CleanEnergy Footprints » Archive » Is Climate Change Actually a Threat to National Security? 2014 National Intelligence Strategy - “Many governments will face challenges to meet even the basic needs of their people as they confront demographic change, resource constraints, effects of climate change, and risks of global infectious disease outbreaks.
By looking at the information available from high-ranking military and intelligence agency officials, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, we can see that the positions of Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley on the threat of climate change to national security are in line with top experts. This issue is about science, not politics, and the military is taking it very seriously, reports retired Rear Adm. Each of us is a hard-nosed leader with decades of experience evaluating national security risks. Struggles for control of food, water and energy supplies escalate tensions between ethnic groups, religious groups and nations. But climate is not about predictions of a specific day’s weather months or years in the future. Over the years, scientific findings on climate change have built to the point where we simply cannot afford to ignore them.
Climate change affects military readiness, strains base resilience, creates missions in new regions of the world and increases the likelihood that our armed forces will be deployed for humanitarian missions.
One of Wall Streeta€™s most successful hedge fund managers is once again wading into the climate change debate. The Netherlands is a densely populated country with 16.7 million inhabitants of which 9 million live below sea level.
A vital point of success is the use of storm surge barriers, which are a long collection of valves that can be closed during storm surges. In establishing new policy, responsible officials should tackle the problem from the perspective of Megaregions that form the core of the American economy.
Kareem Chin is an Adjunct Junior Fellow at the American Security Project, a non-partisan think tank devoted to studying questions of America’s long-term national security. The SEC is expected to announce new proposed regulations under Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank, an opportunity for disclosure that is accessible and effective.
Since 2009, there have been a succession of substantial natural gas finds in Eastern Mediterranean.
Of all of our biggest challenges, from social inequality to health care, this is the one that must go immediately to the front of the line. MacFarlane went on to sound, in both nuance and substance, much like an antagonistic character out of an Ayn Rand novel, but with far better jokes. In terms of discussion of current national security threats during the debate, not much time was allotted. OK, so let’s quickly note the silliness of saying the planet will be uninhabitable for either our kids or our grandchildren. This far-fetched alarmism is one reason why so many have trouble taking claims of climate change seriously. But I know that people get very upset about climate change, and they cling to their beliefs about it. National security is a corporate term covering both national defense and foreign relations of the U.S. Specifically, national security means a circumstance that exists as a result of a military or defense advantage over any foreign nation or group of nations, or a friendly foreign relations position, or a defense position capable of successfully protesting hostile or destructive action. But there’s a difference between saying that poverty, climate change, high abortion rates, mass shootings, educational ignorance, racial conflict, moral turpitude, growth of the administrative state, intolerance of religious differences, heroin, obesity, and whatever other pet issue you have are bad, real bad, and saying that they are our biggest national security threat. This is the type of prediction that sounded ever-so-marginally less stupid in 2004 than it does in 2015 and makes Al Gore’s polar ice caps prediction seem downright sensible.
Each of these things might even have a component dealing with national security, some bigger than others. Anyway, when you’re asked a question about national security, keep it in the real national security world. When you’re asked a question about national security, keep it in the real national security world. Because when we want to know what a candidate thinks about national security, that’s a cue to talk about armed forces, spy networks, and diplomacy.
And unless MacFarlane, Sanders, and their friends want to use armed forces and spies and whatnot against the billions of people on this planet who benefit from fossil fuels, they need to stop talking about it as a national security threat. But in the real world, with real problems in and with regard to China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, and elsewhere, we need our political leaders to be serious and sober about when and whether to engage and how best to protect our country. This sentiment may have come as a surprise to many Americans–conservatives and liberals alike. These developments could undermine already-fragile governments that are unable to respond effectively or challenge currently-stable governments, as well as increasing competition and tension between countries vying for limited resources. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions—conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating.
Climate change and associated trends may also indirectly act as “threat multipliers.” They aggravate stressors abroad that can enable terrorist activity and violence, such as poverty, environmental degradation, and social tensions.
Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. It makes a compelling case that climate change is no longer a future threat—it is taking place now.
Thomas Fingar, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Anlaysis, Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, 2008 - “We judge that the most significant impact for the United States will be indirect and result from climate-driven effects on many other countries and their potential to seriously affect US national security interests.

The national security benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy go beyond just mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, and also expand the security and resilience of power generation and distribution infrastructure. We reserve the right to moderate all comments and may exclude any that are spam, abusive, indecent, or off-topic. We have been keeping an eye on climate change for years, first reporting on it as a potential national security threat in 2007. And we are increasingly worried about the lack of comprehensive action by the United States and the global community.
Consider, for example, the severe drought in the years leading up to the civil war in Syria. In the Navy, we found it was important to step away from the emotions and the politics of the issue. We can become more energy efficient and move toward cleaner sources of energy in ways that make economic sense.
He served in the Navy for 32 years and was the Navy oceanographer and navigator from 2009 to 2012. Rising greenhouse gas emissions contribute to an increasing frequency and severity of floods, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes. The below sea level sections of the country are divided into so called ‘dike ring areas,’ which are separate administrative units that are protected by a set of primary sea defense systems. One of them, awarded with the Edelman Award, uses operations research techniques to determine the most efficient limits and resulted in the Dutch government saving 7.8 billion Euros. This is a series of constructions consisting of dams, sluices, locks, dikes, levees and storm surge barriers. These have the major advantage of protecting large areas without requiring destruction of buildings along the way. One example is the Bos-Wash corridor, which stretches 500 miles down the East Coast from Boston, through New York to Washington D.C. He is a master’s candidate in CEMS International Management at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and in Military Strategic Studies at the Netherlands Defense Academy. Governor Chafee, who or what is the greatest national security threat to the United States? It refers to the protection of a nation from attack or other danger by holding adequate armed forces and guarding state secrets.
Some contractors know there’s money to be made in them thar climate change hills and are pushing our military industrial complex to spend lots of cash on adaptation to climate changes that might show up in 100 years or so. He listed two other challenges that climate change was more important than: social inequality and health care.
Talking about climate change, as Sanders and Obama have done in recent days when asked about it, comes off like an attempt to pretend that an unsafe world is safe.
Wishcasting these real national security threats away in favor of any other problem doesn’t actually make them go away. The consequences will likely foster political instability where societal demands exceed the capacity of governments to cope. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure. More severe droughts and tropical storms, especially in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, could also increase population movements, both legal and illegal, across the U.S. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe. It observes that climate change serves as a catalyst of conflict in vulnerable parts of the world, and that projected changes in global migration patterns will make the challenges even more severe. We assess that climate change alone is unlikely to trigger state failure in any state out to 2030, but the impacts will worsen existing problems—such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions.
For these reasons and more, SACE is committed to promoting clean energy solutions to climate change and welcomes the seriousness with which the candidates seek to address one of the greatest problems of our time. The opinions expressed by those providing comments do not reflect the official position of SACE.
I know how complicated the weather system is and how difficult it is to predict accurately the weather even a few days in advance. And our continued reliance on the fossil fuels whose consumption leads to climate change ties our nation’s hands on the world stage and tethers us to nations that do not always have our best interests at heart. We can work on adaptation strategies to protect people and resources in the face of the climate change that is already locked in.
It was the 37th year in a row that global average temperatures were above the long-term average. For each ring, national legislation demands that specific flood safety norms are implemented.
The aim of these works is to shorten the Dutch coastline and hence to reduce the length of dikes that have to be heightened and strengthened. The National Committee on Levee Safety, established by Congress after Hurricane Katrina, reported disturbing findings that the precise location and protection levels of the over 14,000 miles of federal levees and over 100,000 miles of non-federal levees across the United States are largely unknown.
Over the last decades, this approach was successfully developed in the Netherlands where traditional fields of spatial planning, urban development and hydraulic engineering were combined to address the broad climate change challenge both on a local and system-wide level. The uncertainty of various computer model predictions is so dramatic that it’s almost funny, in fact. Can we just acknowledge that it’s not an appropriate answer to a question about national security?
The term national security encompasses within it economic security, monetary security, energy security, environmental security, military security, political security and security of energy and natural resources.

And every bit of presidential rhetoric likes to cast policy goals in terms of heroes, enemies, and victims. Some contractors know there’s money to be made elsewhere in the military-industrial complex.
Who better to answer this question than top experts on national security, such as senior members of the military and intelligence agencies? The national security risks of projected climate change are as serious as any challenges we have faced.
In our defense strategy, we refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today – from infectious disease to terrorism. It identifies threats to elements of National Power here at home, particularly those associated with our infrastructure and our ability to maintain military readiness. Climate change could threaten domestic stability in some states, potentially contributing to intra- or, less likely, interstate conflict, particularly over access to increasingly scarce water resources.
Swiss Re estimated the property damage of Hurricane Sandy at $ 70 billion and of Hurricane Katrina at $ 135 billion. These norms range from 1 flood per 1,250 years to 1 flood per 10,000 years and are chosen based on the quantification of damage to property, production and human life. Moreover, the effects of levee breaches are also uncertain because the government has not mapped a vast quantity of flood plans. Looking through this lens creates a much higher sense of urgency and legitimacy to better defend the Megaregions against floods.
One such successful project led to the development of smart monitoring technologies, which enable continuous testing and inspection of dikes and help to prevent levee breaches cost effectively. Countries like the Netherlands have already championed rational and integrated solutions, which the U.S. Webb said that our greatest long-term threat is China, our greatest short-term security threat is cyber warfare, and our greatest military-operational threat is resolving problems in the Middle East. If it truly would be uninhabitable for our grandkids, or even great-great-great-grandkids that would mean that things were so obviously far gone that nothing we could do would stop it. And nobody has any idea whether any of the policy proposals would have any effect, much less any sizable effect, on the problems predicted by many regarding climate change.
So I get referring to climate change in similar language — it’s a tried and true rhetorical device. Based on the direct quotes below from generals, admirals, Secretaries of the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and directors of national intelligence, it is apparent that those most qualified on the subject of national security largely agree with the two candidates’ assessment of the great risk that global warming and its impacts pose to national security.
The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. Melting sea ice in the Arctic may lead to new opportunities for shipping, tourism, and legal resource exploration, as well as new routes for smuggling and trafficking, increased risk of environmental disasters, and illicit resource exploitation. The update makes clear that actions to build resilience against the projected impacts of climate change are required today. Or, again, maybe the climate alarmism is totally reasonable and things are going to go seriously and apocalyptically ass over teakettle for European cities sometime in the next four years. Let’s leave aside the wisdom of viewing the centralized state as the solution to any of these problems and simply acknowledge that social inequality, health care, and climate change aren’t national security issues! Weakened and failing governments, with an already thin margin for survival, foster the conditions for internal conflicts, extremism, and movement toward increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies.
Higher temperatures may change patterns of human, animal, and plant diseases, putting the workforce, the general public, and plant and animal health at higher risk of illness. A changing climate will have real impacts on our military and the way it executes its missions. And also maybe our military spends way too much time on things that have nothing to do with their actual national security mission. Social inequality may be super important to MacFarlane, who has a net worth of $150 million and is #86 on Forbes magazine’s list of the wealthiest 100 celebrities. The United States may need to prepare for more frequent, short-term, disaster-driven migration. The military could be called upon more often to support civil authorities, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the face of more frequent and more intense natural disasters. Higher temperatures and more intense storms may also damage or disrupt telecommunications and power systems, creating challenges for telecommunications infrastructure, emergency communications, and the availability of cyber systems. Our coastal installations are vulnerable to rising sea levels and increased flooding, while droughts, wildfires, and more extreme temperatures could threaten many of our training activities. But his list is a list of either domestic problems or global problems that are not warehoused in the national security complex. Finally, the cost of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from such events is anticipated to grow as weather-related events continue to become more severe and damaging.
Our supply chains could be impacted, and we will need to ensure our critical equipment works under more extreme weather conditions. Weather has always affected military operations, and as the climate changes, the way we execute operations may be altered or constrained. While scientists are converging toward consensus on future climate projections, uncertainty remains.

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