The changing global climate will pose
profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades,
raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of
violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and
intelligence analysts say.
Such climate-induced crises could topple
governments, feed terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions, say the
analysts, experts at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies who for the
first time are taking a serious look at the national security implications
Recent war games and intelligence studies
conclude that over the next 20 to 30 years, vulnerable regions, particularly
sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia, will face
the prospect of food shortages, water crises and catastrophic flooding
driven by climate change that could demand an American humanitarian relief
or military response.
An exercise last December at the
National Defense University, an educational institute that is overseen
by the military, explored the potential impact of a destructive flood in
Bangladesh that sent hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming into
neighboring India, touching off religious conflict, the spread of contagious
diseases and vast damage to infrastructure. ...
Much of the public and political debate on
global warming has focused on finding substitutes for fossil fuels,
reducing emissions that contribute to greenhouse gases and furthering
negotiations toward an international climate treaty — not potential security
challenges. But a growing number of policy makers say that the world’s
rising temperatures, surging seas and melting glaciers are a direct threat
to the national interest.
If the United States does not lead the
world in reducing fossil-fuel consumption and thus emissions of global
warming gases, proponents of this view say, a series of global
environmental, social, political and possibly military crises loom that the
nation will urgently have to address.
This argument could prove a fulcrum for
debate in the Senate next month when it takes up climate and energy
legislation passed in June by the House. Lawmakers leading the debate before
Congress are only now beginning to make the national security argument for
approving the legislation.
John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who is the chairman of the
Relations Committee and a leading advocate for the climate legislation,
said he hoped to sway Senate skeptics by pressing that issue to pass a
Mr. Kerry said the continuing conflict in
southern Sudan, which has killed and displaced tens of thousands of people,
is a result of drought and expansion of deserts in the north. “That is going
to be repeated many times over and on a much larger scale,” he said.
The Department of Defense’s assessment of the
security issue came about after prodding by Congress to include climate
issues in its strategic plans — specifically, in 2008 budget authorizations
Hillary Rodham Clinton and
John W. Warner, then senators. The department’s climate modeling is
based on sophisticated
Navy and Air Force weather programs and other government climate
research programs at
NASA and the
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Pentagon and the State Department have
studied issues arising from dependence on foreign sources of energy for
years but are only now considering the effects of global warming in their
long-term planning documents. The Pentagon will include a climate section in
the Quadrennial Defense Review, due in February; the State Department will
address the issue in its new Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.
“The sense that climate change poses
security and geopolitical challenges is central to the thinking of the
State Department and the climate office,” said Peter Ogden, chief of staff
to Todd Stern, the State Department’s top climate negotiator.
Although military and intelligence planners
have been aware of the challenge posed by climate changes for some years,
the Obama administration has made it a central policy focus.
A changing climate presents a range of
challenges for the military. Many of its critical installations are
vulnerable to rising seas and storm surges. In Florida,
Homestead Air Force Base was essentially destroyed by Hurricane Andrew
in 1992, and Hurricane Ivan badly damaged
Naval Air Station Pensacola in 2004. Military planners are studying ways
to protect the major naval stations in Norfolk, Va., and San Diego from
climate-induced rising seas and severe storms.
by Him [our Lord, Jesus Christ] all things were created that are in
heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones
or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created
through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in
Him all things consist."
Thousands of years
before scientists understood or acknowledged this cycle, it was
documented in the Bible. The verses below describe the repeated
cycle of precipitation, the flow of water into oceans, its
evaporation, and its condensation, which is transported inland
in clouds, and driven by currents of winds -- including the now
familiar "jet stream," which was unheard of in former times.
"God... draws up
drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which
the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. Indeed, can
anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from
His canopy?" Job 36:26-29
"The wind goes
toward the south, and turns around to the north;
The wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full;
To the place from which the rivers come, there they return
again." Ecclesiastes 1:6-7
Notice the order of
His creation and the divine laws that guide it:
"Then the Lord answered Job
out of the whirlwind, and said:
“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
"Where were you when
I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
"Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?"
The mighty Creator
of the universe continued speaking. He pointed to His sovereign hand
behind light, behind the ocean tides, behind the evaporating waters
that rise as clouds over the seas before watering the land, and behind
the wind currents that warm and cool the planet according to His
“Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth
and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment....
I fixed My limit for it, and set bars and doors;
When I said, ‘This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!’ ...
“Have you entered
the springs of the sea?
Or have you walked in search of the depths?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? ...
“Have you entered the
treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail,
Which I have reserved for the time of trouble...?
"By what way is light diffused, or the east wind
scattered over the earth?
Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water, or
a path for the thunderbolt,
To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one,
A wilderness in which there is no man to satisfy the desolate waste,
And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass? ...
"Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you set their dominion over the earth?
Can you lift up your voice to
[or command] the clouds,
That an abundance of water may cover you? ...
"Or who can
pour out the bottles of heaven,
When the dust hardens in clumps, and the clods cling together?
“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of
the young lions...?
Who provides food for the raven, when its young ones cry to
instructions in the DNA code of each living thing:
“Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south?
eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest
On the rocks it dwells and resides, on the crag of the rock and the
From there it spies out the prey; its eyes observe from afar.
Its young ones suck up blood; and where the slain are, there it is.”
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that You can do
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."
Consider today's attempts
to mix genes and create new hybrid species:
"Then God said, “Let the
earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit
tree that yields fruit according to its kind....
"And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle
according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the
earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1:11, 25
I am the Lord your God,
Who divided the sea whose waves roared—
The Lord of hosts is His name.
And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may
plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ ”Isaiah
"The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works."
"Know that the Lord, He is
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture."
"Oh, the depth of the
riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His
judgments and His ways past finding out!
For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
of Him and through Him and to Him are all
to whom be glory forever.
the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the
seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of
the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were
opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty
"Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters
increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.
The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the
ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters
prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under
the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits
upward, and the mountains were covered...."
“In the beginning God
created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and
void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of
God was hovering over the face of the waters.
"Then God said, 'Let there be light';
and there was light. ...
"Then God said, 'Let there be a
firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters
from the waters.' ...
"Then God said, 'Let the waters under the
heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land
appear'; and it was so. ... And God saw that it was good.
Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend
and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every
tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day
that you eat of it you shall surely die.'”