58 former national security leaders oppose Trump climate panel

A military police officer walks near a destroyed gate in Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida after Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Nearly 60 former national security and intelligence community officials sent a letter to the White House on Tuesday opposing the formation of a White House panel to conduct an "adversarial peer review" of climate science information. The panel would also be tasked with reviewing whether climate change really poses a national security threat, as numerous assessments have concluded.

Why it matters: The opposition from these former leaders indicates the extent to which many in the national security and intelligence community see such a panel as undermining national security. "It is dangerous to have national security analysis conform to politics," the letter states. "Our officials' job is to ensure that we are prepared for current threats and future contingencies. We cannot do that if the scientific studies that inform our threat assessments are undermined."

Details: The letter, put together by the Center for Climate and Security, includes some big names, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and former Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Stanley McChrystal.

  • Other signatories include the ex-commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, a leader of the National Intelligence Council, along with a slew of former Navy and Air Force officials.
  • Numerous reports from the Pentagon and intelligence community have shown that by causing extreme weather events and raising sea levels, climate change is likely to serve as a destabilizing force in the world as well as a threat to U.S. military bases at home.
  • The Air Force experienced this firsthand when Hurricane Michael rapidly intensified to become the strongest-ever hurricane to hit the Florida Panhandle, wiping out much of Tyndall Air Force Base in the process. At the time, Tyndall was one of the military's largest bases for the F-22 Raptor fighter jet.

Go deeper: Scientists slam report of White House climate change review panel

Additional Stories

Dorian's devastation in Bahamas: What you need to know

A woman walks on the beach as a storm approaches in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Bahamas government data shows 1,300 people are listed as missing in the islands 2 weeks after Hurricane Dorian devastated the region, as the archipelago's northwest region was lashed by rain from another tropical storm Saturday.

The latest: Tropical Storm Humberto dumped 1 to 3 inches of rain, with pockets of 6-inch rain in parts, as it gained strength and moved north-northwest away from the Bahamas, packing winds of 60 mph, the National Hurricane Center said at 11 p.m. ET. Dorian's death toll remained at 50 but the number of people missing meant it would significantly rise, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a national address.

Ebola death toll in the DRC nears 2,000

A sign on the border to Rwanda indicates protective measures against the Ebola virus disease, in the Goma city of the DRC. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images

At least 1,974 people have died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from an Ebola virus outbreak that has lasted just over 1 year, according to an update on Friday from the DRC Ministry of Health.

What's new: There are 111 probable deaths in addition to those that have been confirmed, per the DRC Ministry of Health. The World Health Organization (WHO) puts the death toll at 2,074 in its latest update. The DRC's former Minister of Health Oly Ilunga was taken into custody again on Saturday to ensure that he does not avoid legal proceedings for his misdemeanor offenses involving mishandling Ebola funds, the AP reports.

Astronomers spot a possible interstellar comet

Comet C/2019 Q4 seen on September 10. Photo: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope

Astronomers think they've found an interstellar comet on its way through our solar system.

Why it matters: If confirmed, this will be only the second interstellar object on a track through the solar system found by scientists, and it could help researchers learn more about how star systems beyond our own form.

Read more at Axios
© Copyright Axios 2019