On Saturday June 20th, the Russian town of Verkhoyansk recorded its highest temperature ever. The town located above the Arctic Circle recorded a record temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. This is another indicator of the true effects of climate change. Siberia has already been having an unusually hot year, as the region has been experiencing wildfires currently burning 680,000 acres of Siberian wilderness.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the earth’s five hottest years ever recorded, occurred since 2015. Nine out of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005. The average global temperature for 2019 was 1.71 Fahrenheit higher than the average for the 20th century.
Policy makers in Washington continue to be apathetic about taking any action. Some are actively trying to reverse efforts made to fight climate change. For example, President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. 187 out of the 193 UN members are part of the Paris Climate Agreement. The US has a key role in participating in the Paris Climate Agreement because the agreement is aimed at reducing green house gas admissions, and the United States is the second largest producer of greenhouse gases. Trump dismisses climate change entirely, claiming it to be a “hoax”.
Although the policy makers in Washington seem to ignore the reality of climate change, various federal agencies prepare for its future consequences. The Department of Defense released a report in July of 2015 about the national security consequences of climate change. The report stated, “that the department must consider the effects of climate change – such as sea level rise, shifting climate zones and more frequent and intense severe weather events – and how these effects could impact national security.”
The report found that two thirds of U.S. military installations are at risk of flooding, droughts, and wildfires. The authors of the report noted that the reports mostly likely underestimate the damage caused by climate change. The report predicts that these damages are for the near future, as in the next twenty years. Out of the 79 military installations analyzed in the report, about 53 currently experience recurrent flooding, 43 have been facing drought, 36 have been exposed to wildfires, and one is dealing with thawing of permafrost.
Climate change can make it too expensive for the United States to maintain its military abroad. The cost for constantly repairing expensive military equipment from the world’s most advanced military will become too high. This will cause the United States to decrease its presence and influence abroad, possibly even causing the United States to lose its superpower status in the process.
Despite all the efforts various government agencies and departments have made to urge the legislatures to act against this crisis. Many policy makers in Washington are still in denial about the effects and the existence of climate change. While policy makers in Washington remain apathetic about the effects of this manmade disaster, the unbiased technocrats within the governments various government agencies prepare for the worst.
Zachary Wyatt is currently an intern with the Jackson County Democrat Party