Tags: Climate Change | climate change | national security | report

Report: Climate Change a Major Threat to National Security

By    |   Wednesday, 14 May 2014 11:39 AM

The increasing rate of climate change represents a serious risk to national security and is a catalyst for global political conflict, military researchers have concluded.

In a report released Tuesday, the CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board found that droughts in the Middle East and Africa caused by climate change are causing conflicts over food and water and escalating longstanding tensions, The New York Times reported.

"In the past, the thinking was that climate change multiplied the significance of a situation," retired Air Force Gen. Charles Wald, who contributed to the report, told the Times. "Now we’re saying it’s going to be a direct cause of instability."

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Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged the report's findings, and said the conclusions are being taken into account in forming government policies.

"Think of what happens if you have massive dislocation, or the drying up of the waters of the Nile, of the major rivers in China and India. The intelligence community takes it seriously, and it's translated into action," he told the Times.

The report also found that rising sea levels are putting people and food supplies at risk in countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.

In addition, with the increase of catastrophic weather events, there will be more demand for American troops at home and abroad, the report said, according to the Times.

Pentagon officials told the newspaper that the report would affect military policy.

"The department certainly agrees that climate change is having an impact on national security, whether by increasing global instability, by opening the Arctic or by increasing sea level and storm surge near our coastal installations," John Conger, the Pentagon's deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, said in a statement.

"We are actively integrating climate considerations across the full spectrum of our activities to ensure a ready and resilient force."

The conclusions of the report, however, were scoffed at by Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Inhofe, the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a vocal global warming skeptic.

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"There is no one in more pursuit of publicity than a retired military officer," he said of the report's authors, according to the Times.

"I look back wistfully at the days of the Cold War. Now you have people who are mentally imbalanced, with the ability to deploy a nuclear weapon. For anyone to say that any type of global warming is anywhere close to the threat that we have with crazy people running around with nuclear weapons, it shows how desperate they are to get the public to buy this."

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The increasing rate of climate change represents a serious risk to national security and is a catalyst for global political conflict, military researchers have concluded.
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Wednesday, 14 May 2014 11:39 AM
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