The Dernogalizer

September 11, 2009

Building on National Security and Climate

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 11:02 am
Tags: ,

Yesterday I posted Senator John Kerry’s remarks at George Washington University on the threat of climate change on our national security.  Also yesterday, over 150 veterans visited the White House to lobby for aggressive reductions in carbon emissions and investment in clean energy in order to protect America.  On top of this, a recent ad has been appearing on television which has real Iraq War veterans advocating for American to pass clean energy legislation.  Below is that ad.  Also below is excerpts from an op-ed that appeared yesterday in the Baltimore Sun by Craig Martin, a former naval officer.

“Areas of the globe will be increasingly ravaged by drought, on the one hand, and flooding from extreme storms and rising sea levels on the other. These will cause mass migrations of refugees, the breakdown of societies and resulting conflict over reduced arable land, living space and other resources. The conflict in Sudan today is in part caused by the prolonged drought in the region. The massive movement of refugees that followed both the recent flooding in Bangladesh and the typhoon that hit Myanmar are other examples of such climate-related disruption. Climate change is seen as a “threat multiplier” that intensifies instability and sows the seeds of conflict.”

“Thus, efforts by the United States to reduce carbon emissions and to lead the rest of the world in tackling global warming are partly an effort to reduce the likely threats to our own national security. As the military strategist Sun Tzu wrote more than 2,500 years ago, the very acme of military skill is never having to fight a battle. General Zinni echoed this wisdom recently, saying “we will pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today … or we’ll pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives.”

Some still cling to the tired argument that the link between human activity and climate change has not been “proven.” But in military and strategic matters, we do not wait until a risk has actually exploded into reality or wait for potential threats to be proven before developing our defenses. We defend against our best estimate of the future threat. So even if some holdouts continue to doubt the causes of global warming, prudence still dictates that we act now to respond to the risk.”

“unless we take action now, climate change will increasingly and radically multiply the threats to our national security, and the future drain on our military resources will dwarf the economic cost of taking action today. And we will pay in blood as well as treasure.”

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