Quantcast
Connect with us

Flooded US Air Force base underscores climate risk to security: experts

Published

on

Flooding at a U.S. Air Force base in Nebraska that damaged buildings and forced the removal of a plane integral to the nation’s nuclear attack response highlight the risks climate change poses to national security, experts said on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned whether humans cause climate change and has been angered by assessments from his military and intelligence agencies that say the phenomenon poses national security risks.

ADVERTISEMENT

Last week’s “bomb cyclone” storm flooded about 60 structures including 30 buildings at the Offutt Air Force Base, said Ryan Hansen, a spokesman for the 55th Wing, a unit providing reconnaissance, intelligence and combat support to U.S. leaders.

Eight planes in the 55th Wing had to leave the base, Hansen said, and workers might not be able to assess damage to hangers and maintenance buildings until the end of the week.

One of the planes was a Boeing-made E4-B plane, one four the Air Force has that are meant to serve as an aerial command center in case of national emergency or destruction of ground bases, such as in a nuclear attack. Two E4-B’s were also damaged by a tornado at Offutt in 2017, CNN reported at the time.

Francesco Femia, the co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security, said the flooding shows that the White House needs to let the military do its job in assessing the climate threat.

“This is an example of a vital threat to our national security from a climate-related disaster, and more of this kind of thing is likely in the future,” Femia said.

ADVERTISEMENT

While flooding from storm surges linked to climate change that could damage sensitive electronics and mechanical equipment have long threatened U.S. Naval bases like Norfolk, Virginia, Offutt is a reminder that climate change also poses risks to bases far from sea.

Offutt is also home to Strategic Command, which oversees the country’s nuclear arsenal. The Strategic Command headquarters, set on a hill, was not affected by the floods, and neither was its new building, expected to open in the spring.

“Given the president’s denial of climate change … I don’t know if ironic is the word to capture how strange it would be for the results of climate change to adversely impact the president’s ability to control U.S. nuclear weapons in a crisis,” said Stephen Young, the Washington representative of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, which advocates for investment to protect bases from climate change threats.

ADVERTISEMENT

The White House has considered forming a panel to assess the science used in government climate risk reports that could be headed by a retired physics professor who believes greenhouse gas emissions are good for the planet.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

ADVERTISEMENT

While climate change can’t be blamed for a single storm, the vast majority of scientists say emissions from fossil fuels and the burning of forests are trapping heat in the atmosphere and making storms and floods more intense.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Bill Berkrot


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

Trump’s Mt Rushmore speech trashed on CNN for being nonsense straight out of the ‘Hannity universe’

Published

on

On CNN Saturday, reporter Brian Stelter tore into President Donald Trump's Mount Rushmore speech.

"The president had a chance to deliver one of these unifying messages, especially ahead of Independence Day, but instead he chose to go on the attack," said anchor Christi Paul. "Do you think that was the right strategy and why?"

"It sounded like a Stephen Miller speech," said Stelter. "And that is something that appeals to the parts of the president's base that he really focuses on. This is wartime conservativism [sic], this belief that conservatives are at war trying to protect the country from change."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump advisors futilely trying to get him to stop ranting about statues as his re-election prospects collapse: report

Published

on

According to a report focusing on Donald Trump's rally at Mt. Rushmore on the evening before the 4th of July, advisors to the president ate attempting to get him to start focusing on bread and butter issues that will get him re-elected instead of harping on statues being pulled down by protesters across the country.

As the Daily Beast report illustrates, their efforts appear to be futile based upon his Friday night speech.

With the president trying to fire up the crowd by insisting, “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders. They think the American people are weak, and soft, and submissive,” the Beast reported that Trump, "decided to focus heavily Friday evening on protesters and Black Lives Matter activists who want various American monuments, including those honoring Confederate, white-supremacist, and slave-owning figures of history, torn down and destroyed for good. "

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump’s a traitor — and the Russian bounty scandal is the final straw

Published

on

The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image