Climate change and a deteriorating environment are likely to fuel social disorder and could threaten some U.S. military bases, Admiral Philip Davidson, who heads the U.S. military’s vast Indo-Pacific Command, confirmed during a hearing on Tuesday, February 12.
Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he concurred with a recent assessment from the U.S. intelligence community that listed climate change as a global threat.
— U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (@INDOPACOM) February 12, 2019
“Damage to communication, energy, and transportation infrastructure could affect low-lying military bases, inflict economic costs, and cause human displacement and loss of life,” the Worldwide Threat Assessment intelligence report, released in January, said.
When Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Davidson if he agreed with the assessment, he said “yes ma’am,” and went on to describe a recent mission in Tinian and Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, where U.S. troops helped clear up after Super Typhoon Yutu.
“The immediate manifestation [of climate change threat] is the number of ecological disaster events that are happening,” Davidson told lawmakers.
Service members from @JRMGuam and INDOPACOM are providing @DeptOfDefense support to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands' civil and local officials as part of @FEMA’s Super Typhoon Yutu recovery efforts. pic.twitter.com/aOOhBpvGc2
— U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (@INDOPACOM) January 18, 2019
The Pentagon recently put out its own climate change report, which critics slammed as understating the scope of the problem.
That report looked at 79 “priority” facilities around the U.S. and found that about two-thirds of them are vulnerable to flooding and wildfires, as well as the impacts of desertification, drought, and melting permafrost.
“The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations,” the report said.
Last year, Hurricane Michael wrecked Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. It will cost more than $5 billion to rebuild.
Notable differences between Americans and Canadians in views of top threats: Americans are more concerned with cyberattacks while Canadians point to global climate change https://t.co/gb4RQFEMev pic.twitter.com/huTZvyjaQt
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) February 11, 2019
With reporting from AFP