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Will National Security Make a Difference?

April 29, 2010

Earlier this year, the Pentagon’s primary planning document noted that the threat of global warming will accelerate instability and conflict around the globe.  The Quadrennial Defense Review noted climate change affects the DOD “in two broad ways”:

One, climate change warming impacts and disasters will “act as an accelerant of instability or conflict; and two, military installations and forces will have to adapt to the physical effects of global warming.

To help mitigate the threat, the military is already acting to reduce its emissions and oil use.

Earlier this month, the military announced that widespread American obesity was a national security threat, as obesity is a major reason why recruits are turned down for service.

Today, 33 retired military generals and admirals announced they support comprehensive climate and energy legislation in a letter to Senators Reid and McConnell.  Specifically, the letter, which also ran as a full page ad, stated that “Climate change is threatening America’s security. ”  It is a “threat multiplier” – making  existing problems worse by decreasing stability, increasing conflict and creating the kinds of socio-economic conditions that increases youth susceptibility to terrorist recruitment.

The letter states “It is time to secure America with clean energy,” as our “billion-dollar-a-day dependence on oil makes us vulnerable to unstable and unfriendly regimes.”

Will the fact that the U.S. Military is willing to identify issues such as widespread obesity, climate change, and over-dependence on oil  make a difference in our country’s heated political and policy debates?  One can only hope!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 29, 2010 10:31 pm

    I know from experience that the Navy started saving fuel a long time ago, but that had more to do with funding. I have a friend who works for a contractor of the Pentagon putting leading edge environmental/energy technology in the field. That being said, a few retired Generals/Admirals won’t be enough to convince the denialists. To look at another issue, even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs could not convince John McCain on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I wish that the Generals would have more influence with McConnell, but he won’t care.

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