There is a direct connection between national security and climate change, according to the American Security Project (ASP), a small non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.
Senior flag officers from ASP are touring the country to talk about the connection between energy, environmental policy and national security. Senior fellow for energy and climate policy Andrew Holland said they will be talking to people outside of the traditional environmental groups, including businesses, veterans groups and lawmakers, about how a changing climate affects homeland security.
“Things like extreme weather, extreme storms, droughts, heat waves, floods," Holland said, "these all threaten infrastructure in a way, much like terrorism does, or other more traditional threats to national security.”
Holland said they will hold a series of discussions in the Pittsburgh region, which he said is vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
“There is billions of dollars of infrastructure at risk from extreme rain events, from flooding, coming down the three rivers area and flooding the infrastructure that’s right along the water,” Holland said. “We know floods that used to count as 50-year floods, or 100-year floods are becoming more likely.”
He said severe weather events are a growing concern for the U.S. military.
“We see the National Guard is often called out to respond to natural disasters," Holland said. "In Hurricane Sandy in New York, a Marine expeditionary unit deployed to help in Staten Island and the Rockaways and New York harbor.”
The discussions will take place at three locations:
- Monday, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Burnett Center, Rm. 103, Washington and Jefferson College, Washington PA
- Tuesday, 12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m., 3431 Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA
- - Tuesday, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., West View VFW Post 2754, 386 Perry Highway, West View, PA