Global Warming: The Military Feels The Heat

(CBS)
Mary Walsh is a producer for CBS News based at the Pentagon.
The latest warnings about global warming came not from environmentalists, but from a table full of retired three-star and four-star generals and admirals. "Climate is and must be recognized as a threat to our national security."

A non-profit military research center asked the blue ribbon panel to assess the impact of potential climate change on US strategy and overseas operations. The group's conclusions are blunt. Terrorist threats around the world will be "exacerbated and multiplied by environmental damage, which could produce "drought, famine, pestilence of many kinds, disease, pandemics and so forth," Gen. (ret.) Gordon R. Sullivan said.

And then consider this: "It's going to be happening essentially everywhere all at the same time," according to Vice Adm. (ret.) Richard Truly, a former astronaut who went on to become NASA administrator.

So the military must get serious about planning for the potential of worldwide environmental catestrophy, even through it's dealing with on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Our colleagues that are now in uniform are pretty doggone busy," Adm. Joseph Prueher (ret.) said. "This...is an effort to help them think through and add to the work that is already being done...to head off a more dire skirmish in the future if we can act now."

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