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article imageTrump signs defense bill that warns of dangers of climate change

By Karen Graham     Dec 14, 2017 in Politics
Washington - On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed the $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act, setting policy for the US military for the coming fiscal year. The bill also states that climate change is a major threat to U.S. national security.
In signing the bill, President Trump said, "This legislation represents a momentous step toward rebuilding our military and securing the future for our children. I applaud the work of the members of both parties who came together to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support— something that sounds very nice to my ears."
Besides the millions of dollars that would increase the size of the armed forces and the salary of existing members, the funding would also be used to make improvements in missile defense capabilities and upgrades to combat vehicles among other military initiatives reported CBS News.
What Trump may have overlooked, either on purpose or simply because he didn't know the bill acknowledged it, was the considerable amount of discussion included in the bill about climate change being a major threat to U.S. national security and our armed forces.
US President Donald Trump says that he is "reading documents a lot" and does not watch bet...
US President Donald Trump says that he is "reading documents a lot" and does not watch between four and eight hours of TV news a day
By signing the National Defense Authorization Act, Trump confirmed what climate scientists and military officials have been saying for years - Climate change is a threat to our national security, here and overseas.
Also, in signing the bill, Trump, whether he knew it or not, ordered a report on “vulnerabilities to military installations” that climate change could cause in the next 20 years.
But as EcoWatch points out, climate change couldn't care less about political party affiliation, and thankfully, members on both sides of the aisle fought to have the climate change provisions retained in the final bill.
The following language was included in the act:
"Climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and is impacting stability in areas of the world both where the United States Armed Forces are operating today, and where strategic implications for future conflict exist."
"As global temperatures rise, droughts and famines can lead to more failed states, which are breeding grounds of extremist and terrorist organizations,” the bill reads. “In the Marshall Islands, an Air Force radar installation built in 2015 on Kwajalein Island at a cost of $1.0 billion is projected to be underwater within two decades.”
This Aug. 8  2015 photo supplied by U.S. Army show an aerial view of Kwajalein Atoll  where a Space ...
This Aug. 8, 2015 photo supplied by U.S. Army show an aerial view of Kwajalein Atoll, where a Space Fence complex is being built in the Marshall Islands. The US military ignored warnings about rising seas to build a space radar costing nearly a billion dollars on a tiny atoll in the Marshall Islands.
U.S. Army
The bill also reads, "A three-foot rise in sea levels will threaten the operations of more than 128 United States military sites, and it is possible that many of these at-risk bases could be submerged in the coming years."
The Union of Concerned Scientists published a report in 2016 highlighting the vulnerability of coastal military bases in the U.S. to sea level rise and storm surge.
The report listed 18 key military bases, from Maine to Florida, including Norfolk, Virginia's Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval station on the globe, that are under immediate threat from flooding and loss of land from rising seas.
USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) approaches the pier at Naval Station Norfolk  Va.
Photo taken: Aug. 15 ...
USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) approaches the pier at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Photo taken: Aug. 15, 2002.
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Martin Maddock.
Required action by the military
The bill reads: "Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report on vulnerabilities to military installations and combatant commander requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years."
The bill also asks for an overview of mitigations that may be necessary to ensure mission resiliency and the cost of such mitigations. It is good that a bipartisan group of lawmakers agreed to include the impacts of climate change into such an important piece of legislation. And even better than that - The legislation was signed, sealed and delivered.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R.2810 - 115th Congress: 2017-2018), Became Public Law No: 115-91 on December 12, 2018. Section 335 deals directly with the report on the effects of climate change on the Department of Defense.
More about Trump, National Defense Authorization Act, Climate change, rxtremism, National security
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