Sunday, January 20, 2019

Two letters to the editor that broke my heart/Latest Defense [sic] Report Aims to Get Military Climate Ready, But Key Information Also Missing

Two letters to the editor that broke my heart
During his stunning post-summit news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump was asked whether he believes Putin, who again denied Russian interference in the 2016 election, or his own intelligence officials, who unanimously say Russia did intervene for Trump. Trump replied by criticizing the FBI’s probe of Democrats and said, “I don’t see any reason why” Russia would interfere.
Some 53 million citizens voted for Donald Trump with the assistance of Russian hackers. It can be assumed that some of them bought Mr. Trump’s snake oil thinking that it would provide succor to whatever was ailing them. The coal miners, I guess, really believed he was the answer to providing them with jobs. Actually, he was the answer to the elite, as during his reign income inequality is going off the charts. And the poor are even poorer.
Yet some of his acolytes, rather than gloating, are writing letters of complaint to The Baltimore Sun. The latest two broke my heart. In the first, “Paying for diapers another handout for the poor” (Jan. 15), the letter writer is upset that “someone is advocating for free diapers.” He trots out the usual blather — socialism, staying home making babies and the growing welfare state. It puzzles me very much that the wealthy who rip off the system and do so by buying members of Congress escaped the letter writer’s wrath.
The second letter, “Without Trump, what would The Sun write about?” (Jan. 15), suggests that The Sun should ignore all of the convictions and indictments of Mr. Trump’s inner circle. The president said he was going to drain the swamp. Actually, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III seems to be cleaning out Mr. Trump’s swamp. I would think that is newsworthy.
I couldn’t miss the levity in this letter. The writer indicated that President Trump will be in office for six more years. The only possible way that could happen is if the office was a jail cell.
Max Obuszewski, Baltimore
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Latest Defense Report Aims to Get Military Climate Ready, But Key Information Also Missing

January 18, 2019
For Immediate Release Friday, January 18, 2019

Organization Profile: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

Contact: Ashley Siefert Nunes at UCS,, +1 202-331-5666

Statement by Shana Udvardy, Climate Resilience Specialist, UCS

WASHINGTON - The Department of Defense (DoD) released a report yesterday examining the risks of climate change to a sample of 79 U.S. military sites. The report, mandated by Congress in 2018, concluded that two-thirds of the sites examined are at risk of current or future chronic flooding, more than 50 percent are vulnerable to current or future drought, and about one-half are at risk of wildfires. However, the report failed to include a top 10 list of at-risk military installations for each branch, as requested.

Below is a statement by Shana Udvardy, climate preparedness specialist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“The latest DoD report again confirms climate change is a significant security threat. Climate impacts, including chronic flooding, drought and wildfires, will require increased maintenance and repair at U.S. military sites now and over the next 20 years. 

“We were disappointed to see that some of the explicit questions asked for by Congress went unanswered, for example the ranking of the top 10 vulnerable installations for each branch and the costs of mitigation measures. Climate risks will also grow beyond the next 20 years, so it’s important for the DoD to assess those longer-term risks so they’re making investments and choices that will be robust through mid-century and beyond.

“We also look forward to more of the data and analysis behind the report being shared publicly since it can help inform resilience planning in communities located near these military installations or that face similar risks.

“The DoD report also clearly recognizes the global nature of the challenges, including growing risks of climate-related humanitarian crises and the need for disaster relief.
“It’s imperative that climate change risks be fully integrated into current and ongoing planning for military sites for the safety and security of our nation and military personnel. This vital information on climate impacts and mitigation measures and efforts is a continued sign of the Department of Defense’s leadership on helping to ensure the nation’s military installations, families and communities are climate ready.”
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