Tuesday, November 12, 2019

If the US military is facing up to the climate crisis, shouldn't we all?


Michael Klare
Tue 12 Nov 2019 08.12 EST
Last modified on Tue 12 Nov 2019 10.17 EST


Military leaders have not said much in public about global warming, in part because they’re reluctant to become involved in partisan political issues (as climate has become) and partly because top government officials—in the United States, at least—have actively discouraged such involvement. Nevertheless, senior officers are fully aware of warming’s deleterious effects and have devised a thorough analysis of its strategic implications. As I demonstrate in my new book, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, senior American officers believe that global warming is already threatening the survival of many poor, resource-deprived countries and poses a significant risk to even the wealthiest of nations.


In this, and other Pentagon documents, senior officials have identified three main pathways by which climate change is likely to endanger American security: by increasing the level of conflict and chaos abroad; by exposing the homeland to ever more destructive climate effects; and by obstructing the military’s capacity to carry out its assigned missions.


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