Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000107 

Received: 9/14/2013 8:05:00 PM
Commenter: Janet Alderton
Organization: 
State: 

Agency: Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
From:Janet Alderton <jmalderton@yahoo.com> Sent:Saturday, September 14, 2013 8:05 PM To:comments@millenniumbulkeiswa.gov Subject:Approval Threatens Our National Security

Approval of permits by the Army Corp of Engineers for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export terminal will accelerate Climate Change. This huge negative impact violates the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers mission statement "to strengthen our Nation's security."

U.S. Military assessments from at least as far back as 2006 state that Climate Change threatens our Nation's security.

The Army Corp of Engineers' mission statement (as copied from their website):

"Deliver vital public and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nation's security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters."

In 2006 the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) convened a Military Advisory Board (MAB) of eleven retired three-star and four-star admirals and generals to assess the impact of global climate change on key matters of national security, and to lay the groundwork for mounting responses to the threats found. In April 2007, CNA released the MAB's landmark report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, that articulates the concept of climate change acting as a "threat multiplier" for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world and identifies key challenges that must be planned for now if they are to be met effectively in the future. See more at: http://www.cna.org/reports/climate#sthash.rGWWq1yh.dpuf

The Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review of 2010 identified global climate change as "an accelerant of instability" that could have "significant geopolitical impacts" that "may spark or exacerbate future conflicts."

"Climate Change will have serious implications for the ability of the Department of Defense (DOD) to maintain and build infrastructure and to ensure military readiness."

-from: The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program. 2013. Assessing Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal Military Installations: Policy Implications. US Department of Defense.

March 9, 2013: Commander of U.S. Forces Pacific: Climate change is top threat

According to Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, the Commander of U.S. Forces Pacific: Significant upheaval related to the warming planet "is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about." Admiral Locklear focuses on risk management and preparedness: "While resilience in the security environment is traditionally understood as the ability to recover from a crisis, using the term in the context of national security expands its meaning to include crisis prevention."

According to the Commander of U.S. Forces Pacific (PACOM), significant upheaval related to the warming planet "is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.' - Admiral Samuel Locklear had a meeting the other day with national security experts at Tufts and Harvard. After this session, he met with a reporter who asked him asked what the top security threat was in the Pacific Ocean. Rather than highlighting Chinese ballistic missiles, the new Chinese Navy aircraft carrier, North Korean nuclear weapons, or other traditional military threats, Admiral Locklear looked to a larger definition of national security. - Locklear commented that "People are surprised sometimes" that he highlights climate change - despite an ability to discuss a wide-range of threats, from cyber-war to the North Koreans. However, it is the risks - from natural disasters to long-term sea-level rise threats to Pacific nations that has his deepest attention. - "You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17." - Climate Change merits national security - military - attention for very pragmatic reasons. - The ice is melting and sea is getting higher," Locklear said, noting that 80 percent of the world's population lives within 200 miles of the coast. "I'm into the consequence management side of it. I'm not a scientist, but the island of Tarawa in Kiribati, they're contemplating moving their entire population to another country because [it] is not going to exist anymore." - And, Admiral Locklear is now - almost certainly with Joint Chiefs of Staff and Office of Secretary of Defense knowledge and support - taking this up seriously with other nations. - "We have interjected into our multilateral dialogue - even with China and India - the imperative to kind of get military capabilities aligned [for] when the effects of climate change start to impact these massive populations," he said. "If it goes bad, you could have hundreds of thousands or millions of people displaced and then security will start to crumble pretty quickly.'' - The Pacific region has seen some of the largest multi-national disaster relief operations. Operation Sea Angel in 1991, following a devastating typhoon on Bangladesh, involved numerous military forces - including the Chinese Navy. Similarly, many nations used military forces to respond across the Indian Ocean to the disastrous December 2004 Aceh Tsunami. Admiral Locklear is looking to the reality of mounting seas, more damaging severe weather, and looking to other climate impacts - and is working to set the stage for the region's military forces to work together more effectively in responding to climate disruption driven disasters. - This interview is not an isolated comment by Admiral Locklear but an indication of increasing concern about and focus on climate change. In December 2012, he raised climate change in a speech to the Asia Society. From this speech highlighting the importance and complexity of the Pacific region. His first example of a non-region specific complicating issue: - this complexity is magnified by a wide, diverse group of challenges...challenges that can significantly stress the security environment.... - - Climate change - where increasingly severe weather patterns and rising sea levels will threaten our peoples and even threaten the loss of entire nations...and of course the inevitable earthquakes and tsunamis will continue to challenge all of us in a very unpredictable way as our planet ages. Just as today our friends and partners in the Philippines are dealing with the challenges of the most recent super typhoon. - Admiral Locklear spoke a month ago to the U.S. Indonesia Society. In the speech, he linked climate change to the military, the need for resiliency and the ability for coping with mounting disaster relief requirements. - As Indonesia's capabilities grow, the Indonesian military should also build on its tradition of contributing forces to U.N. peacekeeping operations...yet another area where the Indonesian and American militaries can collaborate more closely to increase the level of interoperability between our forces. - While resilience in the security environment is traditionally understood as the ability to recover from a crisis, using the term in the context of national security expands its meaning to include crisis prevention. - With large populations vulnerable to the effects of climate change and natural disasters, both our nations have a significant interest in improving our ability to quickly respond and mitigate the ongoing risk these threats bring. - We learned how local communities prepare themselves for the inevitable disruptions are critical to the region's efforts to maintain peace, security and prosperity. - This means working on disaster response alone is no longer the answer for the types of scenarios that we face. - Disaster risk reduction through mitigation, planning, and recovery that starts at the community level is required if we are to create more resilient societies. - Private businesses and communities must look within and beyond their current capabilities to ensure that they are prepared to handle what may occur as a result of some catastrophe. - Admiral Locklear as a strong voice on climate change issues might surprise some. Consider, for example, the range of Combatant Commander formal statements to Congress as to the discussion of climate change. Writ large, not much there - and Admiral Locklear is no exception in that list. Admiral Locklear has mentioned climate change before, such as commenting that it would be a stress factor in Europe (where he commanded Operation Odyssey Dawn, the attack on Qaddafi's Libya during the Arab Spring). That Admiral Locklear is putting climate change on the top of the long-term security challenge seems to be new - to be news. - That a four-star flag officer is publicly stating that climate change dominates the long-term strategic discussions in his command matters. - It matters for the substance of discussion with other nations and for what this might portend for the highest levels of the U.S. military. (Sadly, there are reasons to expect the (older) uniformed military to be strongly climate denial - having a 4-star speak different can impact this.) It perhaps is most important because the military is a path toward serious cultural change as to a broader acceptance of the basic reality of climate change. Who 'listens' when someone in uniform speaks? For me, the military is one of the key institutions for changing Americans perspectives on clean energy and climate change.

Janet Alderton 491 Harborview Lane P.O. Box 352 Deer Harbor, WA 98243 360-376-3905