Yesterday the House Science Committee held a “Science & Policy Perspectives” round-table discussion regarding the national security implications of climate change. ASP’s CEO, General Stephen Cheney, was one of the featured retired military officers who participated in the round-table. General Cheney expressed his concerns over the clear threat that climate change presents to our national security. He discussed climate change’s dangerous effects as a “threat multiplier”, a term agreed upon by both the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.
Among his examples of possible “accelerants to instability” were rising sea levels that affect coastal bases and stations, extended droughts that force migration and squeeze natural resources, and catastrophic weather that destroys bases and takes thousands of lives. The Department of Defense needs to recognize these threats and take further steps to fully understand the effects of climate change on our military effectiveness and the safety of American citizens.
Ultimately, the round-table discussion focused on the military planning tool of risk assessment and then management. Acknowledging the risks of climate change will allow our military to properly prepare for and combat its threats through a clear action plan, such as the three tiered plan laid out by General Cheney. A video of the briefing is available below: