Saturday, May 19, 2007

More Climate Change and National Security

When I first blogged about this about a month ago, it was just an article in Le Monde and a small AP story about the U.N. But now Congress is considering the national security issues of climate change and there's been a bunch of stories about it.

Boston Globe: Article by Bryan Bender gives an overview of a Senate bill requiring the National Intelligence director to create an NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) on global warming.
The effort would include pinpointing the regions at highest risk of humanitarian suffering and assessing the likelihood of wars erupting over diminishing water and other resources.

The measure also would order the Pentagon to undertake a series of war games to determine how global climate change could affect US security, including "direct physical threats to the United States posed by extreme weather events such as hurricanes."

I have no idea what war gaming against extreme weather looks like but the first part of that quote seems like a reasonable thing to do. The article finishes with:
"What makes this interesting is the clear effort to make the politics of global warming broader," said Hamre, who is now president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "There are legitimate security issues associated with this question."

This AP story covers a recent report written by retired generals and admirals which warns about how destabilizing climate change can be:
The report says 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 predicts.

More coverage of this report from The Financial Times.
Download the report here.

The spin on these seems to be mostly "wow! Even generals are worried about climate change." I think that's appropriate and underscores just how out-of-touch is the climate-denier crowd.

According to the Washington Post, the Director of National Intelligence agrees its a good thing to do.
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell believes it is "appropriate" for global climate change to be considered in a future National Intelligence Estimate, according to a letter he sent Wednesday to Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Joe Brewer at the Rockridge Institute (the guys who know something about framing) has a long essay on security as a progressive issue and how great a match this is with fighting global warming. Funny how this "frame" seems to have come from general's first.

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