Climate Change and National Security
Political pundits and industry-funded skeptics may be trying to instill public doubt about global climate change, but they aren’t convincing the U.S. military. Panelists at this year’s American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) Meeting in Aspen, Colorado, including Col. Mark Mykleby, special strategic assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former US EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, are considering the impact of climate change when developing national security policy, reports the Aspen Times.
Crop failure, food shortages, and climate refugees were cited as some of the most serious threats to national security caused by global climate change. The recent flooding in Pakistan is a key example, according to Whitman. Prolonged dry conditions coupled with the intense monsoon rain caused the recent flooding catastrophe, and similar events can be expected in a warmer world, where hydrologic extremes (floods and droughts) will be more common. Such events can stress governments considerable. In the case of the Pakistan flooding, increased stress on political and social institutions could provide leverage for the Taliban to gain power, thereby threatening U.S. security.
AREDAY brought together key climate and environmental thinkers, scientists, and decision-makers for a four-day conference in Aspen last weekend. Visit the conference website to watch video highlights and read the full article to learn more.