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Friday, June 19, 2009

Panel of retired U.S. Military leaders recommend a call to arms against the National Security threat of Climate Change

A few weeks back a group of twelve retired U.S. Admirals and Generals issued a report on the "national security consequences of climate change." The report includes a list of the group's findings on how climate will impact our security over the next 30 to 40 years, along with a list of recommended a list of actions for the U.S. to take to mitigate the security risks climate change will present to our nation. The following is a list of their key findings, followed up by the group's recommendations.

Summary of Findings:

  • Projected climate change poses a serious
    threat to America’s national security
  • Climate change acts as a threat multiplier
    for instability in some of the most volatile
    regions of the world
  • Projected climate change will add to
    tensions even in stable regions of the world
  • Climate change, national security, and
    energy dependence are a related set of global
    challenges
Recommendations:

  1. The national security consequences of
    climate change should be fully integrated
    into national security and national
    defense strategies
  2. The U.S. should commit to a stronger
    national and international role to help
    stabilize climate change at levels that will
    avoid significant disruption to global
    security and stability
  3. The U.S. should commit to global
    partnerships that help less developed
    nations build the capacity and resiliency
    to better manage climate impacts
  4. The Department of Defense should
    enhance its operational capability by
    accelerating the adoption of improved
    business processes and innovative technologies
    that result in improved U.S.
    combat power through energy efficiency
  5. The Department of Defense should
    conduct an assessment of the impact on
    U.S. military installations worldwide of
    rising sea levels, extreme weather events,
    and other projected climate change
    impacts over the next 30 to 40 years
The full report is less than 20 pages of actual content and has some more details around the military advisory group's findings and recommendations, including a great quote on climate change skepticism by General Gordon Sullivan (Retired), who stated that “ We never have 100 percent certainty. We never have it. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”

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