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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

The Military & Climate Change

The Military & Climate Change

Rear Admiral David Titley USN retired (credit: (Wikipedia)

In the mid-1980's, I was a participant in meetings held by the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), a non-partisan, advisory, arm of the US Congress directed to investigate advances and threats in science and technology. The OTA advisory panels evaluated cutting edge advances in health, security, and computer science as well as in food, renewable resources, and the environment. While the topic of 'climate change' was little known to the general public then, it came up regularly on the panels where I was a member.

The OTA was a small agency, ~120 program managers and staff, but they allowed a few people to attend meetings as visitors to listen to our discussions. With regularly, two Army Majors sat in on our discussions. They took notes asked to receive copies of our reports when our work was completed and submitted to Congress. We spoke during coffee breaks and the officers asked intelligent questions on the environmental topics they knew nothing about. The Majors wanted to distribute copies of the OTA analysis to the superior officers who they reported to at the Defense Department. Now 35+ years later, it was those leaders who read the OTA reports at length. They understood a changing climate would be what they termed 'force stressors' on field commanders and infrastructure. The Department of Defense used the OTA findings to plan for mitigations to become more resilient to the emerging climate threats.

Military leaders understand preparing for challenges before they arise. Retired US Naval officer David Titley from the Center for Climate and Security at Penn State, reflects on climate impacts now occurring and how the military is dealing with them in a practical, nonpartisan, assessment on preparedness. As Titley says in a prescient TED presentation: "The ice doesn't care who's in the White House. It doesn't care which party controls the congress. It doesn't care which party controls your parliament, it just melts".  WHB

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