Mar 22, 2019

Floods suggest national security threat from climate change

Offutt AFB, NE
USA
by
Margery Beck, Ellen Knickmeyer, and Robert Burns
,
AP News
This March 17, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Air Force shows an aerial view of areas surrounding Offutt Air Force Base affect by flood waters in Nebraska. Photo: Tech Sgt Rachelle Blake, the U.S. Air Force via AP
This March 17, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Air Force shows an aerial view of areas surrounding Offutt Air Force Base affect by flood waters in Nebraska. Photo: Tech Sgt Rachelle Blake, the U.S. Air Force via AP

Though the headquarters of Strategic Command, which plays a central role in detecting and striking at global threats, wasn’t damaged, the flooding provided a dramatic example of how climate change poses a national security threat, even as the Trump administration plays down the issue.

It is also a reminder that the kind of weather extremes escalating with climate change aren’t limited to the coasts, said retired Rear Adm. David W. Titley, founder of both the Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change and the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University.

“We probably do need some walls — but they’re probably levees,” Titley said, in a reference to President Donald Trump’s proposal to take money from the military construction budget to fund a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. “I would say those are the kinds of walls we need.”