Event Recap: Seattle Climate Change and National Security

Event Recap: Seattle Climate Change and National Security

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The American Security Project co-hosted a public event on Climate Change and National Security in coordination with the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. The event featured Washington State Governor Jay Inslee along with ASP CEO Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret) and ASP Board member Admiral William Fallon, USN (Ret). ASP Board Chairperson, Governor Christine Todd Whitman participated in the Q&A.

After welcoming remarks by the University of Washington Provost Mark Richards, and Director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies Reşat Kasaba, General Cheney opened the programming by outlining ASP’s extensive work on the threat of climate change to U.S. and global security. He then covered the clear impact of climate change on our military bases and stations, citing Norfolk Naval Station and Camp Lejeune as two poignant examples. ASP was recently in Camp Lejeune and witnessed the impact of Hurricane Florence first hand.

ASP Board Member Admiral Fallon followed by highlighting the three key changes of climate change, change in carbon dioxide, change in temperature, and change in ice. He explained that each of these changes are having a profound impact on our military and their missions around the world. The good news is that there are solutions to the problem, switching to clean energy being just one option.

Finally, Governor Inslee closed the remarks by providing examples of the clear threat of climate change to Washington State and the entire United States. The Governor cited his recent trip to Paradise, California where wildfires exacerbated by climate change decimated the town, killing over 80 people. He argued that the U.S. should respond to climate change with the same vigor it would for a terrorist threat due to the immediate and widespread destruction climate change has already caused.

The end of the discussion featured moderated Q&A with many University of Washington students asking questions. Following the event there was media availability during which the speakers were able to provide further details on how climate change impacts our nation and the progress we have seen thus far on addressing it.


Full media coverage is below:

Gutman, David. “Inslee calls climate change ‘clear and present danger’, likening the effects to a terrorist threat.” Seattle Times. March 6, 2019.

Newman, Thomas. “Gov. Jay Inslee headlines panel on climate change and national security.” The Daily of the University of Washington. March 7, 2019.