Climate Change News

Miami Beach, Arctic Ice, and the Dept. of Defense.

The city of Miami Beach is one of the first places being directly and significantly affected by our changing climate. The city spreads along the limestone key across the bay from Miami. To combat the increasingly frequent street flooding of this flat key the city has created a $400/$500 million project to raise the level of the streets and to pump away the seawater. Building a seawall a la Trump is no use because the key is made of porous limestone and when the sea level rises the water seeps through the limestone.

Further north, and related to Miami Beach’s flooding, is the observation that the Arctic Ocean continues to warm as indicated by the relatively rapid loss of sea ice in the first ten days of September.

What is happening in Miami Beach and the Arctic Ocean are the climate change indicators that have long worried the folk at the Pentagon. As long ago as 2009 the realists at the Pentagon and the CIA recognized climate change as a threat to national security. It was termed ‘an immediate risk’ in 2014, and earlier this month a group of 25 members of the national security community issued a set of climate-related recommendations for the next POTUS.

Among the recommendations is the creation of a cabinet-level official dedicated to climate change and security issues plus the prioritization of climate change in intelligence assessments.

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