Generals, admirals say climate change a matter of national security
Failure to act on climate change leaves us vulnerable to attack, says new report.
Wed, May 20, 2009 at 12:00 PM
There’s no more time for waffling on global warming – it’s a matter of national security. That’s the message that 12 distinguished retired generals and admirals had for Congress on Monday, warning that any effort to delay transition to a clean and sustainable energy economy would be putting the nation’s security at risk.
The report, entitled “Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security”, concluded that our current energy posture causes military, diplomatic and economic vulnerabilities that are “exploitable by those who wish us harm”. We cannot continue the ‘business as usual’ approach to energy security or pursue energy options “inconsistent with the national response to climate change” – i.e. fossil fuels.
Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, former Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs, warns that to ignore the national security implications of our current energy system would be extremely unwise.
“We have less than 10 years to change or fossil fuel dependency course in significant ways. Our nation’s security depends on the swift, serious and thoughtful response to the inter-linked challenges of energy security and climate change. Our elected leaders and, most importantly, the American people should realize this set of challenges isn’t going way. We cannot continue business as usual.”
How could conservatives fight against climate change action with this knowledge? After all, the Bush administration spent eight long years putting national security first (or claiming they were) and letting everything else fall by the wayside. Republicans have proven that they have no qualms with pouring exorbitant amounts of money into defense. If there’s one thing that should light a fire under them to accept that change is necessary, this is it.