national security

Climate Change and the Hard-Headed Realist

Henry Kissinger showed that you don’t have to have a shred of idealism to favor climate action.

It’s not surprising that Bernie Sanders said, rather emphatically, that he was not a friend of Kissinger’s.  Yet there was one issue where they did agree:  climate change. If there was one thing that Henry Kissinger stood for, it was the hard-headed “realist” view of foreign policy — a view that prioritizes national interest at …


The Hidden Green-Infrastructure Bill

Every year, Congress provides lavish funding for clean energy and climate adaptation. No one notices.

Biden’s green-infrastructure bill is headline news.  Republicans are up in arms. Yet every year there’s already a green-infrastructure bill.  Hardly anyone notices. Republicans vote for it without a fuss.  Why?  It’s part of the annual funding bill for the military. The Defense Department remains the biggest single consumer of energy in the country, and it …


National Security, Climate Change, and Emergency Declarations

If the Supreme Court upholds Trump, it will have to uphold an emergency declaration for climate change.

Trump finally pulled the trigger today and declared a national emergency so he can build his wall. But if illegal border crossings are a national emergency, then there’s a strong case for viewing climate change in similar terms. That point has been made by observers ranging from Marco Rubio to Legal Planet’s own Jonathan Zasloff …


A Bipartisan Concern: National Security and Climate Change

Even within the Trump Administration and the House GOP, climate change is seen as a threat.

In written testimony to Congress about threat to national security, the Trump Administration’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI) discussed climate change.  His discussion didn’t equivocate about the reality or dangers of climate change.  Rather, he took the science, and the threat, seriously: “The past 115 years have been the warmest period in the history of …


Should Environmentalists Worry About Chuck Hagel?

Reports out today indicate that within the next few days, President Obama will appoint former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to succeed Leon Panetta as Defense Secretary.  Even though Hagel himself is a Republican, the GOP has already promised a fight, ostensibly on the entirely specious grounds that Hagel is anti-Israel. Hagel…hmmm…where have environmentalists heard that …


Climate is a Security Issue

The National Research Council (NRC) has recently released a study called Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis.  The security implications of climate change have been discussed in other, similar studies in the past, and this one is largely consistent with what has come before.  The central message is that the changing climate will …


Climate Change and National Security

The two parties disagree sharply about whether climate change can be considered a threat to our national security.  A recent paper by Andrew Guzman (Berkeley) and Jody Freeman (Harvard) summarizes the support for this idea among serious students of national security: In 2008, the National Intelligence Council produced the most comprehensive analysis to date of …


Happy (Belated) World Water Day! There’s Good News and Bad News….

Well, that’s embarrassing. Yesterday was the United Nations’ annual World Water Day, which apparently arrives every March 22nd.  I only stumbled across it by accident, since it was referenced by another website that I was reading.  But the UN has put a lot of PR effort at least into the project, and developed a very …


A Threat to National Security

Many people are unaware of the problem or else in denial, but America faces a serious, insidious threat from a source known to experts as al Qaerbon.  Working quietly, al Qaerbon has laid plans to seize miles of America’s coasts, flood farms and cities, cut off needed water in dry areas, and even undermine the …


Climate Change Lesson #5: Send Not to Ask For Whom the Bell Tolls

This is the fifth in a series of short homilies on the lessons of climate change. As far back as Sierra Club v. Morton, Justice Blackmun quoted John Dunne, but Dunne’s words seem equally apropos today, particularly for climate change: No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man is a peece of the …