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By Paul Homewood

The US Department of Defence obviously has nothing better to do than worry about climate change!

dod-climate-risk-analysis-final4846

Most of the document is gobbledygook management speak, but the Foreword sums the whole nonsense up nicely.

For a start, the basis of the report, the so-called unprecedented scale of these disasters, has no basis in fact.

But more to the point, they utterly confuse “climate” with “weather”. Whether, for instance, typhoons are becoming slightly more common is immaterial. The Navy should be prepared for all weather eventualities, no matter how unlikely. Indeed it should always build in substantial margins for the most extreme weather events.

They offer a few examples:

There is no evidence at all that extreme weather events have increased in the US, and it is not clear exactly how such events would impact the Armed Forces anyway, other than when they are directly affected, such as when Hurricane Michael hit the Tyndall Airforce Base three years ago.

Hurricanes hit the US every year, and they are not becoming either more frequent or severe. Clearly any base in the path of hurricanes needs to be constructed to be hurricane proof as far as possible.

Equally all bases in the US should be able to withstand extreme weather.

The suggestion that training capability could be undermined is absurd. Service staff have always needed to be trained for all climates, hot, cold, wet or dry, jungle, desert, mountain or ice. The idea that they will be inconvenienced by a spot of bad weather is ridiculous.

It may be that competition in the Arctic steps up as it becomes more accessible, but these sort of geostrategic changes are happening all the time, and constantly need reassessing. A couple of decades ago, I doubt whether the Department of Defence guessed how big a threat China has now become to global security.

As for sea level rise, it is so small that it can be safely ignored over the time frames being considered here, essentially the next decade or two.

At Guam, for instance, sea level rise is tracking at the bottom of the projections. In  ten years time, on current trends, it will only be about an inch higher.

Moreover the relevant statistic is not average sea level rise, but extreme water levels, and these show no increase at all in recent years.

https://beta.tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/est/est_station.shtml?stnid=1630000#:~:text=Extreme%20Water%20Levels%201630000%20Apra%20Harbor%2C%20Guam%2C%20The,a%20change%20of%202.77%20feet%20in%20100%20years.

And typhoons? According to Wikipedia, the worst to hit Guam were in 1900, 1962, 1976, 1997 and 2002. Hardly evidence that they are getting worse.

Guam lies in the path of typhoons[31] and it is common for the island to be threatened by tropical storms and possible typhoons during the wet season. The highest risk of typhoons is from August through November, where typhoons and tropical storms are most probable in the western Pacific. They can, however, occur year-round. Typhoons that have caused major damage on Guam in the American period include the Typhoon of 1900Karen (1962), Pamela (1976), Paka (1997), and Pongsona (2002).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guam

This whole report smacks of political correctness, produced to satisfy political masters rather than to be of any use to the defence of the country. Indeed the Executive Summary confirms this:

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Ordinarily we might just laugh it off as the work of a few cranks with nothing better to do. But the report recommends that:

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Climate Change will be keyed into every decision in future. Not only is this a grave distraction from the real job in hand, but it could well lead to wrong decisions being made and misallocation of resources.

In a dangerous world, this is the last thing the US needs.

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November 10, 2021