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Global Warming Threatens U.S. Security, Ex-Generals Report April 15, 2007

Posted by Dan in Environment, Main, Must Read, Politics, Science.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming poses a “serious threat to America’s national security” and the U.S. likely will be dragged into fights over water and other shortages, top retired military leaders warn in a new report.

The report says that in the next 30 to 40 years there will be wars over water, increased hunger instability from worsening disease and rising sea levels and global warming-induced refugees. “The chaos that results can be an incubator of civil strife, genocide and the growth of terrorism,” the 35-page report predicts.

“Climate change exacerbates already unstable situations,” former U.S. Army chief of staff Gordon Sullivan told Associated Press Radio. “Everybody needs to start paying attention to what’s going on. I don’t think this is a particularly hard sell in the Pentagon. … We’re paying attention to what those security implications are.”

Gen. Anthony “Tony” Zinni, President Bush’s former Middle East envoy, says in the report: “It’s not hard to make the connection between climate change and instability, or climate change and terrorism.”

The report was issued by the Alexandria, Virginia-based, national security think-tank The CNA Corporation and was written by six retired admirals and five retired generals. They warn of a future of rampant disease, water shortages and flooding that will make already dicey areas — such as the Middle East, Asia and Africa — even worse.

“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,” the report says. “The U.S. will be drawn more frequently into these situations.”

Joining calls already made by scientists and environmental activists, the retired U.S. military leaders call on the U.S. government to make major cuts in emissions of gases that cause global warming.

The Bush administration has declined mandatory emission cuts in favor of voluntary methods. Other nations have committed to required reductions that kick in within a few years.

“We will pay for this one way or another,” writes Zinni, former commander of U.S. Central Command. “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.”

Top climate scientists said the report makes sense and increased national security risk is a legitimate global warming side-effect.

The report is “pretty impressive,” but may be too alarmist because it may take longer than 30 years for some of these things to happen, said Stanford scientist Terry Root, a co-author of this month’s international scientific report on the effects of global warming on life on Earth.

But the instability will happen sometime, Root agreed.

“We’re going to have a war over water,” Root said. “There’s just not going to be enough water around for us to have for us to need to live with and to provide for the natural environment.”

University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver said the military officers were smart to highlight the issue of refugees who flee unstable areas because of global warming.

“There will be tens of millions of people migrating, where are we going to put them?” Weaver said.

Weaver said that over the past years, scientists, who by nature are cautious, have been attacked by conservative activists when warning about climate change. This shows that it’s not a liberal-conservative issue, Weaver said.

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1. Michelle - April 19, 2007

Weren’t you guys all screaming about global COOLING not too long ago? We were all supposed to FREEZE to death? You had all that scientific mumbo-jumbo that PROVED that too, didn’t ya?

Now we’re supposed to believe that we’re going to FRY to death instead?

And why is it none of the scientists are jumping out of their labs to back up these crazed warnings and all the politicians are instead?

You know, I’m not the greatest Christian in the world here, but even I remember the Biblical warnings about how people are going to SCREAM the sky is falling and you guys are doing a great job of making that revelation true. Besides, I kinda like the idea that God likes this world a lot more then you do and I don’t worry that He’s going to destroy His own creation. Maybe you aethists do, but I don’t think I wanna be stupid enough to believe I’m the superior being like you do. I like to believe God knows what He’s doing, so I don’t have to.

How exactly do you equate increased WAR due to having your face melted off? Then you say we’re not going to have any water but there will be floods. Geez! Make up your minds!!!!

Seriously, I wanna know! What happened to GLOBAL COOLING??? Not enough idiots bought into it so you waited 15-20 years and came up with this one?

2. Dan - April 19, 2007

Michelle,

God destroys the world all the time in the Bible… have you read it? There’s that huge flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Plagues… and thats just off the top of my head. However, I don’t even know why I’m addressing this as God has nothing to do with carbon emissions.

If you understood the topic better, you would know that a small rise in global temperature (from an increase in greenhouse gases, more cars on the road, or just a really really big hair-dryer…. the cause doesn’t matter) would melt the polar ice caps. The resulting addition of (and this is important) fresh water into the salt water oceans would disrupt the density driven system of deep ocean currents referred to as thermohaline circulation.

The movement of these currents, or in this case the lack thereof, would have enormous impacts on the corresponding global wind systems. The natural action by which air from the equator, warmed by the sun, is blown to the poles will stop functioning causing global temperatures to drop rapidly, starting with those poles, and triggering an ice age.

I hope that explains things further for you, but if you still don’t understand, I wouldn’t recommend looking in the Bible for answers to climate change, or any other scientific question for that matter. However, I would recommend looking somewhere as your own knowledge on the topic seems inadequate.


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