Retired Navy Admiral: Climate Change Poses Security Risk | WABE 90.1 FM

Retired Navy Admiral: Climate Change Poses Security Risk

Oct 5, 2015

Debates about climate change often focus on the environmental or economic aspects of the growing problem. But now the conversation has moved to national security.

Georgia Tech assistant professor Jarrod Hayes says its hard to identify a single weather event and trace it directly to climate change. Hayes explains why on “Closer Look.”
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

Retired Navy Rear Admiral David Titley, who is also the founding director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State, suggests that climate change is the greatest threat to U.S. national security.

But making a case that the warming earth poses a national security risk for the U.S. is difficult at best when scientists can’t even agree on how much any single weather event, like the catastrophic South Carolina flooding over the weekend for example, can be attributed to climate change as a whole.

Titley said during an interview on “Closer Look” scientists are trying to figure it out. He said a team of scientists is studying that exact question.

Professor Jarrod Hayes, with the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech agreed with Titley that it’s hard to draw the parallel.

“The challenge with climate change is it’s very difficult to identify a specific event that you can sort of unambiguously trace to the dynamic of changing atmospheric chemistry and oceanic chemistry and so this is part of the problem of communicating climate change to the American public,” Hayes explained.

Titley and Hayes discussed how climate change creates a national security risk, how to begin talking about climate change policies and more on “Closer Look.”