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Military Expert Visits Nevada, Links National Security to Climate Change

Military expert Vice Admiral Lee Gunn is speaking to veterans and policymakers in Nevada this week about climate change's effect on national security. (Adamkaz/iStockphoto)
Military expert Vice Admiral Lee Gunn is speaking to veterans and policymakers in Nevada this week about climate change's effect on national security. (Adamkaz/iStockphoto)
September 20, 2016

LAS VEGAS – A nationally recognized expert on military affairs is speaking to veterans and policymakers this week across Nevada about the link between climate change and national security. Retired Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn is the former inspector general for the Navy and vice chairman of the military advisory board for the Center for Naval Analyses, which is a federally funded military think tank. Today, he'll be in Reno and Carson City, and tomorrow he goes to Las Vegas, to drive home the point that the military, and the country at large, needs to take climate change seriously.

"The military advisory board concluded that climate change was real and that it would affect the demands on the U.S. military, the way the military had to fight, and the bases from which the military needed to train, operate and deploy," he explained.

Gunn said some military bases already are threatened by rising sea levels, and warns that climate change will cause major instability, extremism, and refugee flows across the world as fresh water becomes scarce and slashes food production.

Gunn will speak to Governor Brian Sandoval and to multiple state legislators about pursuing renewable energy projects as a way to make the U.S. less reliant on foreign countries for energy and oil. The Governor's New Energy Industry Task Force is expected to come out with its recommendations soon, and Gunn applauds such state-based efforts.

"Great things are being done," he said. "No one's waiting for Washington to get off the dime, to finish the Clean Power Plan, to ensure the EPA has the right regulations."

Gunn also will speak with the adjutant general of the Nevada National Guard about helping communities affected by drought and wildfires linked to climate change.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV