Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security
2009 08 10
By John M. Broder | NYTimes.com
The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say.
Such climate-induced crises could topple governments, feed terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions, say the analysts, experts at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies who for the first time are taking a serious look at the national security implications of climate change.
Recent war games and intelligence studies conclude that over the next 20 to 30 years, vulnerable regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia, will face the prospect of food shortages, water crises and catastrophic flooding driven by climate change that could demand an American humanitarian relief or military response.
The conflict in southern Sudan, which has killed and displaced tens of thousands of people, is partly a result of drought in Darfur. Photo:Lynsey Addario
An exercise last December at the National Defense University, an educational institute that is overseen by the military, explored the potential impact of a destructive flood in Bangladesh that sent hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming into neighboring India, touching off religious conflict, the spread of contagious diseases and vast damage to infrastructure. “It gets real complicated real quickly,” said Amanda J. Dory, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, who is working with a Pentagon group assigned to incorporate climate change into national security strategy planning.
Much of the public and political debate on global warming has focused on finding substitutes for fossil fuels, reducing emissions that contribute to greenhouse gases and furthering negotiations toward an international climate treaty — not potential security challenges.
But a growing number of policy makers say that the world’s rising temperatures, surging seas and melting glaciers are a direct threat to the national interest.
If the United States does not lead the world in reducing fossil-fuel consumption and thus emissions of global warming gases, proponents of this view say, a series of global environmental, social, political and possibly military crises loom that the nation will urgently have to address.
This argument could prove a fulcrum for debate in the Senate next month when it takes up climate and energy legislation passed in June by the House.
Lawmakers leading the debate before Congress are only now beginning to make the national security argument for approving the legislation.
Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who is the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a leading advocate for the climate legislation, said he hoped to sway Senate skeptics by pressing that issue to pass a meaningful bill.
Mr. Kerry said he did not know whether he would succeed but had spoken with 30 undecided senators on the matter.
He did not identify those senators, but the list of undecided includes many from coal and manufacturing states and from the South and Southeast, which will face the sharpest energy price increases from any carbon emissions control program.
“I’ve been making this argument for a number of years,” Mr. Kerry said, “but it has not been a focus because a lot of people had not connected the dots.” He said he had urged President Obama to make the case, too.
Mr. Kerry said the continuing conflict in southern Sudan, which has killed and displaced tens of thousands of people, is a result of drought and expansion of deserts in the north. “That is going to be repeated many times over and on a much larger scale,” he said.
The Department of Defense’s assessment of the security issue came about after prodding by Congress to include climate issues in its strategic plans — specifically, in 2008 budget authorizations by Hillary Rodham Clinton and John W. Warner, then senators. The department’s climate modeling is based on sophisticated Navy and Air Force weather programs and other government climate research programs at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Pentagon and the State Department have studied issues arising from dependence on foreign sources of energy for years but are only now considering the effects of global warming in their long-term planning documents. The Pentagon will include a climate section in the Quadrennial Defense Review, due in February; the State Department will address the issue in its new Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.
“The sense that climate change poses security and geopolitical challenges is central to the thinking of the State Department and the climate office,” said Peter Ogden, chief of staff to Todd Stern, the State Department’s top climate negotiator.
Although military and intelligence planners have been aware of the challenge posed by climate changes for some years, the Obama administration has made it a central policy focus.
Read the full article at: NYTimes.com
Global Warming or Global Governance?
Video from: GoogleVideo
Red Ice Creations Radio - Susan Joy Rennison - Cosmic Origins of Global Warming
Micheal Sunanda - Extreme Weather, Global Warming & Permaculture
Red Ice Creations Radio - Jerry E. Smith - The "Green" Conspiracy (Subscription)
Joan Veon - G20, Global Credit Crisis & Public-private Partnership
Marcus Allen - Crystal Skulls, Global Catastrophy, Collective Amnesia & Global Warming [Subscription]
Edmund Marriage - Global Catastrophe, Restart of Civilization & The Anu-Nagi (The Shining Ones)
EPA May Have Suppressed Anti-Global Warming Study
Scientists: No link cloud coverage and global warming?
Media Ignore Al Gore’s Financial Ties to Global Warming
Viewpoint: Global warming is a scam, not a crisis
2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved
Obama vows to end global warming 'denial' after Gore talks
IPCC Scientists Caught Producing False Data To Push Global Warming
Global Warming Bill Would Inflict New Great Depression
New Proposals To Fight Global Warming Would End Civilization, Kill Billions
Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming ‘Greatest Scam in History’
Alex Jones "Debates" David Mayer de Rothschild On Global Warming (Audio)
Global warming: pretext for weather warfare?
Latest News from our Front Page
Aldo Moro mystery: Italian prosecutors revisit former PM’s 1978 murder
2013 06 17
It was arguably the darkest episode of Italy’s postwar history: the kidnapping of former prime minister Aldo Moro in 1978 and the discovery of his corpse 55 days later in the boot of a Renault 4 in central Rome.
Despite four trials, numerous investigations and the passage of 35 years, the affair continues to raise questions among Italians, with many sharing ...
Mysterious Subatomic Particle May Represent Exotic New Form of Matter
2013 06 17
In the course of exploring the properties of a strange subatomic particle, physicists may have stumbled upon something even stranger: a mysterious and exotic new form of matter.
The intriguing discovery was made more or less simultaneously by two collaborations: the Belle experiment at the Japanese High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and BESIII experiment run by the Institute of High ...
Over 200 Million People Are in the US Facial Recognition Database
2013 06 17
You are probably participating in the facial recognition database whether you want to or not. Most likely, your visage is there to be easily identified, without your consent, even if you’ve never committed a crime.
Using the vague criteria of “law enforcement purposes”, the United States has more than 200 million Americans filed away in various facial recognition databases. If ...
Russia says it will not allow Syria no-fly zones
2013 06 17
Russia, a veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council, will not permit no-fly zones to be imposed over Syria, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Monday.
"I think we fundamentally will not allow this scenario," Lukashevich told a news briefing, adding that calls for a no-fly zone showed disrespect for international law.
Lukashevich spoke before planned talks between President Vladimir ...
Darpa Robotics Challenge: the search for the perfect robot soldier
2013 06 17
The US military’s $2bn robot beauty pageant is all part of its plan to maintain its technological superiority
The Atlas robot looks something out of the post-apocalyptic future, or maybe a Will Smith blockbuster. It’s a 330lb cyborg with eerily human-like hands and a head equipped with a laser. It lunges forward with a grim, deliberate clatter on curved slices of ...
|More News » |