Click to enlarge — Republican conference on climate change in 2100
❝A bit over a year after identifying climate change as a “significant challenge” for the US military, the US Department of Defense has given its top officials orders for handling the hazards posed by a warming world.
The boring-but-important 12-page document issued in January tells the armed service chiefs and top civilian officials to identify how climate change will affect their missions, figure out how to manage any risks it poses, and factor those into their planning. It gives specific tasks to various Defense Department offices and regional commands, from determining how higher sea levels or longer droughts affect US bases to what new gear might be needed to work in a thawing Arctic.
❝”Although this looks very bureaucratic in nature, I would actually give the department full credit for it,” said David Titley, a retired rear admiral who served as the Navy’s top oceanographer. “I think this is one of the more significant steps they’ve done, because they’ve linked that high-level strategy down to a daily to-do list.”
Titley said the new order means the Pentagon “is now thinking seriously” about whether American soldiers, sailors, airmen, or Marines “have the right tools, the right equipment, the right training, and the right risks for a changing environment…”
❝The Navy is already trying to figure out how to protect its Atlantic fleet headquarters at Norfolk, Virginia — the world’s largest naval installation — from the two-pronged threat of rising seas and a sinking shore. Norfolk is already seeing periodic coastal flooding from a rising ocean, and Titley said 2012’s Hurricane Sandy showed how badly a big storm could hit vital urban systems like the New York subways that few had thought of as vulnerable…
But Holland said Pentagon officials are still struggling to figure out how other expected changes — to food, water, and energy supplies, increases in extreme weather, and an increase in refugees — will affect operations overseas…
The new directive is aimed at shifting that mindset…
❝Titley appeared at a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing that attacked climate scientists. The hearing was called by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the GOP presidential candidate who insists that no global warming has occurred since 1998 — an assertion contradicted by the findings of US and international science agencies.
“Senator Cruz was asking me which is more important, climate or ISIS?” Titley said. “And what I told Senator Cruz at the hearing back in December was we don’t get to pick and choose. We’re a big country, and we have to deal with both … Mature superpowers have to deal with more than one thing at a time.”
Mature politicians should do the same. Unfortunately, Cruz, the ignoranus electorate he represents, the rightwing political clot he leads not only ignores science, history and maturity – they prefer the politics of fear and ignorance as their best bet to gain power in the United States.