Jon White – From the President’s Office: 02-25-2019

2019-02-28T14:56:50+00:00 February 25, 2019|

Climate Change and National Security – Not a Matter for the X-Files

During my final three years as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy (2012 – 2015), I was also in charge of the Navy’s Task Force Climate Change. This role gave me the chance to engage with people in DOD at every level; I was (and still am) consistently impressed by the widely held understanding that climate change is happening and poses a serious threat to national and global security. For years, DOD has been supporting and embracing climate-related scientific research because of its clear implications for our national defense and military readiness. The military must consider melting sea ice opening the Arctic, sea level rise threatening military infrastructure, catastrophic weather events with increasing frequency damaging military installations and escalating humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HADR) missions around the globe, and the role climate change is playing and will continue to play in destabilizing nations as a “conflict catalyst.” Like all recognized national security threats, we must continue efforts to enhance readiness in response to climate change, which includes continued research in all related Earth sciences (especially ocean science) to better understand its impacts and take appropriate measures to reduce risk.

Therefore, I’m very disappointed to hear reports that the White House is planning to establish a panel to examine whether climate change affects national security and call into question over a decade of planning and implementation efforts by DOD. With VERY few exceptions, national security experts and Earth scientists know that climate change is real, and it is a real threat to national security – now and in the future. This is well-documented and well-publicized. There is probably more disagreement in the Pentagon about the existence of UFOs than there is about this.

Senator Marco Rubio Visits Mote To Discuss Urgent Threats In Florida’s Oceans
On February 21, 2019, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium hosted Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) at its City Island campus to discuss urgent threats facing Florida’s oceans, including harmful algae blooms affecting our coastlines and the significant decline of coral reefs. Mote President & CEO, Dr. Michael P. Crosby, and science staff from a diverse range of Mote research programs shared the latest in research and technology, while explaining the urgent need for support to continue and expand their efforts.

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