Thursday, September 22, 2005

Wes Clark on Global Warming

I wish that our current President could see the forest for the trees (or, at minimum, a forest and not an oil drilling site) in regards to global warming/climate change. I'm certain that will change come the 2008 presidential election, and it may even become a much larger issue for the 2006 congressional elections. Generaly Wesley Clark posted this to his WesPac site, and it's refreshing to hear a national political leader talk about the realities of what we're facing with GW/CC:

To slow the rate of global warming is to reduce appreciably the greenhouse gas emissions. This is the familiar agenda of the global warming concern. However, with the consequences of global warming already so severe, global warming has to be treated as a national security problem, involving not just the EPA but also the National Security Council and the top leadership of America. Global warming is a national security issue.

In my view, global warming's impact on climate change will impact human populations in three ways: displacement, disaster and political tensions.

First, warmer temperatures thin arctic ice sheets, raising sea levels. Higher water levels will dislocate 100 million people currently living in coastal areas.

Disasters will come with warming sea temperatures and changes in salinity levels which lead to stronger and more frequent hurricanes which means storms such as Rita and Katrina, more tornadoes, and extensive droughts. Furthermore, these massive storms could strike not just the Gulf Coast, but the Pacific Coast as well, causing vast destruction. Shifts in precipitation patterns will impact agricultural capacities and complicate access to drinking water.

Dislocation and disaster will force people and nations to compete for land, food, and water. Although these effects will not imperil American security per se, many other nations will be forced into a state of strife while coping with these changes, causing tension between countries and providing a destabilizing force in the world stretching to the limits treaties, traditions, and relationships between and among nations.

2008's still a way off, but Clark has been getting my early nod in the monthly straw votes taking place over at Daily Kos--and he's been top of the heap for the last couple of months.


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