National security insiders and environmentalists believe the next U.S. president must create a new cabinet position to confront so-called man made global warming.
An environmentalist think tank and former members of the military brass argued in a report Wednesday that future presidential administrations must tackle global warming by crafting a cabinet level position to deal with the effects climate change have on national security.
The document, which also describes global warming as a “significant and direct” threat to the U.S. military, is the brainchild of Washington-based think tank Center for Climate and Security, as well as senior military officials including retired Gen. Anthony Zinni, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, and Admiral Samuel Locklear, the former head of the Pacific Command.
“The complex relationship between sea level rise, storm surge and global readiness and responsiveness must be explored down to the operational level, across the Services and Joint forces, and up to a strategic level as well,” the report said.
Climatic change presents an enormous risk to national security, the Center for Climate and Security said in a statement, adding, “inaction is not a viable option.”
Francesco Femia, co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security, said the reports show a surge in support from national security and military officials to engage in a multi-thronged fight against climate change.
Similar claims have come from Obama administration officials.
Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change the “most serious challenge we face on the planet” in 2014, and calls for President Barack Obama to do more to fight climate changed intensified.
“Let me just say that one of the greatest challenges of our times besides the fight against extremism is to deal with the enormous battle of climate change,” Kerry said in June during a press conference in Denmark.
Kerry doubled down on the assertion in a 2014 speech in Jakarta, claiming climate change is the “world’s largest weapon of mass destruction.”
The idea that global warming is affecting national security is not a purely Democratic position, as at least one Republican official with the Bush administration has bought into the idea, hook-line-and sinker.
The group’s report, as well as those calling for a new cabinet position meant to confront climate change, comes on the heels of a recent suggestion by Stephen Hadley, the national security advisor to former President George W. Bush, that global warming is stimulating terrorism.
“Climate change and a lot of other economic dislocations have put a lot of people out of work,” Hadley said during a speaking event in August conducted by Politico.
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