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Happy Earth Day from the American Security Project

Happy Earth Day from the American Security Project

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49 years ago, on April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was held as a “teach in” to educate and mobilize people around the country about the environment and the need to protect it. In many respects, this effort has been largely successful. There are virtually no Americans who haven’t heard about the threats of water pollution, air pollution, and climate change. And much has been done since 1970 to clean the air, water, and land. Then, it was about cleaning up the environment to do away with things that can harm people, animals, plants, or the ecosystem. Since then,  Since 1970, a combination of technology change, public policy change, and behavior change have come together to reduce traditional models of pollution – like sulfur in the air, chemicals in the water, or trash on the ground – in the United States.

 

Unfortunately, the nearly five decades since 1970 have seen the rise of a more difficult problem: climate change. Caused by carbon pollutants as a byproduct of fossil fuel emissions, climate change is more difficult and threatening than the 1970 Earth Day’s generation of pollution. It is both long lived and invisible. It is global in nature. In how it changes the weather, it acts as an invisible multiplier effect on every aspect of life on earth.

 

The American Security Project has been educating the public about the national security implications of climate change for over a decade, writing reports, publishing articles, and speaking. For five years, ASP’s affiliated national security leaders from the Consensus for American Security have been traveling around the country educating the public about these impacts. You can see where ASP has been, along with details of each even, on our page, “National Climate Security Tour.”

 

In the spirit of Earth Day’s mission to teach about the environment, below are links to some of the most important things for people to know about how climate change will interact with human society and national security.

1. Climate Science is Clear: the Earth is Warming 

Scientists agree that humans are causing climate change. And no security professional would wait until they had 100% certainty before acting to mitigate a threat

IPCC Observed Changes

 

2. Climate Change Threatens Global Security

Around the world, climate change acts as an “Accelerant of Instability” or a “Threat Multiplier” that makes already existing problems worse

3. Climate Change Threatens U.S. Homeland Security

America’s infrastructure, food production, transportation network, and American lives are at risk

4. The Military is Preparing for Climate Change

The U.S. military is working with allies, studying potential threats, ensuring resilience to extreme weather, and preparing to deploy when needed

5. Climate Change Will Threaten Military Bases Around the World

Rising seas and increased extreme weather will harm readiness and increase costs

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