Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Pentagon: Climate Change Is Real and a 'National Security Issue'

Climate
U.S. Army member helps clear debris from Tyndall Air Force Base following Hurricane Michael. U.S. Army

The Pentagon released a Congressionally mandated report (pdf) that warns flooding, drought and wildfires and other effects of climate change puts U.S. military bases at risk.

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.

Bizarrely, as 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.

Secondly, the new report was delivered to Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who infamously threw a snowball across the Senate floor to disprove global warming.

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.).

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less
Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less

Trending


"Emissions from pyrotechnic displays are composed of numerous organic compounds as well as metals," a new study reports. Nodar Chernishev / EyeEm / Getty Images

Fireworks have taken a lot of heat recently. In South Dakota, fire experts have said President Trump's plan to hold a fireworks show is dangerous and public health experts have criticized the lack of plans to enforce mask wearing or social distancing. Now, a new study shows that shooting off fireworks at home may expose you and your family to dangerous levels of lead, copper and other toxins.

Read More Show Less