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.
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.