That hotbed of leftist, green activism – the Pentagon – is at it again, having just released a report that nominates climate change as a “threat multiplier” for national security. Jokes aside, the story is true: U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has just signed off on the 20-page Department of Defense 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, which demonstrates just how alienated from official U.S. government policy climate change deniers are becoming. In his introduction to the report, Secretary Hagel notes, “a changing climate will have real impacts on our military and the way it executes its missions.”

Pentagon report 1

The report is unequivocal in its message, stating: “Climate change will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the Nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security.” While the department has noted the risks of climate change in the past, the characterization of the threat as immediate marks a significant shift in attitude. The report notes that the Department of Defense is focusing on adaptation and mitigation strategies to help it deal with the effects of climate change and to reduce its contribution to the drivers of it, namely greenhouse gas emissions.

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In his introduction to the report, Secretary Hagel stated: “Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe. In our defense strategy, we refer to climate change as a ‘threat multiplier’ because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today – from infectious disease to terrorism. We are already beginning to see some of these impacts.”

The report outlines ways in which climate change could have an impact on the operations of the U.S. military, including its training and testing activities, built and natural infrastructure, its acquisition and supply chains and its plans and operations, such as an anticipated increase in demand for assistance from other countries. Announcing the release of the roadmap at the Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas in Peru on Monday, Secretary Hagel said, “We have nearly completed a baseline survey to assess the vulnerability of our military’s more than 7,000 bases, installations and other facilities. Drawing on these assessments, we will integrate climate change considerations into our planning, operations and training.”

+ U.S. Department of Defense

Via The Guardian

Photos by DVIDSHUB and Chuck Hagel via Flickr