One of the Pentagon’s top strategists said climate change is fundamentally altering how the Defense Department (DOD) evaluates future conflict areas. Daniel Chiu, the deputy assistant secretary of DOD strategy, said climate change has the Pentagon thinking about impacts on global food and water scarcity, mass migration and the potential for those issues to ignite clashes around the world.
Posts tagged military.
Emergency responders applied field tourniquets to many of those injured by the explosions at Monday’s Boston Marathon.
The device, often improvised, had fallen out of favor with many in the medical establishment, but the American military experience in Iraq and Afghanistan changed that. http://ow.ly/kagSK
First responders are key to emergency events. Really good video on how field tourniquets are used in the military and public emergency situations.Also, you just gotta follow PRI The World.
The FLoating Instrument Platform (FLIP) is a naval research station designed in 1962. It is towed horizontally to open water then flips vertically to provide a stable platform mostly immune to wave action.
The tilting is actioned by directing water into ballast tanks. The position is reversed by sending compressed air in the tanks. Because the bulkhead becomes the deck, FLIP has rooms with doors mounted on the floor, portholes in the ceiling, and sinks and toilets mounted for both configurations.
Developed during the cold war, it continues to provide a uniquely stable platform for research missions that include ocean acoustics, marine mammal studies, geophysics, meteorology, physical oceanography, and laser propagation experiments.
The US military - not politicians - is leading the federal government on climate change action.
America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.
Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’
“People are surprised sometimes,” he added, describing the reaction to his assessment. “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”
Via Boston Globe
Listen to MoJo reporter Julia Whitty discuss her cover story how the US Navy is leading the charge on clean energy.
Last week, Sascha Peterson, President of Adaptation International, and I had a short discussion about the possible future and direction the federal government will take with respect to climate adaptation.
From my experience working with the Agencies, it’s not Obama, the EPA, nor the DOI that will lead on climate change, but the Department of Defense. Sounds strange, but the DoD will lead the push to mitigate and adapt to climate change. As it stands, the agencies have cobbled together various ways to internalize and manage response to climate change. But the military - namely the Navy - has taken the lead in adaptation at the federal level. As Whitty shows, it is indeed the military that will lead the other agencies, rather than the other way around.
Happy sequester day!
An odd headline, but true. Hotter, more humid summers reduces work productivity by 10% researchers find. This effects military personnel and industrial production around the Earth’s warmer regions. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Smithsonian sums up the research:
If you feel sluggish and have difficulty getting physical work done on very hot, humid days, it’s not your imagination. Our bodies are equipped with an adaptation to handle high temperatures—perspiration—but sweating becomes ineffective at cooling us down when the air around us is extremely humid.
Add in the fact that climate change is projected to increase the average humidity of Earth as well as its temperature, and you could have a recipe for a rather unexpected consequence of greenhouse gas emissions: a reduced overall ability to get work done.
According to a study published yesterday in Nature Climate Change, increased heat and humidity has already reduced our species’ work capacity by 10% in the warmest months, and that figure could rise to 20% by 2050 and 60% by the year 2200, given current projections.
The Princeton research team behind the study, led by John Dunne, came to the finding by combining the latest data on global temperature and humidity over the past few decades with American military and industrial guidelines for how much work a person can safely do under environmental heat stress. For their projections, they used two sets of climate regimes: a pessimistic scenario, in which greenhouse gas emissions rise unchecked through 2200, and an optimistic one, in which they begin to stabilize after 2060.
Via Defense News
Heritage mainly - and very successfully - lobbies politicians to cut taxes, incentivize private markets to replace nearly all areas of government, and to direct tax-payer money more towards national defense.
This is the formula, they argue, that will create more freedom for Americans.
They’re also very, very effective at criticizing environmental policy and the American education system, which, if we’re honest with ourselves, needs a bit of housecleaning.
Take their argument against providing relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. They’re arguing that Obama’s emergency relief for Hurricane Sandy victims is far too expensive. The main argument is that private and local institutions and non-profits should step-up and help more than the Federal Government. And that the Obama administration should encourage local communities to deal with their own hazards. This as opposed to the government incentivizing rebuilding in dangerous areas in perpetuity.
Heritage might be right about this. As a thought experiment, suppose I choose to live on an earthquake fault. I’m aware of the fault. I’m also aware that the you, the taxpayer, will rebuild my home when there is a disaster. You, the taxpayer, also give me special discounts on home insurance, discounts that are not available to everyone else. When an earthquake destroys my home, who should rebuild it? Now apply this thought experiment to a city. The city knows it’s in a danger zone. The politicians, businesses, and residents all know that Americans will pay to rebuild the city, no matter what. Heritage argues that this system is biased, immoral, and plainly unfair.
You may disagree, but that thought experiment is a real issue that should be discussed.
Still, Heritage is the anathema of the progressive left, which believes a strong state equates to a stronger populace (e.g., stronger social systems). You can find endless arguments for-and-against the Heritage Foundation all over the web.
The above screenshot shows back-to-back blog posts, which I argue below, demonstrate the immoral, and therefore incongruous behavior by Heritage and many old-school conservatives. No-doubt, you will come across some form of this cognitive dissonance one day, if you haven’t already.
The top post is against clean energy investments paid for by you, the taxpayer (go here to explore why this is a climate change issue. Don’t forget to come back!:)). The bottom post argues that you, the taxpayer, should pay for the security of a rather rich, foreign government. One post is against taxpayer spending, the other is for more taxpayer spending.
My point in posting this screenshot is to call-out the immoral behavior of the Heritage Foundation. To my mind, these two posts demonstrate both the cognitive dissonance and the blatant ignorance of Heritage’s positions. Sorry to belabor the point, but just bear with me.
On the one hand, they argue, government should not invest in clean energy - it’s a waste of tax payer money and should be left to the markets. Yet on the other, in the very next post, they argue that tax payers should pay for the security state of a foreign nation, namely the very rich, military heavy UK government. Thus, cut tax spending in America, increase tax spending on the UK.
Heritage cannot have it both ways in this instance. It cannot be both for and against national security. Our military has argued for decades that America must ween off of oil from the Middle East (and foreign oil generally). A position supported by Heritage. Their argument, in short, is that “energy independence” would increase freedom and protection for Americans - exactly the mission of Heritage.
In fact, the Department of Defense has shown that American’s fuel-oil infrastructure both on the ground and around the world is not only dangerous and expensive, it regularly kills Americans. And the DOD argues that alternative energy is necessary to protect the United States.
Everyone knows that this argument is not new. Even Fox News kicks around energy independence and freedom. America needs to be energy independent and it will result in a safer, more prosperous America.
Heritage is lying - flat out lying - when it argues against investing in alternative energy. It cannot have it both ways.
I’m all for criticism. It makes for stronger, more accessible public policy. But, when the message is delivered by people that genuinely and regularly deceive the public, more harm is done than good. This behavior also prevents good and smart people from playing in their sandbox.
Heritage has to face the facts: The United States is not going to move backwards, to the 1950s. Ever. Americans are not going to embrace the new Tea Party. Nor libertarianism. Nor any other patriarchally formulated “ism.”
It’s time the Heritage Foundation shed its tired, old-dog ways and get with the program. To focus on modern-day conservatism. To enrich Americans, not divide them. Not to force Americans against each other, but to incentivize us to work together - after all, working together is our American “heritage.”
The Heritage Foundation should exist. They can do good for America. But they need to bullet-proof their positions by recognizing that this, this screen-shot above, is morally abhorrent behavior. To succeed and reach a wider audience (rather than the dying white-male demographic), they’ll need to invest in arguments supported by diverse research teams, rather than uni-polar, specialized, and biased studies and reports.
It is the moral thing to do.
The EPA produced an interesting PR series profiling employees who also served in the military. Here is Jim Hanley, a Navy and Iraqi War veteran, and now an engineer for the EPA. He currently works on environmental impact statements (EIS).
Kisha Dilts is my favorite.
Something is not right about this story. The CIA originally stated the Climate Center would focus on global threats. They would use climate science to help predict where future conflicts would erupt, usually over scarce natural resources such as food and water supply. They already monitor trends and population behaviors, and the center added environmental issues to their list of threats.
The center was designed as a small unit of senior specialists focused on the impact that environmental changes could have on political, economic and social factors in countries of concern to the United States. The analysts probed questions such as, under what scenarios might a massive drought cause large-scale migration, and when might a government’s failure to respond to a devastating flood open the door for terrorist groups to win over the local populace?
But, it seems sustained, Republican political pressure won the day.
Congressional Republicans skeptical of the science behind climate change sought to block the center’s funding shortly after it was launched. Those efforts failed, but sources say the center received little internal support after Panetta left the CIA in 2011 to take the top job at the Defense Department. Under his successor, David Petraeus, the agency was highly focused on terrorism, specifically targeted killings using armed drones.
I presume the CIA is still monitoring climate and disaster issues. But, they’re probably not doing it in one group. It’s more likely that they’ve dispersed the monitoring across various parts of the organization.
More of my military/climate posts
U.S. military might not be as prepared as you think.
The Defense Department has already taken major steps to plan for and adapt to climate change and has spent billions of dollars to make ships, aircraft and vehicles more fuel-efficient. Nonetheless, the 206-page study warns in sometimes bureaucratic language, the United States is ill prepared to assess and prepare for the catastrophes that a heated planet will produce.
“It is prudent to expect that over the course of a decade some climate events — including single events, conjunctions of events occurring simultaneously or in sequence in particular locations, and events affecting globally integrated systems that provide for human well-being — will produce consequences that exceed the capacity of the affected societies or global system to manage and that have global security implications serious enough to compel international response,” the report states.
In other words, states will fail, large populations subjected to famine, flood or disease will migrate across international borders, and national and international agencies will not have the resources to cope.
Good read via NYT
The head of the CIA has resigned because penis. Here’s a bit about the CIA’s very secretive climate change program.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the CIA has been very close-mouthed—even for, you know, the CIA—about its work on climate change. Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming tried to kill funding for the center earlier this year, and conservatives—who increasingly discount the reality of global warming—have expressed skepticism about the CIA’s climate work. It’s a rule every spy should know—when the heat is coming, keep your head down and stay out of sight.
The problem is that such the CIA’s environmental intelligence gathering has little value if it’s not being shared—not a single document has been issued, and the agency insists on classifying much of its material classified. And that secrecy means the agency itself, by virtue of its isolation, is missing out on the latest science.
Read more: TIME
Former(!) CIA director General David Petraeus questioned about climate change and energy use in the military by former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2010. Specifically, Giffords was concerned about the U.S. Air Force, which is the largest consumer of oil in the world.
The military has paid $188 million in late fees since THIS SUMMER for not returning shipping containers ›
Just want to bring your attention to one of THE BEST tumblrs in existence: govtoversight. Huge fan of these folks. Their reporting and procurement is top notch. We need more hard-information and less soft-opinion making from our news. This story is out-f#cking-rageous. Nearly a billion in late fees for shipping containers? And the GOP wants to cut Big Bird. What is Obama doing??? This story is infuriating.
Why so much this year? Because they just found six years of old invoices. That brings the total the military has paid in late fees since 2001 to $720 million.
This is an unacceptable failure of financial management. If the Pentagon’s late fees are so bad it couldn’t get a library card, how can we trust them with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars? Read more at ArmyTimes.com.