Climate change a risk to national security, retired Navy officer says in visit to Appleton
Chris Mueller, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Published 4:18 p.m. CT April 6, 2018
"The climate isn’t saying, “How can I set out to screw the United States.” It doesn’t. I tell people: the ice just melts."
APPLETON - David Titley tries his best to simplify climate change.
“It really comes down to three things: It’s people. It’s water. It’s change,” said Titley, a retired rear admiral for the U.S. Navy and professor at Penn State.
Titley, a native of Schenectady, New York, has become a climate change expert who tries to approach the issue with a concern for national security and the consequences of inaction.
“It’s about us. You and me,” he said. “It’s about people in our towns.”
Titley is speaking at a statewide conference for the Citizens' Climate Lobby on Saturday in Stevens Point. He sat down for an interview Friday with USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. His answers have been edited for length and clarity.
How do you think your experience in the military shaped the way you look at climate change?
If the environment is different tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, than it is today, we better account for that. If we don’t and our adversary does, we’re putting our young men and women at a disadvantage. I have yet to meet anybody who wants to do that.
Is climate change a threat to national security?