Saturday, April 14, 2007

U.S. Military getting on board?

The WaPo today reports, in Military Sharpens Focus on Climate Change, that 11 senior generals are releasing a report admitting that

global warming "presents significant national security challenges to the United States," which it must address or face serious consequences.
It seems that, based on their study, the military should be highly motivated to support any preventative or mitigating activities related to climate change because they recognize that threats to stability are likely to resolve into threats to the U.S. Drought in poor countries could be expected to "drive a flood of migrants to richer countries."
"Many developing nations do not have the government and social infrastructures in place to cope with the type of stressors that could be brought about by global climate change," the report states. "When a government can no longer deliver services to its people, ensure domestic order, and protect the nation's borders from invasion, conditions are ripe for turmoil, extremism and terrorism to fill the vacuum."
CNN's account of the report includes this quote by General Anthony Zinni:
"We will pay for this one way or another," writes 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."
Stanford scientist Terry Root, a co-author of the report agreed, in this somewhat awkward statement, that the water-based instability was sure to come eventually.
"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."

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