The Pentagon Now Acknowledges Climate Change Is an Actual Threat (Hooray!)

Everyone! Have you heard? The U.S. Defense Secretary just released a report this Monday describing “how global warming will bring new demands on the military!” This is an official acknowledgement. By an important man in politics. That global warming is real and a problem.

Featured image from http://www.mindd.eu/minddinspiration/politicians-discussing-global-warming/ “Politicians discussing global warming” – sculpture by Issac Cordal in Berlin, Germany. Brilliant.

Now, I’ll admit, I normally adopt a blissfully ignorant attitude when it comes to politics, but this one really caught my attention. Politicians have earned themselves a name of being notoriously ignorant when it comes to climate change (among other things), finding a way to stubbornly deny its existence despite the abundance of irrefutable scientific data on it, so imagine my surprise when I saw the headlines.

The Pentagon has created a twenty page “2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap” which details their plans to respond to telltale signs of global warming such as flooding, natural disasters, and drought with things like more “humanitarian assistance missions” and extreme weather-resistant equipment. According to the report, global warming will also likely lead to “food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe,” which is obviously a problem.

Why does the military actually care though? Because, the above symptoms of global warming listed above are also anticipated to “intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict,” all of which are vulnerabilities that terror groups thrive on. And now that the weather is expected to affect military operations more severely, the U.S. Department of Defense has deemed climate change an “immediate risk to U.S. national security.”

But as always, implementing a new governmental plan requires money, so this discussion will probably soon be moved to Capital Hill… which is worrisome since 163 of our 535 Congressmen (that’s 30%) do not believe in climate change. Don’t read that article filled with alarming statistics about our policymakers and the environment if you don’t want to hurt yourself while violently facepalming.

It looks like this is a work-in-progress that may take a while to actually be implemented, but I’m super pumped that climate change is actually getting some large-scale, political recognition!!

Sources

For anyone still reading, TheSkimm is a really awesome news source that basically condenses the day’s breaking news into an easy, 5 minute read sent to your email every morning so you can (at least pretend to) be caught up on all of the world’s daily happenings!

http://theskimm.com/2014/10/14/skimm-for-october-14th-2

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/14/3579338/pentagon-global-warming-national-security/

http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-hagel-climate-change-20141013-story.html

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