and yet also one of the most economically disadvantaged. According to research by the national statistic center DANE, 35% of the population in Columbia lives in monetary poverty, compared to an estimated 11% in the U.S., according to census data. This has led to a housing insecurity issue throughout the country, one which construction company Woodpecker is working hard to solve.
- Kenyan Engineer Recycles Plastic Into Bricks Stronger Than ... ›
- Could IKEA's New Tiny House Help Fight the Climate Crisis ... ›