Chief of US Pacific forces: Climate Change Top Threat

March 10, 2013

Climate deniers are heavily weighted on the side of the aisle that does a lot of chest pounding about patriotism, they love our servicemen, defend Freedom, constitution, yada yada.  Therein lies a conflict for them.  Military commanders around the world are raising some of the most urgent warnings about climate change.

They hated every time former US Navy Chief Oceanographer David Titley affirmed the science, and I’m sure were glad when Titley retired not long ago. But the reality remains. Military people know that when things go seriously wrong, they are the ones left to clean up messes, or sort out chaos.

The Chief of US Pacific Forces is the latest high profile, active military commander to speak up about climate change.

Boston Globe:

CAMBRIDGE — 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.”

“The ice is melting and sea is getting higher,” Locklear said, noting that 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 200 miles of the coast. “I’m into the consequence management side of it. I’m not a scientist, but the island of Tarawa in Kiribati, they’re contemplating moving their entire population to another country because [it] is not going to exist anymore.”

The US military, he said, is beginning to reach out to other armed forces in the region about the issue.

“We have interjected into our multilateral dialogue – even with China and India – the imperative to kind of get military capabilities aligned [for] when the effects of climate change start to impact these massive populations,” he said. “If it goes bad, you could have hundreds of thousands or millions of people displaced and then security will start to crumble pretty quickly.’’

11 Responses to “Chief of US Pacific forces: Climate Change Top Threat”

  1. Fascinating! It would be a very brave person who tried to spell out where humanity is going over the next decade!

    Indeed, my own petty muse is that by the end of this year, 2013, the vast majority will look back on the year and ‘get it!’

    • astrostevo Says:

      Sure hope you are right Paul.

      Hopefully before September 14th for us Aussies when our pro-climate action PM Julia Gillard faces an election against Climate Change denier Tony Abbott.

      • astrostevo Says:

        Present polls are sadly, looking really bad in that regard with Abboott likely to win in a landslide if the election was right now. Maybe, climate reality sinking in can help change that?

        With, I gather right wing, anti-Climate action PM Harper in Canada already if we added “climate change is crap” & “CO2 is harmless, odourless and *weightless* gas”+ Abbott to the list of world leaders it doesn’t seem a good sign for international action.

        + Perhaps paraphrasing but Abbott has famously said something very close to those statements in the past as well as run a massive scare-mongering campaign against the “carbon tax /price which has actually had pretty minimal impact on most Aussies lives.

        Both major Aussie political parties have also now attacked and demonised the Australian Greens party which was for a year or two allied to Gillards ALP. Not a good sign for the future that either. 😦

  2. […] Climate deniers are heavily weighted on the side of the aisle that does a lot of chest pounding about patriotism, they love our servicemen, defend Freedom, constitution, yada yada. Therein lies a …  […]

  3. pjssjr Says:

    Yall know how underneath all that blue the US Navy is really a cradle of communists trying to spread poverty with their green warmista propaganda.

    Right? You it’s true, because it’s the only reasonable explanation for US Navy Admiral to embrace AGW like that.

  4. […] Chief of US Pacific forces: Climate Change Top Threat ( […]

  5. joffan7 Says:

    This is a great acknowledgement of the reality of climate change to throw at the right-wing deniers. If the Navy gets it (and who better to talk about sea level changes), why don’t they?

    • greenman3610 Says:

      the key phrase here is “acknowledgement of the reality”.
      that’s a stumbling block for deniers. That’s why we call them deniers.

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