By John Stark
“Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease, and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.” Sierra Club? Nope. The Pentagon.
The Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review issued in 2010 has an extensive section on how this nation’s armed forces need to respond — and already are responding — to climate change. The report accepts the broad scientific concensus that climate change is both real and dangerous.
Read the report here, beginning on Page 84 of the main text, which is page 107 of the PDF.
Okay, I know this report is already more than two years old, but it was new to me. In the last few days, many people have told me that mainstream media never report anything about climate change, so I decided to take the heroic step of breaking the embargo.
“Climate-related changes are already being observed in every region of the world, including the U.S. and its coastal waters. Among these physical changes are increases in heavy downpours, rising temperatures and sea level, rapidly-retreating glaciers … Climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments.”
“…extreme weather events may lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response both within the United States and overseas.”
The report also suggests that U.S. military involvement in disaster relief in foreign countries , in cooperation with the local military, can be “a non-threatening way of building trust, sharing best practices on installations management and operations, and developing response capacity.”
“In 2008 the National Intelligence Council judged that more than 30 U.S. military installations were already facing elevated levels of risk from rising sea levels.”
The Defense Department also says it is doing its part to use alternative energy sources while helping to develop new ones: “The Environmental Security and Technology Certification Program uses military installations as a test bed to demonstrate and create a market for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies coming out of the private sector and DoD and Department of Energy laboratories.”
There is much more about DoD efforts in this regard, including a photo of a large solar power array at Fort Carson, Colo.
The report also mentions the “vision of deploying a ‘green’ carrier strike group using biofuel and nuclear power by 2016.”