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Panetta Labels Climate Change a National Security Threat 397

skipkent writes "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared global warming a national security threat [Wednesday] during a speech before an environmentalist group in Washington, D.C. 'The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security,' Panetta told the Environmental Defense Fund last night. 'Rising sea levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.'"
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Panetta Labels Climate Change a National Security Threat

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @11:36AM (#39901655)

    ... starts now.

    • Re:War On Climate (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RebelWithoutAClue ( 578771 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @11:38AM (#39901683) Homepage
      And conveniently bypassing Congressional approval too.
      • Re:War On Climate (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @11:48AM (#39901783) Homepage Journal

        What does this translate into, in real terms? You know, contracts for Halliburton, Bechtel and the gang?

        • Re:War On Climate (Score:5, Insightful)

          by RebelWithoutAClue ( 578771 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:01PM (#39901853) Homepage

          1. The EPA will get it's own SWAT team.

          2. Green subsidies will be moved to the defense budget.

          • by Captain Splendid ( 673276 ) <capsplendid@@@gmail...com> on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:23PM (#39901991) Homepage Journal
            2. Green subsidies will be moved to the defense budget.

            Gawd, I hope so. So many heads asploding.
          • Re:War On Climate (Score:5, Informative)

            by J'raxis ( 248192 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:25PM (#39902013) Homepage

            The EPA has [theind.com] a SWAT team. Plenty more examples come up if you search for "EPA SWAT team," too.

          • Re:War On Climate (Score:4, Informative)

            by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:31PM (#39902067) Journal

            The EPA will get it's own SWAT team.

            Eh ,why not? The NOAA has one. In fact the EPA might already have one [wsj.com]. Guns and badges for everyone. Makes 'em feel all important and stuff

            • Re:War On Climate (Score:5, Insightful)

              by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:48PM (#39902175) Homepage Journal
              Good Lord?!?!

              What do environmental groups need with fucking GUNS and private cops?!?!

              I wonder if there's any way to petition our elected officials, to pass legislation banning agencies from having their own police force and weaponry...? I mean, as far as gun play and all, I'd trust the FBI or Secret Service over these other home brewed forces. IF the EPA needs protection going on a raid...they should maybe have to coordinate with the FBI...keep it simple and separate.

              I don't like the idea of these unelected departments making and enforcing all these rules...but at least lets start and be reasonable and take the 'teeth' out of them a little by mandating they can't have their own weaponized goon squads....

              • Re:War On Climate (Score:5, Informative)

                by J'raxis ( 248192 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:10PM (#39902357) Homepage

                I wonder if there's any way to petition our elected officials, to pass legislation banning agencies from having their own police force and weaponry...? I mean, as far as gun play and all, I'd trust the FBI or Secret Service over these other home brewed forces. IF the EPA needs protection going on a raid...they should maybe have to coordinate with the FBI...keep it simple and separate.

                And back before the FBI was created, when federal law enforcement was almost exclusively contained within the Treasury department,* whether or not any federal agents should even be armed to begin with, was a controversial political issue.

                Now of course the armed FBI (and the IRS, BATFE, ICE, DHS, and...) is accepted as perfectly normal. Shows how far down the drain this country has already gone, doesn't it?

                * Because the Federal Government doesn't actually have any constitutionally-granted "police power" to begin with. This power was meant to be retained by the States. Go ahead and try to find it in the enumerated powers clause of the Constitution (Art. I, sec. 8). All the Federal Government can enforce, constitutionally, is tax law. This is why, up until the 1940s, all Federal "law enforcement" was framed as a tax issue. The ATF is actually a tax-enforcement agency, and was part of the Treasury Department until it was moved to the DOJ in 2002 (Pub.L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (Nov. 25, 2002)). The first federal restrictions on firearms are actually just taxes (72nd Congress, Sess. 2, ch. 757, 48 Stat. 1236 (June 26, 1934)). The first federal marijuana law (Pub. 238, 75th Congress, 50 Stat. 551 (Aug. 2, 1937)) was just a requirement to purchase tax stamps. And so on.

              • by colinrichardday ( 768814 ) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:40PM (#39902593)

                What do environmental groups need with fucking GUNS

                To show the Republicans that they support the Second Amendment!

            • Re:War On Climate (Score:4, Interesting)

              by slick7 ( 1703596 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @05:18PM (#39904181)

              The EPA will get it's own SWAT team.

              Eh ,why not? The NOAA has one. In fact the EPA might already have one [wsj.com]. Guns and badges for everyone. Makes 'em feel all important and stuff

              Why not, DuPont has Xe/Blackwater, the Gutterment has the NDAA. All the American citizen has, is the vote, for all the good that it does. The only person we can look up to is the elected Sheriff and look what THEY (The Hierarchy Enslaving You) are doing to Arpaio.

        • by xclr8r ( 658786 )
          It equals more contracts for them (or their subsidiaries). One contract to make the mess and another contract to subsidiary to clean it up. If they want to avoid ethics violations and be smart they will do cross contracting for the clean up contracts.. i.e Hali sub cleans Bech's mess and vice versa.

          [unrelated joking here]>Polls suggest liberal hipsters are not afraid of terrorist. Best to scare them with Enviro-Annihilation to get appropriate feedback response to vote rights away.[/end lame joke]
        • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) *
          The TSA will begin to make deep inspections on travelers to check methane emission levels.
    • by Shark ( 78448 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @11:51AM (#39901805)

      Now everybody can be accused of terrorism: We caught this man attempting a global warming attack by emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. In fact, we had to put him down as he would not stop even after being caught, threatening the security of our agents.

    • by Burdell ( 228580 )

      I think you're a little late. Nobody expects the Industrial Revolution!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:11PM (#39901913)

      It's the "War On Climate Change" ... get it right.

      The only "obvious" solution is a complete government take over of all things that produce CO2 ... in other words ... socialism. People, Factories, Vehicles, ect ... all property of the state and may only be used if they give the ok, but not before they make you feel horrible about it.

      Who cares that the US Debt:GDP has surpassed 1:1 and that true unemployment is well over 16% ... let’s focus on the climate and stop worrying about that whole economy thing.

      • The use of the word "War" has inflated in a very hilarious way, especially among retarded politicians.
        This isn't a war.
        This is a fight against climate change.

        Just like there is no war on terror, only a fight against terrorism.

        There's a big difference between a fight and a state of war.

    • Be Very Afraid: The Church of The Climate is getting it's own Armed Inquisitition.

      Life Imitates Super Bowl Ad:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml54UuAoLSo [youtube.com]

      • Our chief weapon is surprise!... Excessive paperwork and fear... fear and excessive paperwork... Our two weapons are excessive paperwork and surprise... and ruthless inefficiency! Our three weapons are fear, and surprise, and ruthless inefficiency... and an almost fanatical devotion to the Sierra Club... Our four... no... Amongst our weapons... Hmf... Amongst our weaponry... are such elements as fear, excessive... I'll come in again.

  • No one sees... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @11:37AM (#39901669)
    No one actually sees what is really happening to the climate any more, just what political advantage they can get from it. Because of that it has become just noise.
    • Re:No one sees... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:13PM (#39901921)

      No, damn it. False equivalency. One side lies about it for political gain, the other is desperately trying to get the public to understand that it is a scientifically accepted truth that must be dealt with.

      Tell me, in what way would flooding in NYC and global famine not affect our security?

      • By exaggerating the effects of the problem and making out like a change that happens so slowly you almost can't see it is suddenly an emergency.

      • Re:No one sees... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:40PM (#39902127) Journal

        "That group of politicians are self-serving liars, but this group is benevolent and trying to help everyone!"

        I knew there were still people like you out there, but I thought we'd pretty much fixed this kind of ignorance on Slashdot. I guess we've got some more work to do.

        Here's a hint: neither side gives a shit about you. You're not even a pawn in their little game. At best, you're the chair they rest their fat, sweaty ass on while they play the game and get rich and powerful. That you believe you're on the same side or working towards similar goals is, quite frankly, pathetic.

        If you want to see politicians who aren't stepping on every man, woman, and child to get a little higher up, look for the ones who've been marginalized as fanatical zealots and kooks. After all, in the game of politics, anyone who isn't crushing everyone else to get more money, power, and glory must be a lunatic.

        • Re:No one sees... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mellon ( 7048 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:23PM (#39902455) Homepage

          While your assumption is very simplifying, and thus attractive, I don't think it's correct. The reality is that politicians feel corrupt to us because they live in their own echo chamber, and they do believe a lot of things that are just plain stupid because of that. They listen to the wrong people, the people who have the loudest voices, and choose who to ally with based on what they think is right, or in some cases what they think is beneficial to them.

          Saying that they are just looking out for themselves is oversimplifying. Saying that nothing they say is ever valid is incorrect. It's comforting either to think that politicians are basically good, and looking out for us, or basically evil, and trying to screw us. It's much harder to live in the real world, where they are much more complicated than that, and require our involvement if they are to serve us.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by J'raxis ( 248192 )

        Which side is the one lying about it for political gain? The side that's trying to: Create all sorts of new taxes, laws, and regulations; expand their bureaucracies, create entirely new ones, and massively expand their budgets; hire swarms of new bureaucrats and "experts," who will come up with even more and more reasons for more taxes, regulations, and bureaucrats? You did mean that side of the debate, right? :)

        • Re:No one sees... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:56PM (#39902243)

          Which side is the one lying about it for political gain?

          The side that is LYING!! Truth is REAL. I know that it's trendy to deny it these days, but there are such things as objective facts. All of the science proves that global warming is a fact. You don't like it? Too fucking bad, go cry me a river. Your opinions hold absolutely no sway over fact. You can disbelieve climate change, you can disbelieve evolution, you can disbelieve the moon landing, you can disbelieve that passenger jets brought down the Twin Towers, you can disbelieve gravity. But none of that fucking matters. Because truth is true whether you believe it or not.

          And tell me, how is there "political gain" for the Democrats in raising taxes and creating regulations? How does it help them? Cause from where I stand, they'd be able to win a lot more power if, like the Republicans, they simply denied objective fact and promised tax cuts for everyone. They don't do that. Instead they accept the truth and try to deal with it.

          Fuck you for waging this war on objective truth. We cannot survive without science, and we cannot have science without objective truth.

          • Re:No one sees... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:36PM (#39902555)

            You seem confused so I'll break it down for you:
            Small list of observed facts:
            -Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide, and Methane Gas are all greenhouse gasses.
            -Human behavior at this time includes producing or releasing these gasses.
            -Government regulators in the United States have mandated that cars run at reduced fuel efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
            -Our records indicate that average temperature over time has increased.
            -There are lakes of methane hydrate crystals on the ocean floor.
            -Changes in temperature and pressure can cause heavier-than-water liquids and solids to change phase in to lighter-than-water gasses.

            This is a theory:
            -The recorded change in climate is caused by the human release and production of greenhouse gasses.

            These are hypothesis:
            -A tipping point exists where the Earth's climate will cease to be habitable to human life.
            -We have passed, or are approaching this point.
            -Human influence on climate is significant.

            • Your facts are incomplete. The biggest greenhouse gas, by orders-of-magnitude, is water vapor...not the condensed vapor we see as clouds but the vaporized water that we experience as humidity and which your list does not even include. Human behavior has no effect on atmospheric water vapor. Your assertion that our records indicate that average temperature over time has increased is misleading. Our 'records' of temperature measurement that mean anything at all wrt to climate conditions go back only a few

          • by J'raxis ( 248192 )

            I'm not arguing over the factuality of global warming. I'm arguing over whether not, whatever the truth be, it justifies the government interfering with people's freedoms and liberties. "Just because they can, doesn't mean they should." I've posted enough other comments in this thread to make my point so I won't reiterate it here.

            And tell me, how is there "political gain" for the Democrats in raising taxes and creating regulations? How does it help them? Cause from where I stand, they'd be able to win a lot

          • Fair enough. And what of us who are Pro-Climate Change? ^_^

          • I'd like to see some of this proof you speak of, artor3.

            I'm a scientist, and all I've found in years of research is an increasingly desperate attempt to confuse correlation with causation.

            Show. Me. Proof. Of. Your. Theory.

        • Re:No one sees... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:59PM (#39902269)
          The financial gain/loss by the fossil fuel industry dwarfs any political or economic gains anybody else may have.
        • Re:No one sees... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:11PM (#39902361) Journal

          Which side is the one lying about it for political gain?

          The side that doesn't have facts supporting its position.
          Was that a trick question?

          Can we next debate whether or not smoking tobacco is bad for your lungs? [staticflickr.com]

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          In the UK we reward people for being green with tax cuts. For example my old car attracted a Road Tax of £145, the new one only pays £35 because it is more efficient (and still pretty quick). Okay, if I had bought a 4 litre off-roader it would have gone up, but pollution and extra weight causing wear on the roads does cost money so it seems reasonable that owners of such vehicles pay their fair share.

          Much of the green agenda is about getting rid of bureaucracy and reduce wasted spend

      • Re:No one sees... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clonehappy ( 655530 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:56PM (#39902241)
        I've got karma to burn, so I'll bite. This is the problem with you people, instead of rationally talking about what the problems are and practical things we can all do to help, you jump straight to the end of the world scenario. This makes people tune you out, and you sound like a fool.

        Saying shit like that is the equivalent of saying that if we don't have mandatory internet ID and censorship, that pedophiles and terrorists are inevitably going to break into our homes in the middle of the night and rape our daughters, and take control of the nuclear power plants and run them up to 1000% causing Chernobylfukushimas at every generating station, respectively.

        Both are hyperbole, and do nothing to get logical folks considering your point of view. Try being rational and practical instead of religious and fanatical for a change, and I bet you'll find people are a bit more receptive to your ideas.
    • Sure we do, the sea levels have been rising since the last ice age, the one polar cap melts each and every year, while parts of the antarctic gain cover while other parts lose it, the global average temperature has been both hotter and colder than it is now....climate varies, and always will, with or without man.
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

      But on the other hand it does not matter at all anyway. Why? Because we humans are still breeding like rabbits, and our impact on the climate is 100% linked to our population. Everything else is irrelevant. If there was only 1000 people in the world, those 1000 people could pollute as much as they wanted without ever impacting the ecosystem or the climate. With today's 8 billion and climbing, everyone is being "blamed" and told to be more frugal and more cautious. When we hit 16 billion in under 40 years, i

  • Was this said on one of his weekly trips from D.C. back to California in a VC plane?
  • This is not new (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @11:42AM (#39901729)

    He's saying what's been said many times before, e.g. this from 2009 about the Pentagons simulations:

    "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 of climate change."

    "The National Intelligence Council, which produces government-wide intelligence analyses, finished the first assessment of the national security implications of climate change just last year. "

    • Toppling governments and feeding terrorist movements and destabilizing entire regions. What's the big deal. That's all in a day's work at the Pentagon.

  • Even if it's for the right cause, I can't help but find it weird that dealing with climate change in the US starts by the military declaring it a terrorist.

    • Everything is terrorism!

      Think of the children!

    • Re:The American Way (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:09PM (#39901899) Journal
      And yet, they did not. They have said for the last 8 years that AGW is a threat to global security and ultimately to the West. The scenarios painted over and over show that China runs out of water which is why they are building dams higher up on the rivers. They plan to take the water from India and bangladash. In the mean time, China is helping Pakistan and Burma knowing that they could tie up India and Bangladash with nukes pointed at them.

      Then you have central and southern America which are heavily populated and they will likely have issues with water as well. With the overpopulation that exists there now, ppl will leave to go to Argentina, or northern America. Northern Africa will have massive wars as it dries up further.
      • and yet no-one is even attempting to deal with the cause of all of these problems: human overpopulation.

        (Well, except China and their famous one-child policy of course)

        Reducing the environmental impact of people is kinda pointless if you keep adding more people. In fact, it just worsens the problems because when you finally have to deal with the population problem you've got a larger population to deal with.

    • by mmcxii ( 1707574 )
      Oh? And what is "the right cause"?
  • From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling#1970s_awareness [wikipedia.org] >>> The 1970 "Study of Critical Environmental Problems"[18] reported the possibility of warming from increased carbon dioxide, but no concerns about cooling, setting a lower bound on the beginning of interest in "global cooling". ------- So Global Warming is a phenomenon that the science community was aware of, as a theoretical possibility, as far back as 1970 (that's 42 years ago). ------ But it took several decades for pr
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by houstonbofh ( 602064 )
      I live in Houston. We are essentially at sea level, and close to Galveston which is on a barrier island. I have been hearing that Global warming will cause the seas to rise for 30 years. And yet the concrete piers in the gulf are still at the same level as they were 30 years ago. Real proofs like that make me sceptical of the doom and gloom predictions tossed around all the time.
      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @01:00PM (#39902281) Homepage Journal

        The average sea level rise in the last few decades has been about 3mm/year. So the sea level rise in the last thirty years has been about 3 inches since 1980. Your situation may vary due to geology. In Alaska sea levels are falling due to uplift of the land.

        Take out a 3mm allen key and ask yourself, would you be able to eyeball that much change from year to year, given that the diurnal tides at Galveston are over two feet, and vary by several inches depending on weather and the moon. That's not counting the effect of wind and waves, which have to be averaged out.

        You *can't* eyeball this magnitude of change without special instruments, even if it happened overnight, and you'd still need a long sequence of measurements to know what you are looking at. The practical effects of recent sea level rise are statistical, rather than directly observable.

      • by ukemike ( 956477 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:00PM (#39902717) Homepage

        I have been hearing that Global warming will cause the seas to rise for 30 years. And yet the concrete piers in the gulf are still at the same level as they were 30 years ago.

        This is the worst sort of nonsensical argument. You equate scientific predictions of sea level rise with a sea level rise that is so large that you would be able to observe and notice it with the naked eye by casual and randomly timed observations when you go to the beach. Did you take measurements? Did you account for tide level when you were there? Were you a kid with a totally different sense of scale 30 years ago?

        No scientist ever predicted a rise so large over the last 30 years that casual observation would be able to observe it. The reality is that the predicted sea level rise has matched the reality quite closely. During the last thirty years that you referenced the three-year-average sea level has risen by about 5cm.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png [wikipedia.org]

        The scientific predictions I am aware of predict that the rise will accelerate over the coming century. Some effects, especially big systemic effects lag behind the cause. For instance it takes time for rising CO2 to trap the amount of heat to increase average ocean temperature (which requires a gargantuan amount of energy that is really beyond most humans ability to grasp) then it takes more time for the warmer water to undermine the Antarctic and Greenland Glaciers, but if they do start to fall apart in a big way the Army Corps of Engineers will have to really scramble to keep Huston dry.

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:43PM (#39902143) Homepage Journal

      Actually it goes further back than that. In the 1950s climate scientists, reasoning by extrapolation, expected the next climate swing would be toward cooling. If you do a Google Scholar search you'll find papers starting around 1956 suggesting (tentatively) that anthropogenic CO2 generation would drive climate the other way, toward warming. Scientific consensus shifted over the next two decades toward a warming trend.

      My wife was a physical oceanography grad student at the Woods Hole Oceanographic in the early 80s. I distinctly recall her telling me about a symposium in which CO2-driven AGW was discussed. It wasn't controversial -- nobody outside of geophysics and climate research had heard of it. Nor was the position that global warming wasn't happening controversial, although it was increasingly a minority opinion. Over the next two decades I watched the back and forth as evidence for warming per se was challenged, then vindicated in the pages of the journals she read and in geek publications like Science News. It wasn't until about a decade or so ago that the term "global warming" started taking off in the popular press.

      Then there was Al Gore's *An Inconvenient Truth*, which was a blow against actual science having any influence in the public debate on pollution. It's not that the movie was scientifically inaccurate on the whole, although it was stated in much more positive terms than scientists are comfortable using. It's that a lot of people had been taught to hate this man, and for those people scientists and science as a whole was tarred with the brush of partisan distrust as well.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect [wikipedia.org]

      if the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.

  • by J'raxis ( 248192 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @11:57AM (#39901833) Homepage

    When anyone who isn't a climate change "expert" voices skepticism on climate change, all the believers pile on, outraged, about how the person isn't qualified to be making such statements, how they're abusing their position/authority to sound like they know what they're talking about, &c.. (Remember Bjorn Lomburg?) So I'm sure we'll see the global-warmers express similar outrage about this, right?

    And... "national security threat"? This is the same government agency that thinks that bearded malcontents hiding out in desert caves is a "national security threat." This is the same agency that spent decades fighting the "national security threat" posed by tiny little countries like Vietnam and Cuba going communist. I seem to remember an awful lot of progressives dismissing the lunacy of the War on Terror and the Cold War. So I'm sure they'll dismiss and mock this latest attempt by the U.S. military to imagine or invent new threats, right?


    • by J'raxis ( 248192 )

      Didn't take long for that to get modded down. Cognitive dissonance too much for you? :)

      Oh, and the U.S. Military is the biggest user of fossil fuels [energybulletin.net] in the nation, and the biggest polluter [projectcensored.org] too. Maybe if this bureaucrat thinks climate change is such a big threat he can start by not wasting 395,000 barrels of oil per day on the useless wars he's prosecuting in the name of "national security."

    • Scientists do research, policy makers act on it. Is your argument that policymakers should completely ignore science? Panetta is not a scientist, and it appears he's not talking on science but the policy that stems from it.

      This is pure political games that Panetta doing giving speeches to environmental groups. But he's also right, it's his job to consider possible threats. DoD plans for things that aren't a certainty all the time. What if China invades Taiwan? What if strait of Hormuz gets blockaded?

    • by artor3 ( 1344997 )

      That's a bullshit comparison. When a denier who has no experience in climatology starts lying about the science, they rightfully get torn down, just as a creationist with no experience in biology gets torn down when they start talking about "irreducibly complex" organisms.

      When someone not in the field of climatology acknowledges the fields conclusions, then that's perfectly acceptable, just as it is perfectly acceptable when a person with no experience in biology accepts the existence of evolution.

      It's oka

  • In the U.S., EVERYTHING is a threat to national security, it is much easier to get military funding when your enemy is the bogeyman.

    • by J'raxis ( 248192 )

      How do you get a conservative to jump on the environmentalism bandwagon? Call climate change a "national security threat."

      How do you get a progressive to start lavishing praise on the U.S. Military? Get the military to tackle "climate change."

      It's a win-win for the political establishment.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:02PM (#39901861) Journal
    it will not happen. The reason is that many nations like China will take advantage of this to build up their own economy and hope that other nations do the heavy lifting. Worse, EU and liberals here fall for the trap of emissions PER CAPITA. It is the WORST IDEA EVER. China has not had a changing population, yet, their emissions went up nearly 10 fold over something like a 20 year period. It is about ECONOMIC OUTPUT and how you cheat at it. And yes, China CHEATS HEAVILY. So do many nations.

    If we want this solved, America is the solution. We are the largest importers. At this time, we should put a tax on ALL GOODS, both local and imported, based on the CO2 (and later add other pollutants) that is emitted from an area. The CO2 should be measured by satellite and it should be a case of (co2 out - co2 in).
    The important part is that the tax is then based as a % of CO2 PER GDP (unleveled) or a combination of CO2/GDP and CO2/land size (deals with farming which can add a lot of CO2).

    If America was to do this, it would impact the world over. Basically, nations that have been working on lowering their emissions will have lower taxes. Those like China which continue to cheat, would have top taxes applied to them.

    Ideally, ALL nations that care should do this. They will encourage all other nations to move quickly towards dropping their emissions.
    Since the economy is fragile, the maximum tax should start low and build yearly. That gives nations time to adjust.
    • It would probably be workable if you also applied it to native products. To make exports competitive, you could give them back a credit for any exports (let the other countries enact similar taxes for their imports).

      Of course, this is just another way of implementing something like Kyoto, but without all that pesky international co-operation :)

  • If it's a "national security threat", that means more government money needs to be spent on it... Maybe they'll even declare the entire country a "disaster zone" at some point?
  • Yes, there is an effect or at least a potential effect on national security, just like climate change has potential impacts on everything from where and how people live to agriculture to industry. In fact, the effects in all those areas will be more important and deeper than the effects on defense.

    But to say it has a dramatic impact is just bullshit. Its effects will be gradual and we will see them as they happen and they will be slow enough for us to adjust gradually to the changing situation.


  • by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:57PM (#39902247)
    Any person found to be emitting any amount of CO2 will be detained for permanent questioning under the Patriotic Clean Air and Water Anti-terrorism Act. Only government officials are allowed to emit CO2.
  • If the DOD is concerned about the effects that CO2 will have on the atmosphere then they, as one of the largest consumers of energy in this federation, are in a unique position to actually do something about it.

    Every US Navy ship of a certain minimum size should be nuclear powered. They've retired the last oil fired aircraft carrier not too long ago. As far as I know all the submarines in the fleet are nuclear powered. Now move that technology to the amphibious assault ships, frigates, destroyers, oilers, supply ships, hospital ships, and so on. Only the smallest vessels of the Navy should still run on oil.

    When it comes to tanks, jeeps, helicopters, airplanes, and other vehicles where nuclear power would not be practical the DOD has the opportunity to invest in research in synthetic fuels. It appears that they are doing this but it's going to take a lot more research before the price can compete with petroleum fuels. Even if the process works the energy has to come from somewhere. That "somewhere' is likely going to be nuclear power.

    The DOD has all kinds of large bases in this federation (and other nations) and these bases require all the infrastructure of a city. This includes needs for electricity. Because of things like radar, communications, heavy equipment, and other such necessities to run a military base the power needs are often much higher than your typical city. Also, to avoid panic and issues of warrior morale there should be a means to provide power to the surrounding community as well. A soldier is not going to be as effective if they know that the base is all lit up and running but his/her family is off base, in the dark, stuck in traffic, or whatever. In this case all military bases should have an on site nuclear power plant capable of powering the base and the community that surrounds it.

    While I feel that nuclear power will play a very very large part in the future of our federation's security and independence I do see needs for investment into wind and solar power. I recall a Marine General talk about the "river of diesel" that has to flow into the small bases out in the battlefield. These places are where the trucks, tanks, and self propelled artillery go to get refueled, repaired, and take on a new crew. These vehicles need fuel. The people working at these bases need electricity for cooking, refrigeration, heating, cooling, lights, communications, and so on. Right now that mean diesel generators.

    For every truck carrying diesel fuel there is a risk that some driver will lose his or her life to an attack. Reducing the need to bring in that fuel means fewer lives lost. It's not likely that they can remove the need for diesel fuel but they can reduce it by not running those generators. This could mean putting up solar panels and windmills for electricity. If the technology becomes more advanced then we might see nuclear reactors that fit on a 40 foot ISO trailer.

    My point is that the DOD should not be complaining about the problem that carbon output has on the climate but should instead do everything in its power to remove their own need for fossil fuels. They are already doing some of this but this does not yet seem to be a priority. If it were a priority then there would no longer be a debate on whether the next generation destroyers would be nuclear powered or not. If carbon output were a priority then we should be reading about how every military base is building nuclear power plants, putting up solar panels, and seeking out the best spots for windmills on base.

    Even if we got all these windmills, solar panels, and nuclear power plants the DOD will still be sucking up large amounts of petroleum to power existing aircraft, surface ships, trucks, tanks, and so on. This will likely continue for more than thirty years since that is the typical lifespan of a military design. With that in mind we need the DOD to speak up in favor of sources of petroleum that is domestic and from friendly nations. The DOD needs to speak up in favor

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:32PM (#39902949)

    Several years ago the DoD listed it as one of the primary threats to national security for this century.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @05:35PM (#39904295)

    Its a war on ${topic_of_the_day}.

    And of course this means suspending civil liberties, the Constitution and public discussion. We'll need to reinstate HUAC [wikipedia.org] and drag all of you SUV drivers into congressional hearings before McCarthy Jr.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham