Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Swords into plowshares? Generals on global warming

David Seaton's News Links
A distinguished panel of retired generals and admirals have come to the conclusion that if something isn't done about global warming soon, it is going to lead to unheard of levels of worldwide instability producing endless conflict. If not arrested, the trend of climate change will lead to a multiplication of the sort of failed states that provide refuge for "non-state actors" (read Al Qaeda).

Dare we hope that this could be the beginning of some sort of miracle by which the military-industrial complex is "greened"? Are the soldiers going to be the ones to demand that the poor of the world have enough to eat and to drink? DS
Climate change 'a threat to security' - Financial Times
Abstract: Climate change threatens to prolong the war on terrorism and foster political instability that governments will be unable to cope with, an influential panel of 11 retired US generals has warned.(...) The new US military report, commissioned by the government-financed Center for Naval Analyses, lays out strong support for a link between climate change and terrorism. Admiral T. Joseph Lopez, the former commander-in-chief of US Naval Forces Europe and of Allied Forces, Southern Europe and a member of the panel, said: "Climate change can provide the conditions that will extend the war on terror. In the long term, we want to address the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit, but climate change will prolong those conditions. It makes them worse." The report describes climate change as "a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world", which will "seriously exacerbate already marginal living standards in many Asian, African and Middle Eastern nations, causing widespread political instability and the likelihood of failed states". To make matters worse, the military experts warned climate change offered a challenge much more complex than conventional security threats because ofits potential to create "multiple chronic conditions, occurring globally within the same time frame".(...) "We will pay for this one way or another," said Anthony C. Zinni, former commander of US forcesin the Middle East. "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. And that will involve human lives. There will be a human toll." One of the recommendations of the military advisory panel was that "the US must commit to a stronger national and international role to help stabilise climate change at levels that will avoid significant disruption to global security and stability". READ IT ALL

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