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Military assessment of climate change

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, December 2nd, 2016 - 11 comments
Categories: climate change, defence, disaster, global warming, war - Tags: , , , ,

Military institutions have to live in the real world. They are full of practical people. They assess risk. The military assessment of climate change then, should carry some weight:

Climate change will stir ‘unimaginable’ refugee crisis, says military

Unchecked global warming is greatest threat to 21st-century security where mass migration could be ‘new normal’, say senior military

Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale”, according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”.

The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the war in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency.

Military leaders have long warned that global warming could multiply and accelerate security threats around the world by provoking conflicts and migration. They are now warning that immediate action is required.

Brig Gen Stephen Cheney, a member of the US Department of State’s foreign affairs policy board and CEO of the American Security Project, said: “Climate change could lead to a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. We’re already seeing migration of large numbers of people around the world because of food scarcity, water insecurity and extreme weather, and this is set to become the new normal.

“Climate change impacts are also acting as an accelerant of instability in parts of the world on Europe’s doorstep, including the Middle East and Africa,” Cheney said. “There are direct links to climate change in the Arab Spring, the war in Syria, and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency in sub-Saharan Africa.”

“Countries are going to pay for climate change one way or another,” said Cheney. “The best way to pay for it is by tackling the root causes of climate change and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. If we do not, the national security impacts will be increasingly costly and challenging.”

Read the full piece in The Guardian.

America’s military need to sit down and have a quiet word with their soon-to-be Commander in Chief.

11 comments on “Military assessment of climate change”

  1. Andre 1

    “America’s military need to sit down and have a quiet word with their soon-to-be Commander in Chief.”

    They’ve probably tried. But he’s not bothering with intelligence briefings, and besides he’s told us he knows more than the generals anyway.

  2. The military assessment of climate change should, I say should, make a difference to the politicans but the die is cast methinks. – Much easier to just start shooting (pretty soon people forget why it started or they don’t care because they are trying not to be killed) and you never know – you may win – whatever that concept may mean to the pea brained instigators of these horrors.

    Climate change and war are particularly rambunctious bedfellows – we all lose when they start playing around together

    “Wave the magic wand and the problem goes away. Those pesky pollution laws, carbon caps and clean-power plans: swish them away and the golden age of blue-collar employment will return. This is Donald Trump’s promise, in his video message on Monday, in which the US president-elect claimed that unleashing coal and fracking would create “many millions of high-paid jobs”. He will tear down everything to make it come true.

    But it won’t come true. Even if we ripped the world to pieces in the search for full employment, leaving no mountain unturned, we would not find it. Instead, we would merely jeopardise the prosperity – and the lives – of people everywhere. However slavishly governments grovel to corporate Luddism, they will not bring the smog economy back.”

    “… Eventually the anger that cannot be assuaged through policy will be turned outwards, towards other nations. Faced with a choice between hard truths and easy lies, politicians and their supporters in the media will discover that foreign aggression is among the few options for political survival. I now believe that we will see war between the major powers within my lifetime. Which ones it will involve, and on what apparent cause, remains far from clear. But something that once seemed remote now looks probable.”

    George Monbiot – writing some wise words often.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/23/donald-trump-climate-change-war

  3. Infused 3

    You’re lucky Hillary isn’t in power then. Syria etc is her doing.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    America’s military need to sit down and have a quiet word with their soon-to-be Commander in Chief.

    Have you considered what NZ will need to do about this? We really can’t support many more people here under the conditions that will prevail in a few decades.

  5. Ad 5

    I wish these military guys would stop overplaying their hand.
    They sound like they’re playing leftie buzzword bingo for their budgets.

    When was the last time war broke out over water itself?
    The Lagash-Umma dispute of 2450 to 2400 BC?

    Even in Israel/Jordan/Lebanon catchment, people have come to sensible – if tough – conclusions without rolling the tanks in. They’ve all certainly had other reasons to roll the tanks in, but people get mighty pragmatic mighty fast when it comes to security of supply of water.

    • AmaKiwi 5.1

      @ Ad

      Recently released Israeli documents from the 1960’s show Israel’s strategic objectives in the June 1967, Six Day War were to secure the Jordan River for Israel’s exclusive use. That’s the real reason they took the Golan Heights and the West Bank.

      “When was the last time war broke out over water itself?” 1967, for sure.

    • Pat 5.2

      “….but people get mighty pragmatic mighty fast when it comes to security of supply of water.”

      people get mighty pragmatic about securing water when its in short supply…by any means and to hell with anyone else, I believe you meant to say.

    • Macro 5.3

      Syria?
      The exacerbated drought of 2004 caused grain shortages worldwide.
      Sudan?
      The continuing drought in the Sudan particularly in the South exacerbated by religious differences.
      https://www.yahoo.com/news/ethnic-cleansing-going-south-sudan-u-n-commission-145611514.html?ref=gs (Reported just 14 hours ago).
      If people do not have enough to eat they tend to want to blame someone.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    “Climate Wars” by Gwynne Dyer (2008, ISBN 978-0-307-35583-6).

    I highly recommend this book. Dyer describes six high risk regions where water wars are likely. I was particularly taken by his scenario for India and Pakistan. Pakistan depends completely on rivers whose origins are glaciers in India. If India dams these rivers for their own use, Pakistan must fight or it will starve to death.

    I also know Chinese companies (i.e., the Chinese government) are building hydro dams in Laos less than 10 km north of where the Mekong flows south into Cambodia. The dams will dramatically curtail the seasonal flow patterns of the Mekong River, which is the vital artery of Cambodia’s farming and essential fresh water fishery. It will also curtail rice growing in the most productive rice growing region of Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s Mekong delta.

    For more than a decade the CIA has warned that climate change is the single greatest threat to America’s national security. I agree.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      For more than a decade the CIA has warned that climate change is the single greatest threat to America’s national security. I agree.

      And it’s true for the whole world.

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