In response to a Dec. 16 letter by Roger Minch, I want to draw attention to a remarkable document on climate change and national security. On Sept. 24, 64 senior U.S. military and security leaders endorsed "A Climate Security Plan for America." It's signed by more than 20 admirals and generals, including Rear Adm. David Titley, former oceanographer and navigator of the Navy, and Gen. Gordon Sullivan, former chief of staff of the U.S. Army.
The report states that increases in extreme weather “can devastate essential energy, financial and agricultural centers that undergird U.S. and global economic viability and the well-being of our populations.” It calls for initiatives to improve the resilience of our critical infrastructure and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and globally in order to avoid “catastrophic security consequences.”
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It's important to look to independent organizations like the military when evaluating the threat posed by climate change. Because our armed services depend on scientific evidence to assess risk, they are less amenable to politicized science.
The U.S. military has expressed concern about climate change since the George W. Bush administration, and dozens of Defense Department documents on this issue can be accessed at climateandsecurity.org.
Urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions and funding adaptation should be top priorities for every politician who is concerned about national security and global stability.