A report called “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change”, written by some generals and admirals of the US military, was released in April of this year by an outfit called The CNA Corporation, and is available for you to download.
The report gets it right, I think. Climate change isn’t the big problem; it’s all one big problem, but climate change makes it worse.
In the vocabulary of military people it comes out like this:
I wouldn’t put it that way myself, but it’s true enough.
Climate change can act as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world, and it presents significant national security risks for the United States. Accordingly, it is appropriate to start now to help mitigate the severity of some of these emergent challenges. The decision to act should be made soon in order to plan prudently for the nation’s security. The increasing risks from climate change should be addressed now because they will almost certainly get worse with delay.
The report is available from SecurityAndClimate.cna.org which summarizes as follows:
The report includes several formal findings:
- Projected climate change poses a serious threat to America’s national security.
- Climate change acts as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world.
- Projected climate change will add to tensions even in stable regions of the world.
- Climate change, national security and energy dependence are a related set of global challenges.
The report also made several specific recommendations:
- The national security consequences of climate change should be fully integrated into national security and national defense strategies.
- The U.S. should commit to a stronger national and international role to help stabilize climate changes at levels that will avoid significant disruption to global security and stability.
- The U.S. should commit to global partnerships that help less developed nations build the capacity and resiliency to better manage climate impacts.
- The Department of Defense should enhance its operational capability by accelerating the adoption of improved business processes and innovative technologies that result in improved U.S. combat power through energy efficiency.
- DoD should conduct an assessment of the impact on US military installations worldwide of rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and other possible climate change impacts over the next thirty to forty years.