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

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Dangerous severe weather outbreak forecast in Southern Plains Monday

Cloud to ground lightning strikes during a supercell thunderstorm, May 9, 2017 in Lamb County, Texas. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A dangerous and potentially deadly severe weather outbreak is forecast on Monday into Tuesday morning across the Southern Plains, particularly in northern Texas and across Oklahoma, as a rare and especially volatile mix of tornado-producing ingredients come together

The big picture: The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, has been highlighting Monday's threat since last week, and forecasts on Sunday evening showed the likelihood of several rounds of severe thunderstorms affecting the region. These storms will be capable of producing strong, potentially violent, tornadoes at the higher end of the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Tornadoes strike Southern Plains: Region set for more severe storms

The aftermath of the tornado in Geronimo, Oklahoma. Photo: National Weather Service Norman

Waves of severe thunderstorms struck the Southern Plains Saturday, bringing tornadoes, large hail and flooding rains, and the National Weather Service warns more severe storms are set to hit the region.

Details: The NWS Norman said an EF2 tornado with winds of up to 130 mph struck east of Geronimo, Oklahoma, early Saturday. It destroyed at least 2 homes and left 1 person with minor injuries, AP reports. Power lines downed by winds left tens of thousands of people in Oklahoma and Arkansas, where a suspected tornado damaged the roofs of numerous homes, per AP.

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