Climate change is a threat to national security, according to fifteen leaders in the US Armed Forces. As the US military has always been at the cutting-edge of technology — having developed everything from fighter jets that run on biofuel to solar powered backpacks for troops in Afghanistan — it is no surprise to learn that they are one of the biggest supporters of alternative fuels and energy. Despite certain conservative groups attacking clean energy programs, saying that they are part of “President Obama’s war on affordable energy”, the US military believes they make the armed forces more efficient and enhance military effectiveness. EcoWatch has compiled a list of military personnel to show you that despite what Fox News might say, investment in clean energy does not come at the expense of national security.
There also appears to be no ‘liberal’ bias as quite a large number of the military experts include conservatives such as Thomas Fingar, former chairman of President Bush’s National Intelligence Council who is quoted as saying: “We judge global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for U.S. national security interests over the next 20 years … We judge that the most significant impact for the United States will be indirect and result from climate-driven effects on many other countries and their potential to seriously affect U.S. national security interests.”
Self-described “conservative Republican” Brig. General Steven Anderson, former Chief of Logistics under General Petraeus, concurs saying: “Our oil addiction, I believe, is our greatest threat to our national security. Not just foreign oil but oil in general. Because I believe that in CO2 emissions and climate change and the instability that that all drives, I think that that increases the likelihood there will be conflicts in which American soldiers are going to have to fight and die somewhere.”
The other 13 people that feel climate change is “a clear and present danger” include Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, General Gordon Sullivan, USA (Ret.), former Army chief of staff, Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, USN (Ret.), General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Central Command and special envoy to Israel and Palestine under President George W. Bush, Admiral Joseph Lopez, USN (Ret.), General Chuck Wald, USAF (Ret.), former Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command under President George W. Bush, Brig. General Bob Barnes, USA (Ret.), Vice Admiral Richard Truly, USN (Ret.), former NASA administrator, General Paul Kern, USA (Ret.), Commander of the United States Army Materiel Command under President George W. Bush, Lt. General Lawrence Farrell, USAF (Ret.) Admiral John Nathman, USN (Ret.), former Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command under President George W. Bush and Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, USN (Ret.).
It is surprising that this is even a revalation. By investing in alternative energies, the US Military would not have to spend money sending troops to defend ‘oil interests’ or have its energy supplies threatened. In fact, the Pentagon even has its own Operational Energy Strategy which states: “The volatility of oil prices will continue to be a budgetary challenge for the Department, and the realities of global oil markets mean a disruption of oil supplies is plausible and increasingly likely in the coming decades. The Services have already taken steps to certify aircraft, ships, tactical vehicles, and support equipment to use alternative liquid fuels, a prudent insurance policy against future oil supply disruptions and high prices.”
Also solar powered vehicles can move indefinitely and don’t have to be constantly refuelled. The military reports that fuel consists of over 50 percent of the load carried by supply convoys, which are prized targets for enemy units.
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