Over the past decade, America's military has raised the climate change threat level until today it stands at a screaming, howlin' red. The Pentagon's position inflicts a certain degree of cognitive dissonance on those worshipers of military muscle, the Republican Party.
The Pentagon says there's a shit storm looming. The GOP responds, ignore it. The Republicans control the House of Representatives where, in May, they amended "the annual National Defense Authorization Act forbidding the Defense Department from spending money on any climate-related initiatives, including planning programs."
The Republican congressmen contended they merely wanted to maximize America's military might by preventing funds from being diverted to a "politically motivated agenda."
Pentagon planners have sounded alarms about their climate concerns for at least a decade. In 2004, reported the existence of a secret document that warned climate change could push powers such as China, India, and Pakistan into nuclear war over fresh water supplies. Until now the military has been relatively quiet about its climate concerns, partly “because the Department of Defense gets its money from Congress, and we know where the House is on this issue,” says David Titley, a retired rear admiral and member of CNA’s military advisory board. Hagel’s personal involvement in releasing the 2014 road map suggests the Pentagon has decided it can’t wait any longer.
Hagel's cadre of retired general and admirals are moving to outflank the GOP recalcitrants, travelling around America to take the message of the danger their country faces from climate change directly to the public and officials at state and local levels.