Global warming a security risk
- From: Anonymous <cripto@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 11:50:17 +0200 (CEST)
Normally the military commands are pretty slow
witted about such things. My own personal
feeling is that population growth will be sufficient
to challenge the world even if global warming
never was invented. However, if the effects
are compounded, it is a double whammy situation.
Global warming is occurring, no doubt about it,
but the causes are still being kicked around.
So one has to be prepared for the consequences
regardless of the cause.
Global warming a security risk
By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science WriterSun Apr 15, 8:48 AM ET
Global warming poses a "serious threat to America's national
security" with terrorism worsening and the U.S. will likely be
dragged into fights over water and other shortages, top
retired military leaders warn in a new report.
Joining calls already made by scientists and environmental
activists, the retired U.S. military leaders, including the
former Army chief of staff and President Bush's former
chief Middle East peace negotiator, called on the U.S.
government to make major cuts in emissions of gases
that cause global warming.
The report warned that in the next 30 to 40 years there
will be wars over water, increased hunger instability
from worsening disease and rising sea levels and global
warming-induced refugees. "The chaos that results can
be an incubator of civil strife, genocide and the growth
of terrorism," the 35-page report predicted.
"Climate change exacerbates already unstable situations,
" former U.S. Army chief of staff Gordon Sullivan told
Associated Press Radio. "Everybody needs to start paying
attention to what's going on. I don't think this is a
particularly hard sell in the Pentagon. ... We're paying
attention to what those security implications are."
Gen. Anthony "Tony" Zinni, Bush's former Middle East envoy,
said in the report: "It's not hard to make the connection
between climate change and instability, or climate change
The report was issued by the Alexandria, Va.-based,
national security think-tank The CNA Corporation and
was written by six retired admirals and five retired generals.
They warned of a future of rampant disease, water
shortages and flooding that will make already dicey areas
? such as the Middle East, Asia and Africa ? even worse.
"Weakened and failing governments, with an already
thin margin for survival, foster the conditions for
internal conflicts, extremism and movement toward
increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies,"
the report said. "The U.S. will be drawn more frequently
into these situations."
In a veiled reference to Bush's refusal to join an
international treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions,
the report said the U.S. government "must become a
more constructive partner" with other nations to fight
global warming and cope with its consequences.
The Bush administration has declined mandatory emission
cuts in favor of voluntary methods. Other nations have
committed to required reductions that kick in within a few years.
"We will pay for this one way or another," wrote Zinni,
former commander of U.S. Central Command. "We will
pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today, and
we'll have to take an economic hit of some kind. Or we
will pay the price later in military terms. And that will
involve human lives. There will be a human toll."
Top climate scientists said the report makes sense
and increased national security risk is a legitimate
global warming side-effect.
The report is "pretty impressive," but may be too
alarmist because it may take longer than 30 years for
some of these things to happen, said Stanford scientist
Terry Root, a co-author of this month's international
scientific report on the effects of global warming on life on Earth.
But the instability will happen sometime, Root agreed.
"We're going to have a war over water," Root said.
"There's just not going to be enough water around
for us to have for us to need to live with and to
provide for the natural environment."
University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver
said the military officers were smart to highlight the
issue of refugees who flee unstable areas because of
"There will be tens of millions of people migrating, where
are we going to put them?" Weaver said.
Weaver said that over the past years, scientists, who by
nature are cautious, have been attacked by conservative
activists when warning about climate change. This shows
that it's not a liberal-conservative issue, Weaver said.
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