Thanks to WTBQ and Prof. Douglass Lovelace of the Strategic Studies Institute for the informative, in-depth program on security threats to the U.S. Prof. Lovelace’s detailed description of the goals of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and terrorists, particularly the differences between ISIS and Al Qaeda, was very informative.
However, in answer to my call-in question about the security threats posed by climate change, Prof. Lovelace stated that though the climate is warming, “many people” believe this is not principally caused by humans. Since he did not elaborate on how many people, or who those people are, he made it sound as if this is a tenable position. This is not true.
There is consensus among the scientific community that humans cause most climate change through the use of fossil fuels and deforestation. Nearly 200 world scientific organizations support this position, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Meteorological Society, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Geological Society of America, American Statistical Association, American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, American Association of State Climatologists, and American Institute of Biological Sciences.
A recent government study by the United States Global Research Program, a joint scientific study by 13 federal agencies and the White House, stated not only that humans are driving climate change, but that now it is possible to calculate what events have been worsened by climate change. (This report was leaked because of fear it might be suppressed, as information from other federal agencies has been suppressed under the current administration.) The World Meteorological Organization last week linked the extent of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation to climate change.
Suppression of scientific information is unconscionable, but big money is at stake. For years a deliberate propaganda campaign has been waged to cast doubt on humans’ implication in climate change. Currently the NYS Attorney General is investigating Exxon Mobil for intentionally sowing misinformation about fossil fuels’ major contribution to climate change while their own scientists reached opposite conclusions and misleading its shareholders about how that might affect their investment.
It’s time to stop tolerating such deception because it poses perhaps an even greater threat to this nation, and the world, than military threats. Severe flooding, drought, extreme wildfires, and food shortages can also lead to unstable societies, political unrest, competition over resources, and climate refugees. The Defense Department itself has concluded that climate change poses large security risks that must be addressed.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma exhibit the increased intensity that climate change can cause. We will not be able to “adjust” to such catastrophes, which will only become worse and more frequent, illustrating not only the economic costs of failing to address climate change, but also the human costs.