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Military folks, environmentalists call for climate bravery

By Juliet Eilperin

With climate legislation stalled in the Senate, an array of groups called Thursday for lawmakers to settle their differences and get moving.

Leaders from 54 environmental, labor and faith groups wrote a letter (pdf) asking President Obama to step it up to get climate and energy legislation passed this year.

"Just yesterday, you reiterated your call for comprehensive energy and climate legislation," they wrote. "Now, more than ever, we need your help to make that vision a reality."

Also Thursday, 33 retired U.S. generals and admirals announced their support for comprehensive climate and energy legislation in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

That letter comes a day after the Center for a New American Security released two new reports, one on military and climate change, and another on the connection between climate science and national security.

Two retired naval officials affiliated with the CNA Corp.'s Center for Naval Analyses -- retired Adm. John B. Nathman and retired Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn -- said while the U.S. military is beginning to make the connection between climate change and national security, it will take legislation for American society to make a meaningful shift away from fossil fuels.

"Somehow we have lost our courage as Americans, and our elected leaders have lost their courage," McGinn said. "There are worse things that can happen than losing an election."

The text of the letter from the 33 retired generals and admirals is after the jump:

Dear Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell,

Climate change is threatening America's security. The Pentagon and security leaders of both parties consider climate disruption to be a "threat multiplier" - it exacerbates existing problems by decreasing stability, increasing conflict, and incubating the socioeconomic conditions that foster terrorist recruitment. The State Department, the National Intelligence Council and the CIA all agree, and all are planning for future climate-based threats.

America's billion-dollar-a-day dependence on oil makes us vulnerable to unstable and unfriendly regimes. A substantial amount of that oil money ends up in the hands of terrorists. Consequently, our military is forced to operate in hostile territory, and our troops are attacked by terrorists funded by U.S. oil dollars, while rogue regimes profit off of our dependence. As long as the American public is beholden to global energy prices, we will be at the mercy of these rogue regimes. Taking control of our energy future means preventing future conflicts around the world and protecting Americas here at home.

It is time to secure America with clean energy. We can create millions of jobs in a clean energy economy while mitigating the effects of climate change across the globe. We call on Congress and the administration to enact strong, comprehensive climate and energy legislation to reduce carbon pollution and lead the world in clean energy technology.

Signatories to the letter:
Lieutenant General Joseph Ballard, US Army (Ret.)
Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Robert Gard, Jr., Army (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, US Army (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Don Kerrick, US Army (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Frank Petersen, USMC (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Norman Seip, USAF (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Donald Arthur, US Navy (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Kevin Green, US Navy (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, US Navy (Ret.)
Major General Roger Blunt, US Army (Ret.)
Major General George Buskirk, US Army (Ret.)
Major General Paul Eaton, US Army (Ret.)
Major General Donald Edwards, US Army (Ret.)
Major General Paul Monroe, US Army (Ret.)
Major General Tony Taguba, US Army (Ret.)
Rear Admiral John Hutson, JAGC, US Navy (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Stuart Platt, US Navy (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, US Coast Guard (Ret.)
Brigadier General John Adams, US Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret.)
Brigadier General John Douglass, US Air Force (Ret.)
Brigadier General Michael Dunn, US Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Pat Foote, US Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Larry Gillespie, US Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Keith Kerr, US Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Phil Leventis, USAF (Ret.)
Brigadier General George Patrick, III, USAF (Ret.)
Brigadier General Virgil Richard, US Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Murray Sagsveen, US Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Ted Vander Els, US Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General John Watkins, US Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Steve Xenakis, US Army (Ret.)


Juliet Eilperin

 |  April 29, 2010; 4:00 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Conservatives send FOIA request for Senate climate bill | Next: Department of Commerce Releases Data on Emissions, "Green Economy"


Please report offensive comments below.

The national security part of this is ending dependence on foreign oil and halting the flow of money to people who would do us harm.

Hopefully the need to secure our energy supply will survive the crash of the current CO2 based climate change mania.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | April 30, 2010 6:16 PM
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