At the American Association for the Advancement of Science Conference on Thursday, an Obama adviser said that climate change could jeopardize America’s national security.
According to a report by CNS News, this top adviser believes the rising sea levels will affect “our military mission.”
Alice Hill is the senior advisor for Preparedness and Resilience to the assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Hill explained, “If our key military bases were severely damaged by extreme weather or if they’re just threatened by sea level rise so that we have to be thinking, ‘Where are we going to move them?”
Speculation rises about the legitimacy of this worry. Is this just another attempt by the Obama administration to redirect national security concerns?
Despite some well-established claims, not all experts have reached a consensus on global warming. Some experts say the sea levels have been consistently fluctuating alongside global temperatures. In an interview with Forbes, Dr. Fred Singer, who served as vice chair of the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere and as deputy assistant administrator for policy at the EPA, said the sea level rise has been consistently exaggerated.
“Let’s understand that the world’s mean temperatures have been rising at a pretty constant rate of about one degree Ferenheight [sic] (0.6oC) over the past 100 years, and is likely to continue, although with both warmer and cooler fluctuations, for many hundreds of years into the future. Over each of the past several centuries, including the last one, sea levels rose by about 7 inches (18 cm),” Singer said.
Attributing rising sea levels to anthropogenic global warming also has other inconsistencies. Sea levels have been fluctuating for centuries, well before the rise of industrialized nations.
“Accordingly, neither the overall warming trend or sea level rise began with the fossil-burning Industrial Revolution… nor have they changed in any detectable way due to human influences,” Dr. Singer told Forbes.
Despite these assertions, Hill pressed on, reinforcing Secretary Kerry’s suggestion that climate change could have consequences as devastating as weapons of mass destruction.
“As Secretary Kerry has recently noted, climate change can produce effects similar of those of weapons of mass destruction,” Hill said.
The Obama Administration might run into trouble advancing the idea that rising sea levels pose a great risk to national security. It has also been reported that the polar ice caps have been expanding.
“My work in particular focuses on the intersection of climate change and national security,” Hill said. “I work on the National Security Council staff, and let me make clear that [climate change] is viewed as an issue of national security.”