Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Growing Pentagon Focus on Energy and Climate
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
For the first time, the report — at the request of lawmakers — considered the significance of climate change for national security, both as a potential source of conflict and a factor in military operations.
A core conclusion:
Assessments conducted by the intelligence community indicate that climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments. Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.
The report also describes a longstanding, and now intensifying, focus on cutting the use of fuels, which is a huge cost and a security concern on the battlefield. There’s yet another plea — particularly in light of expanding shipping activity in the Arctic Ocean — for ratification of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, which despite support from a series of presidents faces persistent resistance from a small cluster of influential senators