The Terra News

Why US military officials are worried about climate change

Retired US military and intelligence officials are raising alarms again about the threats posed by climate change – this time, to military installations along the coast.

By David Iaconangelo, Staff SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 Save for later


  1. Max Becherer/AP/File
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A group of former top officials from US military and national-security agencies have endorsed three documents warning of climate change's "strategically-significant risk to US national security" and calling on the next president to create a cabinet position dedicated to managing the problem.

One of the documents, published on Wednesday by the Washington-based Center for Climate and Security and signed by a panel of retired military officials, pointed in particular to the risk posed to coastal military installations by increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

"The complex relationship between sea level rise, storm surge and global readiness and responsiveness must be explored down to the operational level, across the Services and Joint forces, and up to a strategic level as well," it said, according to Reuters.

A growing number of military and intelligence officials have come out in support of enhanced measures to prepare for risks posed by climate change. The officials hail from a traditionally conservative sector of government, though one typically averse to public stances on partisan issues, creating a notable counterpoint as the Republican Party swings further to the right on climate change. In its 2016 platform, the GOP called the framing of climate change as an important national-security issue "the triumph of extremism over common sense."