Under both Republican and Democratic Administrations, leaders in the U.S. foreign policy and national security establishment have recognized the security risks of climate change, and have become increasingly active in arguing for a response commensurate to the threat.

The Department of Defense has found “Our nation’s dependence on fossil fuel is a national security threat.” Our nation’s leaders have made serious declarations. Millions of US Citizens are Responding with Actionable Initiatives. “We shall not let them stand alone.”

Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, in November of last year, said:

“But the challenge of global climate change, while not new to history, is new to the modern world. Climate change does not directly cause conflict, but it can significantly add to the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. Food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, more severe natural disasters – all place additional burdens on economies, societies, and institutions around the world. Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is a reminder of humanitarian disaster brought on by nature. And climatologists warn us of the increased probability of more destructive storms to come.”

He has also said: “Planning for climate change and smarter energy investments not only make us a stronger military, they have many additional benefits – saving us money, reducing demand, and helping protect the environment.”

Just weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, about the task of mobilizing the US war economy.

“Our task is unprecedented and the time is short. Let no man say, it cannot be done. It must be done, and we have undertaken to do it.”

Representatives of The American Legion, the Military Services and the Citizens’ Climate Lobby will discuss and explore the connections between climate change and national security, and discuss ways to educate the public, inform the political discourse, and motivate action by legislators to mitigate climate change and so advance our national and global security.

The panelists include:

  • Janet Larsen, Director of Research, Earth Policy Institute
  • Brigadier Gen. Gerald Galloway, United States Army (retired)
  • Daniel Richter, Ph.D., Legislative and Science Director, Citizens’ Climate Lobby

The discussion will be moderated by Joseph Robertson, Strategic Coordinator, Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

This is a non-partisan discussion, solely proposed and sponsored by American Legion Post 291 “Sustainability Vanguard”, San Leon Texas. The discussions do not represent official positions of the American Legion or the Citizens’ Climate Lobby or any other participating group. All panelists are acting only as individuals, and the moderated panel discussion is intended only as an exploration of the ideas discussed.

– – –

Featured image courtesy US Navy: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta talks to troops in Djibouti about climate security risks

Written by Joseph Robertson

Joseph is Global Strategy Director for the non-partisan non-profit Citizens' Climate Lobby. He coordinates the building of CCL's citizen engagement groups on 5 continents, leads the Citizens' Climate Engagement Network and represents CCL in the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, UNFCCC negotiations, and other UN processes. He is a member of the Executive Board of the UN-linked NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY and of the Policy and Strategy Group for the World We Want. He is also the founder of Geoversiv.net and the Geoversiv Foundation and the lead strategist supporting the high-level climate dialogue series Accelerating Progress, Advancing Innovation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s