Dems Slam DoD Report on Climate Risks to U.S. National Security

F-15 Eagle at Tyndall Air Force Base, which was one of the base’s gate guards. Photo: Dr. Judy Staveley

The government last Friday made public another report warning of the dangers that climate change poses to our nation — this one details the risks to our national security as a result of more than two-thirds of our military installations being at increased risk in the next 20 years of flooding, drought and fire damage related to climate.  In addition, the report explains that climate impacts around the globe will also have a direct impact on the mission of the military, quoting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joeseph Dunford who testified to Congress last November that,  “[w]hen I look at climate change, it’s in the category of sources of conflict around the world and things we’d have to respond to. So it can be great devastation requiring humanitarian assistance — disaster relief — which the U.S. military certainly conducts routinely.”

  • According to Inside Climate News, the report does not contain the key information Congress requested: a list of the 10 most vulnerable facilities in each branch of the armed services.
  • The top 10 list was to help Congress identify where to focus limited funds to help prevent costly damage in the future.
  • Last year, military installations were hit with two multi-billion dollar disasters when Hurricanes Florence and Michael destroyed Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and the Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune in North Carolina respectively 
  • Neither of those two major climate events was even mentioned in the report.

Democrats in Congress, who had requested the report, slammed it for being inadequate and partisan.  The Chair of the House Armed Services Committee said, the report “fails to even minimally discuss a mitigation plan to address the vulnerabilities” or “future costs.”  The leading Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee was even less impressed, saying that the “report reads like an introductory primer and carries about as much value as a phonebook.”

Why This Matters:  When the commander in chief tweets that climate change is a “good old fashioned” thing that we need more of, he is undermining our national security.  Climate change is a threat multiplier – and the multiplication is becoming exponential, as are the costs.  The authors of the report concluded that the “effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense missions, operational plans, and installations,”  and stated that the department needs to adapt its operations to this new reality.  Yup.  But Congress needs more details in order to actually do that.  Too bad the military did not provide them in this report.

Up Next

China and the U.S. Trade Environmental Barbs

China and the U.S. Trade Environmental Barbs

Yesterday the Chinese government released a detailed condemnation of the U.S. government’s environment and climate policies.  Labeled as a “Fact Sheet of Environmental Damage Caused by the US,” it contains a litany of U.S. environmental failures.

Why This Matters:  The U.S.’s shot at China came after the Chinese announced at the UN General Assembly that China plans to be climate neutral by 2060.

Continue Reading 632 words
What science and democracy have in common: us, hopefully

What science and democracy have in common: us, hopefully

This piece was originally featured in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and has been reprinted with permission.  by Adam Sobel Donald Trump has said, several times in the week up to and including September 29’s presidential debate, that he will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election in […]

Continue Reading 1324 words
In Just 25 Years, Half of the Coral in the Great Barrier Reef has Disappeared

In Just 25 Years, Half of the Coral in the Great Barrier Reef has Disappeared


by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer A new study has found that since 1995, half of all the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has been wiped out due to rising ocean temperatures caused by climate change. In some areas of the reef, researchers observed up to a 98% decrease in coral populations.  Despite coral’s […]

Continue Reading 686 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.