Pentagon: Climate Change Is Real and a 'National Security Issue'
The 22-page analysis states plainly: "The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations."
The DoD said it is working with other nations "to understand and plan for future potential mission impacts," adding that this is a "global issue."
The report, titled Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense, reveals that two-thirds of the 79 mission-essential military installations that were reviewed are vulnerable to current or future recurrent flooding, more than half are vulnerable to current or future drought, and about half are exposed to wildfires. Six sites are also facing desertification and one is vulnerable to thawing permafrost.
Mother Jones' Dan Spinelli reported, Marine Corps bases were left out of the report entirely, even though sites such as Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were devastated by Hurricane Florence in September.
Despite the severity of the warning, it's not clear how much of a ripple this document will actually make in Washington. First of all, President Trump thinks global warming is a "hoax" and rejected his own government's report in November that warned climate change could kill thousands of Americans each year and slash the GDP by more than 10 percent by 2100. Trump's national security strategy also reversed an Obama-era declaration that placed climate change as a major threat facing the nation.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) slammed the Pentagon's report, calling it half-baked" and "inadequate" for not mentioning any specifics on how the military will respond to climate threats.
"While this climate report acknowledges that nearly all the military installations it studied are vulnerable to major climate change impacts, and provides numerous installation-level examples of those impacts, it fails to even minimally discuss a mitigation plan to address the vulnerabilities," Smith said in a joint press release with Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.).
By Gary Paul Nabhan
President Trump has declared a national emergency to fund a wall along our nation's southern border. The border wall issue has bitterly divided people across the U.S., becoming a vivid symbol of political deadlock.
By Daniel Ross
Hurricane Florence, which battered the U.S. East Coast last September, left a trail of ruin and destruction estimated to cost between $17 billion and $22 billion. Some of the damage was all too visible—smashed homes and livelihoods. But other damage was less so, like the long-term environmental impacts in North Carolina from hog waste that spilled out over large open-air lagoons saturated in the rains.
Hog waste can contain potentially dangerous pathogens, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. According to the state's Department of Environmental Quality, as of early October nearly 100 such lagoons were damaged, breached or were very close to being so, the effluent from which can seep into waterways and drinking water supplies.
China has closed its Everest base camp to tourists because of a buildup of trash on the world's tallest mountain.
By Madison Dapcevich
Plastics have been recorded in every corner of the world, from the remote icy waters of Antarctica to the bellies of deep-sea fishes. Now, preliminary findings presented at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC suggest that bird eggs from the high Arctic—one of the most remote wildernesses on the planet—show evidence of contamination from chemicals used in plastics.