From an editorial Friday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Conservative members of Congress may not be ready to acknowledge the reality of climate change, but the Pentagon sees it for what it is – a threat to national security.
Unlike ideology-driven politicians, the military must deal with reality as it finds it, regardless of how unpleasant it may be. Surveying the landscape, the Pentagon lists a Pandora’s box of social and political ills resulting from conditions generated by climate change: terrorism, infectious diseases, poverty, conflicts caused by food and water shortages, and mass refugee migrations.
Because the U.S. military is one of the first responders whenever and wherever there is a regional crisis in the world, it must plan for these possibilities. The fact that political unrest is the No. 1 ingredient for war, the likelihood that climate change will stimulate the necessary conditions for international chaos is high.
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Some will dismiss the Pentagon’s concern on this subject as an attempt to prop up President Barack Obama’s agenda as he tries to build support for a U.N. agreement on climate change.
More likely is the Pentagon doesn’t want to be stretched any more than it already is. Weather-related disasters that trigger more war and unrest would certainly do that.