Letter: Response to ‘Traditions’

Published: 12-17-2023 7:00 AM

In his Dec. 9 My Turn, State Rep. Mike Moffett wrote: “Now the Biden administration wants to use the military to fight ‘climate change.’” Rep. Moffett attended the November 13 webinar, “Military Forward Planning for Climate Risks,” and criticized the military for focusing on climate rather than national security. The veteran officers explained, “We’re looking at climate change as important in our ability to win a war.” For example, “receding polar ice caps will give our adversaries new waterways, freedom of navigation, and access to resources underneath.”

In 2015, aware that rising seas threatened coastal installations, Congress directed the Department of Defense to conduct a full-scale assessment of climate-related threats to U.S. military bases. In 2017 the Pentagon shifted to 60% renewable energy sources on land and 40% at sea, for considerable economic savings. In 2018 General Joseph Dunford Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned “Shortages of water and those kinds of things…are all sources of conflict. So, it is very much something that we take into account in our planning as we anticipate when, where and how we may be engaged in the future and what capabilities we should have.” Please note, President Biden hasn’t shifted the mission of the military to fit any ideology. We are fortunate to be served by a military watchful of potential threats, now and in the future. (Resources: Michael Klare, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, 2019; webinar recording at newhampshirenetwork.org/events.)

Susan Richman

Durham

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