The effects of climate change, such as extreme weather leading to migration, are being factored into national security planning, the New York Times reports.
The military analysts the Times spoke to say that climate issues could destabilize regions, increase terrorism, and destroy governments. With extreme weather comes displacement. As people have to leave their homes, the government steps in with aid. Further, as new groups of people are forced to live together there’s a risk of warfare.
The National Intelligence Council, which produces governmentwide intelligence analyses, produced the first assessment of the national security implications of global climate change just last year. It concluded that climate change by itself would have significant geopolitical impacts around the world and would contribute to a host of problems, including poverty, environmental degradation and the weakening of national governments.
The assessment warned that the storms, droughts and food shortages that might result from a warming planet in coming decades would create numerous relief emergencies.
…”We will pay for this one way or another,” Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, a retired Marine and the former head of the Central Command, wrote recently in a report he prepared as a member of a military advisory board on energy and climate at CNA, a private group that does research for the Navy. “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,” he warned. “And that will involve human lives.”
To this point, the climate bill has been framed as a discussion about economics. John Kerry who is quoted in the story says he plans to talk up the security angle once the Senate starts debating the bill in the fall.
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