The Department of Defense (DOD) is asking thousands of active-duty service members and civilian DOD workers if they have enough information on climate change to do their jobs effectively and requesting to know where they get their climate news.
The Pentagon asked these and other questions as part of its “2022 Climate Literacy Pulse Check,” according to a copy of the questionnaire reviewed by Fox News Digital.
The questions went out to thousands of recipients, and DOD described it as a short, voluntary poll that would be used to make sure the department is able to protect U.S. national security in light of changing climate conditions.
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“As we train and educate our service members to fight and prevail against our adversaries, so too must we ensure our service members have the knowledge to ensure mission success in the face of a changing climate,” Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman, a Pentagon spokesperson, told Fox News Digital in statement. The Pentagon declined to say how many service members received the questionnaire.
“To ensure the United States armed forces retain their warfighting edge and remain the world’s most lethal and capable fighting force, the Department of Defense worked with the Office of Management and Budget to craft a short, fully anonymous, at-will questionnaire – not a survey – to assess the degree to which the DOD workforce feels it is capable of executing its mission in the context of a changing climate,” she added.
But Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, disagreed and said DOD’s poll is a distraction from the core mission of the U.S. Armed Forces.
“The Department of Defense should not be wasting our service members’ time with surveys on climate change,” he said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “The military should not be distracted from its mission of maintaining the most lethal and capable force in the world.”
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Questions asked by the poll are mostly aimed at understanding how climate change is affecting respondents’ work and how respondents learn about climate change.
The questionnaire asked whether respondents think climate change will affect their work or their organization’s mission and whether they are “integrating climate change considerations into your regular responsibilities.”
It then asked several detailed questions about the source of their climate change information. It asked if they have the “right amount of knowledge/information on climate change” needed to perform their jobs, and it then asked where they go to learn more.
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One possible answer to that last question is the internet, and if that answer is selected, it asks the respondent to list specific websites. Other options include research reports from think tanks and other educational materials.
Another question asks respondents what other information on “climate security” would be helpful as they do their work. A range of responses is suggested, including basic climate information, the effect of climate change on missions, military infrastructure and public health, energy efficiency and “changes in contracting requirements to account for greenhouse gases.”
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The questionnaire ended by asking about respondents’ level of education and what kind of training they may have received, including seminars, briefings and “work experience in planning and design for climate change.”
“All data will be reported in the aggregate, and will be used to inform DOD education and training efforts,” it said.