On Wednesday, ASP President BGen Stephen Cheney was quoted in the Miami Herald. The article discusses the effects rising temperatures has on the US military, as outlined in a new analysis completed by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, America’s military bases could see an average of an extra month of “black flag” days by mid-century, and in Florida, the number could quadruple. “Black flag” days mean it is too hot outside to do anything strenuous, like train and maintain military readiness.
Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise. Nearly 2,800 soldiers suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion last year. That is roughly a 50 percent jump from 2014.
Heat illness is a matter of national security, said BGen Cheney. The increasing number of hot days, when soldiers cannot train, means they are less prepared for deployment.
“There’s a direct connection between readiness and climate,” BGen Cheney said.
BGen Cheney continued,
“The military has known about this for a long time, but it’s getting a lot worse.”
The military started to take climate change seriously as a national security threat under President George W. Bush and President Obama, but President Trump’s administration has different views, BGen Cheney explained.
“They’ve gone well out of their way to whitewash it from any strategic document, which is just not looking at reality.”
“The administration can say what it wants denying climate change, but that report kind of lays it out in stark contrast to their opinion. Call it what you will, it’s getting hotter.”
According to the Union’s analysis, a scenario where emissions rise to a little longer and then are cut drastically found MacDill Air Force Base would see 97 days with 100-degree heat index by mid-century and 110 day by century’s end. Under a third scenario with an immediate, drastic emissions cut, MacDill would only see 98 days of 100-degree heat index by 2100.
Read the full article.