The Pentagon Just Added “Climate Change” to Its Official Dictionary

Military vocabulary warms to an emerging threat.

A Marine wearing a prototype solar blanket.AP Photo/Gregory Bull


The Department of Defense has long acknowledged the threat to global and national security posed by climate change. But last week, the DoD officially included “climate change” in its official glossary for the first time. The addition was first noticed by the Federation of American Scientists. Here’s what the DoD settled on for its definition in the most recent Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: “Variations in average weather conditions that persist over multiple decades or longer that encompass increases and decreases in temperature, shifts in precipitation, and changing risk of certain types of severe weather events.”

Department of Defense

The definition doesn’t address the causes of climate change, nor does it assign our global climatological SNAFU a handy acronym.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate