(CNSNews.com) - In a Sept. 21 memo to his department heads, President Obama instructed all federal departments and agencies to consider the impact of climate change on national security.
Obama states that it is the policy of the U.S. government to ensure that current and anticipated impacts of climate change be "identified and considered" in developing national security doctrine, policies and plans.
"Climate change poses a significant and growing threat to national security, both at home and abroad," the memo says. Those threats, according to Obama, include flooding, drought, heat waves, intense precipitation, pest outbreaks, disease, and electricity problems, all of which can "affect economic prosperity, public health and safety, and international stability."
Obama also says those anticipated climate change issues could adversely affect military readiness; negatively affect military facilities and training; increase demands for federal support to civil defense authorities,; and increase the need to maintain international stability and provide humanitarian assistance needs.
He has directed his national security and science/technology chiefs to chair an interagency working group to study climate-related impacts on national security and develop plans to deal with those impacts.
The working group will include high-ranking officials from the Departments of State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, Agency for International Development, NASA, Director of National Intelligence, U.S. Mission to the U.N., Office of Management and Budget, Council on Environmental Quality, Millennium Change Corporation, and "any other agencies or offices as designated by the co-chairs."
Among other things, this bureaucratic working group will "develop recommendations for climate and social science data...that support or should be considered in the development of national security doctrine, policy, and plans."
The working group will create data repositories, climate modeling, and simulation and projection capabilities.
The presidential memo lays out a total 17 action points for the working group, all of them premised on the notion that human-caused climate change is indisputable fact.
The working group has been given 90 days to develop an action plan, which must include "specific objectives, milestones, timelines, and identification of agencies responsible for completion of all actions described therein."
And the working group has 150 days to "develop implementation plans" for the action plans. (Some of those implementation plans may be classified because they deal with national security.)
Section 7 of the presidential memo defines various terms, such as climate, climate change, climate modeling, and "fragility."
"'Fragility' refers to a condition that results from a dysfunctional relationship between state and society and the extent to which that relationship fails to produce policy outcomes that are considered effective or legitimate." (Considered "effective and legitimate" by the government, apparently.)
"'Resilience'" refers to the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and to withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions.