Climate change risks US bases, fuels social disorder: top admiral
Washington, Feb 12, 2019 (AFP) - Climate change and a deteriorating
environment are likely to fuel social disorder and could threaten some US
military bases, a top admiral said Tuesday.
Admiral Philip Davidson, who heads the US military's vast Indo-Pacific
Command, told lawmakers he concurred with a recent assessment from the US
intelligence community that listed climate change as a global threat.
"The immediate manifestation is the number of ecological disaster events
that are happening," Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The intelligence report states: "Damage to communication, energy, and
transportation infrastructure could affect low-lying military bases, inflict
economic costs, and cause human displacement and loss of life."
When Senator Elizabeth Warren, a top Democrat who is running for president
in 2020, asked if he agreed, Davidson said "yes ma'am," and went on to
describe a recent mission in Tinian and Saipan in the Northern Mariana
Islands, where US troops helped clear up after Super Typhoon Yutu.
The United States is one of a dwindling number of nations where climate
change and its impacts are politicized, and the Republican Party is loath to
take action to reduce carbon emissions.
President Donald Trump, who has previously called climate change a Chinese
hoax, has delighted in dismissing the phenomenon. During a record cold spell
last month he joked on Twitter that the world needed more global warming.
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 US and found many
vulnerable to flooding and wildfires, as well as the impacts of
desertification, drought and melting permafrost.
Hurricane Michael last year wrecked Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. It
will cost more than $5 billion to rebuild.