National Security Says Climate Has Been a Risk Since 2003


May 18, 2017 by John Crapper


Now that the Donald is receiving regular national security briefings one can only hope that some of this history listed below penetrates his fascist brain.  I’m not optimistic.


“Climate change poses a significant and growing threat to national security, both at home and abroad,” declared a memorandum from the White House to the heads of executive departments and agencies.”

This is nothing new.  The Pentagon has been dong this planning since 2003.

“An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and its Implications for United States National Security,” warned of new wars fought over dwindling resources as the climate changed. The study, commissioned by the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, foreshadows a lot of the fears contained in the recent policy memorandum.”

Here is an excerpt from the report.

“As global and local carrying capacities are reduced, tensions could mount around the world, leading to two fundamental strategies: defensive and offensive. Nations with the resources to do so may build virtual fortresses around their countries, preserving resources for themselves. Less fortunate nations especially those with ancient enmities with their neighbors, may initiate in struggles for access to food, clean water, or energy. Unlikely alliances could be formed as defense priorities shift and the goal is resources for survival rather than religion, ideology, or national honor.”

Climate change can cause the spread of invasive species of pests and plant species.  It can cause the spread of infectious plant, animal, and human disease as a result.  It can undermine economic growth and livelihoods.  All these effects can lead to mass population migration across international borders.
The Center For Climate and Security has a full timeline of military interest with climate change.  Here are a few highlights from that timeline of particular interest to the United States.

“These risks will require managing the divergent needs of massively increasing energy demand to maintain economic development and the need to tackle climate change,” read the 2008 National Defense Strategy of the United States.

A roadmap on climate change in 2010. From that roadmap:

Climate change is a national security challenge with strategic implications for the Navy. Climate change will lead to increased tensions in nations with weak economies and political institutions. While climate change alone is not likely to lead to future conflict, it may be a contributing factor. Climate change is affecting, and will continue to affect, U.S. military installations and access to natural resources worldwide. It will affect the type, scope, and location of future Navy missions.

In 2012, Homeland Security released a report on climate change. So did the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, with a a report on Global Water Security for the State Department, noting that

“During the next 10 years, many countries important to the United States will experience water problems—shortages, poor water quality, or floods—that will risk instability and state failure, increase regional tensions, and distract them from working with the United States on important U.S. policy objectives.” The study looked out as far ahead as 2040, and said simply, “Climate change will cause water shortages in many areas of the world.”

And that’s just the reports from the first term of George W. Bush’s through to the end of Barack Obama’s first term. There have been 12 additional reports.
The latest memorandum from the White House coordinates a lot of this previous work, and puts greater emphasis on climate security.

I’ve put together my own timeline projecting the effects of climate change on our world out to the year 2100 in connection with a book I’m writing.  It’s not a pretty picture.

One can only hope that some of this good council from our top national security advisors is taken to heart by our new commander-in-chief.  Hope springs eternal.




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Our climate is changing. I'm humorously serious about addressing it. I'm convinced my ego is the main culprit. My religion, Holy Shitters, demands I humble myself and celebrate the fact my shit stinks.
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