Climate change skeptics have suggested that those who warn about it are engaged in some diabolical plot to foist changes in the US that are harmful. The fact that there is a worldwide overwhelming consensus within the scientific community that this is a real danger and that we are already past the time when we could reverse the effects and now must settle for limiting the damage does not faze them in the least. They have pooh-poohed it as alarmist rhetoric and fear mongering. The more who warn of it, the wider the conspiracy is in their minds.
I am not sure what they will make of this new report put out by the Pentagon, of all places, that warns that climate change is an immediate threat because it is actually endangering national security.
Rising sea levels, hotter global temperatures, wildly fluctuating precipitation patterns, and more frequent extreme weather systems will likely intensify global instability, hunger, and poverty. These events could very well lead to acute food and water shortages, an explosion of pandemic diseases, waves of destitute refugees, and violent conflagrations over dwindling natural resources — a likelihood that should be viewed as an immediate threat to America’s national security.
Those are the sobering themes of a new report on climate change, authored not by scientists or environmentalists, but by uniformed personnel at the US Department of Defense.
“For the first time the Department of Defense is significantly engaging with the implications of climate change, specifically what to do now in terms of adapting to a new global threat,” Andrew Holland, senior fellow for Energy and Climate at the American Security Project, told VICE News.
Holland says the report is not revolutionary. The Pentagon has been assessing the potential impacts of climate change for many years. What is novel about the roadmap, he says, is its emphasis on climate change as an immediate national security concern, one that should be discussed in the present rather than the future tense. And, he said, the document presents climate change as a risk not only to military personnel and equipment but to the well-being of the nation as a whole.
So the question that Republicans and other climate change skeptics must now address is: Why does the Pentagon hate America?