Reposting: Support the Troops. Deal With Climate Change.

March 12, 2014

Note: For unknown reasons, (WordPress blogging software glitch?) this post disappeared a few days after I put it up last week. Here is a reposting.

I’ve written about the role of climate in destabilizing the Middle East, and in the collapse of Syria.

Climate Change Denial enables terrorists, and . Simple as that.
Underlined in new Quadrennial Defense Review.


Those who actively deny that climate change is a scientifically-established reality have never really been able to square one simple fact: The nation’s military leadership is in unified agreement that climate change is real, and also that it poses a clear and present danger to the troops.

troopsThe Pentagon’s thinking is revealed plainly and publicly in its own 2014 Quadrennial Review, which features no fewer than eight direct, specific, and unambiguous evaluations of climate change as it relates to geopolitics and military strategy. Forget the climatologists, for a second, ye of little faith in the scientific method, and let the military explain, in its own words, verbatim, what climate change is, and why we should be very worried about it.

Here, let’s allow the Pentagon to teach us about climate change:

  1. Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure.
  2. Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs.
  3. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.
  4. The impacts of climate change may increase the frequency, scale, and complexity of future missions, including defense support to civil authorities, while at the same time undermining the capacity of our domestic installations to support training activities. Our actions to increase energy and water security, including investments in energy efficiency, new technologies, and renewable energy sources, will increase the resiliency of our installations and help mitigate these effects.

These are not the words of some bowtie-wearing liberal college professor, or the scolding of a limelight-hogging politician, and it is not an op-ed from an increasingly frustrated climate scientist. These are the conclusions of cold, hard analysis from the military’s top strategists. And you respect the military’s top strategists, right? So respect this: The Pentagon has concluded that climate change will likely breed more terrorism, more unrest, and more conflict.

But wait, you might say, there are a lot of ‘may’s and ‘can’s in there; it doesn’t mean the military actually is taking it seriously. To that, observe its four-point plan of actively coping with and adapting its missions to the changing climate:

  1. The Department will employ creative ways to address the impact of climate change, which will continue to affect the operating environment and the roles and missions that U.S. Armed Forces undertake.
  2. The Department will remain ready to operate in a changing environment amid the challenges of climate change and environmental damage. We have increased our preparedness for the consequences of environmental damage and continue to seek to mitigate these risks while taking advantage of opportunities. The Department’s operational readiness hinges on unimpeded access to land, air, and sea training and test space.
  3. Consequently, we will complete a comprehensive assessment of all installations to assess the potential impacts of climate change on our missions and operational resiliency, and develop and implement plans to adapt as required.
  4. Climate change also creates both a need and an opportunity for nations to work together, which the Department will seize through a range of initiatives. We are developing new policies, strategies, and plans, including the Department’s Arctic Strategy and our work in building humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities, both within the Department and with our allies and partners.

The military not only believes in climate change, but it believes that it warrants active mitigation, that it is a “threat multiplier,” a terrorist incubator, and an all around stressor to global stability. It believes in taking action.

In other words, saying “I don’t believe in climate change” and “I support the troops” officially requires a fair bit of cognitive dissonance.

Climate and Security:

In this context, Secretary Hagel is continuing a long tradition within the U.S. military that emphasizes action over reaction. As General Gordon Sullivan, USA (ret) once said: “People are saying they want to be perfectly convinced about climate science projections…But speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”

The national security impacts of climate change are perhaps most immediate and acute in the Arctic, but it is increasingly clear that those national security impacts are global. As Secretary Hagel noted in his speech: “Climate change does not directly cause conflict, but it can add to the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict.”

CCS Advisory Board Member Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, USAF (ret) also notes the destabilizing effects of climate change, stating: “The link between climate change and national security is indisputable and it is important that the Defense Department is being proactive as Secretary Hagel’s speech highlights. Climate change threats to food, water, and energy security are real and time is of the essence.”

Failing to address climate change threats to food, water and energy security, especially those impacting already-fragile or particularly vulnerable nations, could force the United States into post facto responses to such threats once they materialize, leading to costly disaster response and conflict resolution efforts. On the other hand, acknowledging and taking steps to address and reduce the adverse security impacts of climate change will ultimately save lives and money and strengthen national security.


7 Responses to “Reposting: Support the Troops. Deal With Climate Change.”

  1. rayduray Says:

    Re: ” And you respect the military’s top strategists, right?

    Sir, No Sir!

    I have been actively fighting the “initiatives” of the military since 1965 when I first woke up, at the age of 15, what a complete and utter racket the Viet Nam War was.

    As far as I can tell, the decades long strategy of the military’s top planners has been to bankrupt the U.S. with bloated budgets.

    A classic example is the cost of a gallon of fossil fuel delivered to a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan during the course of our longest war in history. That cost? $400 per gallon according to New York Times reporting.

    Let us further examine the cost of bio-fuels for the Pentagon’s forward leaning plan to keep flying attack aircraft long after there is nothing left to fight over on this planet. According to the captured “think tank” Progress Report’s Climate Progress blog, the DoD is contracting with various suppliers for bio-jet-fuel for Air Force and Navy jets and paying $40 per gallon for this boondoggle. Mind you, this is a 1,000% over the costs the Army is incurring in the Tora Bora district, but still way above the going rate at the local Cities Service (owned by the socialists in Venezuela) station.

    OK, I’m fumed by this insane nation. Climate change is NOT a military problem. Introducing the military into the mix only confuses the situation and makes it more likely that the U.S. will continue to militarize itself and its police forces until we are a Stalinist totalitarian surveillance state totally paranoid about all the enemies we’ve created across the planet.

    Here’s a case in point. What the hell are we doing flying AWACS battle attack command & control planes on the border of Ukraine for? Hell, we’ve already installed the first Nazi government in Europe since we knocked off the Nazis in World War II. What the hell are we doing over there? For one thing, we’re sure as hell pissing away a lot of fossil fuel and pissing away our Treasury while attempting to create an enemy out of Vladimir Putin and Russia where there is absolutely no justification. This is what U.S. war-mongering military strategists are doing. And I’m supposed to respect this criminal idiocy. Sir, No Sir!

    America, the biggest swinging dicks attacked to the tiniest imperial brains on the planet:

    Support the War Resisters!

    • dumboldguy Says:

      “Sir, no sir! my ass!”, says Ray, whose total exposure to the military and military strategy is limited to what he has seen in movies. You’re All Hat, No Cattle when you talk about the military or use military “jargon”, Ray.

      It has long been obvious to Crockers that you are living in the past, and you are wasting a good brain being an unfocused anarchist aging hippie war resister peace activist occupy Wall Street, Fight the Man, libertarian gadfly.

      Of course, you were bragging on another thread about being “ombibulous”, so maybe you just started too early this morning—-you CAN get help for that, Ray—-right in the front of the phone book—AA.

      You say, “OK, I’m fumed by this insane nation”. Me too, as are many other Crockers. Unfortunately, your mindset is the walking definition of “failing to see the forest for the trees”, and that causes you to go Way.Off.Topic.Again

      You say, “Climate change is NOT a military problem”. Did you even read this post and watch the videos? I did, and I for one am glad that our military DOES IN FACT recognize their duty to factor climate change into their strategic planning. They’re doing what we all pay them to do (or are you a “tax resister” too because so much of our money goes to the military?).

      (An aside to Peter here. This is one of your best posts ever. Excellent selection of video clips and editing, good links, perfect selections of excerpts. Only the idiots (or the self-deluded, or the over-ombibulous) will fail to see the stark truths here as laid out by some of our top military and intelligence thinkers. And I really like Woolsey—his “ghosts of Muir and Patton” bit is terrific).

      Ray says, “Introducing the military into the mix only confuses the situation and makes it more likely that the U.S. will continue to militarize itself and its police forces until we are a Stalinist totalitarian surveillance state totally paranoid about all the enemies we’ve created across the planet”.

      All I can say to that is WOW! It is simply stunning how Ray can segue into that from a post that merely says “the military recognizes and is concerned about climate change and is considering it in their planning”. Nazis and Stalinist totalitarian surveillance state? WOW! again, Ray—you truly are, as the saying goes, “a piece of work”

      • rayduray Says:

        Thank you, thank you very much. 🙂

        I did make one tiny misstep when quoting Mencken, which you turned from a molehill into a mountain.

        I meant to combine Om with the French bibliotheque”.

        Something got lost in translation.

        Re: You say, “Climate change is NOT a military problem”. Did you even read this post and watch the videos?

        Yes, I read the post and followed the links. Then I got mad.

        Sometimes your 80 IQ jarhead lashings seem really fit for eight year olds fighting in a schoolyard. But you’ve utterly missed the point of my comment.

        Let me reiterate it for you. The military is a very expensive racket that this nation can’t afford to continue squandering its wealth on. Look at how grotesquely irresponsible the military strategists combined with corrupt political leadership has been in this nation. In the year 2000, the Federal government ran a surplus. The national debt was stable and our national credit rating was AAA.

        By 2008 we lost our AAA status, put two wars on credit cards and gave an aggregate of trillions of dollars of tax breaks to the rich. We started to look like crazed militarized paupers. We increased the national debt from a manageable $5.6 Trillion in 2000 to a very disruptive $16 Trillion in 2012. We have been forced to destroy savers by lowering interest rates in order to keep the illusion of asset growth going since 2009. We are on the road to ruin with the military budget being one of the greatest millstones around our necks as we try to swim back to shore.

        And you support this profligacy and degeneracy? This is why I wonder if you’ve matured past the intellectual level of an eight year old. You just don’t seem to want to think like an adult or do math and accountancy like an adult.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Ray again shows us his tap-dancing skills when caught out with “I did make one tiny misstep when quoting Mencken, which you turned from a molehill into a mountain. I meant to combine Om with the French bibliotheque. Something got lost in translation”. Sure, Ray, whatever you say—-we can only take what you say at face value—maybe you should stop trying to be cute with fancy wordplay and just use English? (Bibliotheque doesn’t work either—maybe you meant bibliophile?)

          Ray again shows his impotence with “80 IQ jarhead lashings seem really fit for eight year olds” and “I wonder if you’ve matured past the intellectual level of an eight year old. You just don’t seem to want to think like an adult or do math and accountancy like an adult”.

          You’re wasting your time, Ray. You’ll never find a button that you can push on me. Better men than you have tried and failed, and you embarrass yourself by admitting that I am succeeding at pushing YOUR buttons, as is evidenced by making such comments. Sticks and stones, Ray.

          Ray continues with more political and anti-military ranting and finishes with “And you support this profligacy and degeneracy?”. The answer is “Of course not”, but that’s beside the point. We are talking about climate change and national security, and the fact that the military recognizes linkages and is making plans. Whether it ‘s all a conspiracy to enrich the military-industrial complex and foster more “American imperialism” is not an appropriate discussion for Crock. Stop wasting our time.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    I messed this up a bit.

    “Sir, no sir!”, says Ray.

    “Sir, no sir, my ass!”, is the response that was intended.

    Sorry if anyone got confused.

  3. rayduray Says:

    How do you spell b-o-o-n-d-o-g-g-l-e? In Mississippi, it’s spelled Kemper Coal Plant.

    Another example of our mad profligacy with the public’s wealth.

  4. The military is another of the many institutions, (Apple, Virgin) that have realized the effects of GW. GW is not just an idea for professors. The US military uses a lot of energy. Switching to EVs and renewables lowers our dependence on oil and reduces our military needs in the Gulf. On a different note, the military is experimenting with V2X (vehicle to building) technology.

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