Ben Buchwalter


Pentagon Pushes for Climate Action
February 17, 2010, 8:58 pm
Filed under: change.org, Environment, Military | Tags: , ,

Earlier this month, the Pentagon released a report warning that climate change would threaten more than just our coast lines if Congress did not act quickly to delay or reverse environmental degradation. Climate change could even put American troops serving abroad at risk. The announcement seems surprising, but it’s consistent with two decades of military dogma on the environment that was largely ignored by the Bush administration. I broke down the unrequited friendship between the earth and the military for change.org:

Good working relationships between the Pentagon and concerned climate scientists dates back to the early years of the Clinton administration, which implemented a program that urges the DOD to share classified satellite photographs of the Arctic Ocean with climate scientists.

In 1992, then-Senator Al Gore floated the idea with representatives from George H. W. Bush’s CIA and DOD, and as vice-president, he implemented the program along with Leon Panetta — Clinton’s chief of staff at the time — and departing CIA director Robert Gates. Bush II disbanded the program in 2001 but the New York Times reported earlier this year that the Obama administration plans to resurrect it.  “Decision makers need information and analysis on the effects climate change can have on security,” said CIA Director Panetta in a press release when the agency opened a center on climate change and national security last fall. “The CIA is well positioned to deliver that intelligence.”

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