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Even the Generals are Worried! Mission Creep, Climate Change, and National Security (Part 1)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#mlewis">Marlo Lewis</a> -- September 15, 2009

Last week, I attended a briefing on “Climate Change, Energy and National Security,” sponsored by the Partnership for a Secure America (PSA), a veritable who’s who of (mostly former) moderate-to-liberal defense and foreign policy officials. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), former CIA Director James Woolsey, Ambassador Frank Wisner, and Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn USN (Ret.) were the featured speakers.

The self-described “blue ribbon” panel was unanimous, unequivocal, and very, very repetitive: Climate change is a national security issue; climate change threatens all Americans; combatting climate change should be a national security priority; transitioning to a clean energy economy can defeat both the climate change threat and the OPEC/Wahhabi/Terror threat.

Not-So-Strange-Strange Bedfellows

In one respect it’s surprising that climate change has not always been characterized as a national security issue. If Al Gore is correct and climate change “threatens the survival of civilization and the habitability of the Earth,” then of course climate change imperils national security.…