Mitch Perry Report 10.14.14: Pentagon says climate change will challenge military

Although the number of skeptics or outright deniers of man-made climate change in America is still pretty legion, don't include the U.S. military in that category.

The Pentagon today is releasing a report that describes how global warming will bring new challenges to our troops overseas. As reported by the L.A. Times, those challenges include the following: Coastal military installations that are vulnerable to flooding will need to be altered; humanitarian assistance missions will be more frequent in the face of more intense natural disasters; weapons and other critical military equipment will need to work under more severe weather conditions.

“This road map shows how we are identifying — with tangible and specific metrics, and using the best available science — the effects of climate change on the department’s missions and responsibilities,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in Peru on Monday. “Drawing on these assessments, we will integrate climate change considerations into our planning, operations, and training.”

Hagel, incidentally, was a GOP Senator from Nebraska in 1997 when the Senate voted 97-0 vote to block the U.S. from ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, the world's first climate change treaty. And Hagel didn't just oppose it. Along with West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd, he wrote a resolution ensuring that the Senate would never ratify the treaty, which required the world’s largest economies to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions.

Will that same body now deny funding to the military on this critical front?

In other news...

While Joe Biden was campaigning with Charlie Crist in South Florida yesterday, his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, was at USF with Annette Taddeo, talking about making a college education affordable in the Sunshine State.

Charlie Crist says he supports giving undocumented immigrants access to temporary drivers' licenses. A Tampa activist group is calling on City Council to symbolically support such a measure

And Pinellas County Democrat Carl Zimmermann is fighting hard to maintain the state legislative seat to which he was elected two years ago. The high school journalism teacher issued a statement blasting high-stakes testing in Florida yesterday. 

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