Climate change poses a challenge for the military in adapting operations and helping to deal with the consequences of migration and increased tensions as people compete for resources, the head of the U.K. armed forces said.
Rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns are likely to increase desertification, putting pressure on food and water supplies in parts of the world such as Darfur in Sudan and other parts of Africa, Air Chief Marshal Jock Stirrup, chief of defense staff, told delegates yesterday at a two-day conference at Chatham House, a London-based policy institute.
This follows similar expressions of concern by the US intelligence and military community. Congress recently requested an estimate of the security risks resulting from global warming, a request backed by the Director of National Intelligence. In January, Senator McCain pointed out “the security threat posed by populations whose health, livelihood, and variability are potentially threatened by global rising temperatures and altered environments,” and observed that if global warming is left unchecked “we could face environmental, economic, and national security consequences far beyond our ability to imagine.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recently argued that the violence in Darfur is at least partly driven by climate change, an argument made at more length in the Atlantic Monthly.
Meanwhile, other conservatives are proud that a majority of Americans are misinformed on the matter. Ned Ryun ? the Congressman’s son, a former White House staffer and now an lobbyist for home-schooling ? thanks God for the public’s ignorance about this emerging threat to our national security.