Monday, October 13, 2014

It isn't a threat ...

... until Mr. Ailes says it's a threat. Got that, you pesky generals?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday described climate change as a national security threat -- at a time when the U.S. military is battling the Islamic State in the Mideast, responding to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and monitoring tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

Shh! Nobody say "China" too loudly.

The Defense secretary addressed the issue during a speech in Peru, as the Pentagon released a comprehensive report on the "national security" challenges posed by rising global temperatures and "extreme weather events."
If Drudge ever runs out of "scare quotes," it's good to know he'll be able to borrow some from Fox.

Hagel described climate change as a "threat multiplier," saying it "has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today -- from infectious disease to armed insurgencies -- and to produce new challenges in the future."

The Pentagon's new report maps out four areas of climate change deemed the most threatening to the U.S. military -- rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more extreme weather and rising sea levels. And it warns about the impact they could have on food and water supplies, the environment and American security itself.

"Our militaries' readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed," Hagel said, addressing a conference of military leaders.

Which sounds, as it has for some years now, like a fairly sensible observation. Nor are the armed forces the only bunch of folks who see a security dimension in this issue.But that's probably not the point, is it?

Still, while the Pentagon and high-ranking officials have previously warned of the dangers of changing weather patterns and its side effects, the robust focus on the issue is raising questions at a time when the U.S. military is engaged in fighting the advancing Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Always nice to be reminded you don't need the passive voice to be coy about agency. Or did we just miss the part about infectious diseases and armed insurgencies?

Citing the Islamic State's recent gains, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said in a statement: "It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the president and his administration would focus on climate change when there are other, legitimate, threats in the world."

Because it's just not a security story until you get the Kenyan into it somehow, is it? Now get off my lawn.

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