national security

Obama Links Climate Change, National Security

The Obama administration says climate change could be as treacherous to U.S. national security as terrorists, Russia and pandemics.

The Obama administration says climate change could be as treacherous to U.S. national security as terrorists, Russia and pandemics.

The Obama administration is linking climate change to national security, which may not have much immediate impact on a GOP-controlled Congress, but is likely to become a major debating point in the 2016 presidential election.

In a report released today, the White House put climate change on par with terrorism and pandemics as threats to U.S. security. “Climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows and conflicts over basic resources like food and water,” according to Obama's 35-page strategy document. 

The President has made fighting climate change a major emphasis of his second term, perhaps as much to elevate it on the political radar screen as to register actual accomplishments. At least one specific recommendation — to diversify the sources of energy for the U.S. military — may have a chance to move forward.

A key theme in the report is the connection between energy security and national security. “Seismic shifts in supply and demand are underway across the globe,” it says. “Increasing global access to reliable and affordable energy is one of the most powerful ways to support social and economic development and to help build new markets for U.S. technology and investment.”

The report calls for actions to increase the nation's resiliency in the face of climate change challenges. That includes more and perhaps different kinds of investment in infrastructure. “The present day effects of climate change are being felt from the Arctic to the Midwest. Increased sea levels and storm surges threaten coastal regions, infrastructure and property. In turn, the global economy suffers, compounding the growing costs of preparing and restoring infrastructure.” 

Buttressing America against challenges caused by climate change, the Obama administration report claims, will increase the country's national security.

Wyden Talk in a Tweet

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden covered a wide range of topics at his speech today, but none drew closer attention than his remarks about how to secure privacy from government surveillance. With Congress in recess before a tumultuous fall session dealing with the budget, senators and representatives are hitting the hustings to reconnect with their constituents. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden spoke at a luncheon meeting of the Westside Economic Alliance.

His comments and answers to questions covered the federal budget, Medicare, taxation, international trade, energy exports, national security and Obamacare, as well as more local issues. Here is the essence of what he said in a series of tweets:

  • Sen. Wyden promises new bipartisan Medicare plan to preserve its guarantee and financial integrity as 10K people turn 65 daily for 20 yrs.

  • Sen. Wyden says simplified federal tax code can unleash ton of corporate cash sitting on the sidelines for job-creating investment.

  • Wyden predicts congressional revision of Patriot Act's "relevance" standard and a privacy advocate before FISA court.

  • Wyden says choice between safety and privacy is false in the face of continuing terrorist threats. Both are critical and can co-exist.