Stepping up our nation’s climate change response

From the rural communities of New Jersey all the way to the Pentagon, we are beginning to act responsibly toward developent of a climate change response policy

President Obama is reported to have said at least 22 times that he considers climate change to be the greatest risk to our national security. The US Department of Defense echos those concerns. Virtually every in-depth analysis of every current world crisis – ranging from the rise of ISIS to the Zika virus – can be traced to climate change as a primary or contributing cause.

Even my home state of New Jersey, although late arriving at the party, is making progress on it climate change response plan. When I saw my neighbors houses washed away in the 1990s I became interested in the topic of climate change response as a social policy. I eventually became active in climate change response plans for Delaware communities over the past decade. Now finally  our small community of Downe Township New Jersey is hosting its first ever Rising Tides Forum this week. Certainly better late than never. Some New Jersey communities on the ocean side haven’t even gotten this far yet.

Perhaps the most visible response is that of out nation’s Department of Defense (DoD). In 2015 the DoD stated to Congress: DoD recognizes the reality of climate change and the significant risk it poses to U.S. interests globally. The National Security Strategy, issued in February 2015, is clear that climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water. These impacts are already occurring, and the scope, scale, and intensity of these impacts are projected to increase over time.

Last month (January 16, 2016) the DoD issued a new report titled “CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND RESILIENCE” that lays out the overall framework of how it intends to address our nation’s largest military threat.

I’m beginning to think that soon even wealthy climate change denier funding sources like Koch Industries will have a difficult time selling their propaganda.


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