Bill ties climate to national security


The Boston Globe – April 9, 2007

I guess this makes sense. If we assume that massive global climate change is going to happen then we have to assume that the world is on the verge of massive changes.  Nations will crumble.  People will be displaced.  If this is the case, it is logical that the intelligence agencies of the world should analyze what will happen to develop scenarios in how to deal with it. 

My biggest concern right now is that these are the same agencies that said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Should we trust them?

The CIA and Pentagon would for the first time be required to assess the national security implications of climate change under proposed legislation intended to elevate global warming to a national defense issue. The bipartisan proposal, which its sponsors expect to pass the Congress with wide support, calls for the director of national intelligence to conduct the first-ever “national intelligence estimate” on global warming.

…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.”

Anne Harrington , director of the committee on international security at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington. “If the White House does not absorb the independent scientific expertise, then maybe something from the intelligence community might have more weight.”

The push in the United States to treat global warming as a national security threat follows the same path as previous efforts to treat the spread of AIDS as a security threat. The disease was long seen as exclusively a health issue until intelligence officials warned that it could ravage military forces across Africa and draw the United States into conflict.

Senator Richard J. Durbin , an Illinois Democrat, said:”For years, many of us have examined global warming as an environmental or economic issue. We also need to consider it as a security concern.”

However, in 2003, two Pentagon analysts wrote a provocative report on the possible national security implications of an abrupt change in the climate, citing, among other outcomes, the prospect of nuclear powers struggling to feed their people and being forced to fight over shared rivers.  “With over 200 river basins touching multiple nations, we can expect conflict over access to water for drinking, irrigation, and transportation,” the analysts wrote. “The Danube touches 12 nations, the Nile runs through nine, and the Amazon runs through seven.”

Read the full article here.

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