Saturday, August 8, 2009

Last Call

Yet another reason to fight climate change: it poses a national security threat.
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.
If you want to know where and why the next world wars will be set off, it will be over resources like potable water and arable land, not oil.
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.
Making the national security argument for climate change legislation should have been the first practical argument made to both lawmakers and the public. It's something neither side, progressive or conservative, Democrat or Republican, can afford to ignore. Climate change legislation, real legislation that allows the US to truly lead on the issue, is one of the best ways we can prevent the terrorist attacks and wars of tomorrow.

We need to hear more of the climate change argument couched in the language of the interest of worldwide political stability. I'm all for preventing costly and stupid multi-trillion dollar wars in the future while saving the planet, dig?

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