Rep. Slotkin Stresses Climate Change’s Impact on Military Readiness, National Security in House Hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), a former senior Pentagon official, questioned witnesses today during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the effects of climate change on military readiness, noting the Trump Administration’s plans to assemble a panel to deny government findings that climate change is a threat to national security.
Slotkin’s team at the Pentagon helped lead the first-ever study at the U.S. Department of Defense on how climate change will affect the U.S. military. Last week, 58 national security officials, including former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, signed a letter opposing the Trump Administration’s plans to assemble a panel within the White House National Security Council to refute previous findings that climate change is a national security threat multiplier.
“I’m concerned the Administration is not taking [this issue] as seriously as we’d like,” Slotkin said. “When I was Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, we published the Climate Change Roadmap -- and it was clear back in 2014, just as it is now, that climate change is a national security issue and it has implications for our military, for our installations, for our ranges and overall the safety and security of the country.
“Even at that time, we saw some of our bases were dealing with flooding, some of our ranges were unable to be used because it was getting too hot, and our soldiers were having to conduct exercises differently because of the changing climate,” she added. “In the January 2019 DOD report, the department reported that 53 installations are vulnerable to recurrent flooding, 42 installations are vulnerable to drought, 36 installations are vulnerable to wildfire.”
“And we all know the changing landscape in the Arctic and what it is allowing the Russians and the Chinese to do up there -- we should all have a blinking light in terms of what that’s going to do for our future threat perspective.”