National Security and Climate Change
Knowing that the threat of climate change on our national security can motivate us to action, opponents of reform through non-sequiturs and distortions to muddy the waters. Recently, a great example of this popped up when a staff member of the industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute wrote a letter in The Hill magazine claiming that because one glacier area in Pakistan was growing and anti-mosquito campaigns helped slow the spread of malaria, therefore climate change wouldn't affect our national security.
The argument from the CIE scholar really wasn't any more complicated than that. First, the fact that mosquito nets work to slow the spread of malaria has nothing whatsoever to do with climate change. That's the kind of non-sequitur some people like to throw in, but it's like a magician waving his hand to distract you from his other hand doing the actual trick. It's just nonsense thrown in to throw you off the scent.
As for the point about the Karakarom glacier (the one mentioned in the piece), yes, it's growing. But that's irrelevant, like saying one snowy day means the climate isn't warming. One glacier can grow or shrink, but it's clear the world is losing glaciers at an alarming rate across the globe. The Himalayan glaciers of which Karakarom is a part are, in fact, losing water, creating great uncertainty in South Asia, where India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, depend on the runoff from those glaciers. The World Bank recently said that, "High population densities, a large concentration of poverty, and the region's climate variability have all combined to make South Asia especially sensitive to the consequences of climate change. Climate change has the potential to compound existing development problems and increase pressures on key resources needed to sustain future growth, urbanization and industrialization."
The fact is that the world's climate is warming and growing more unstable. Everyone from the Pentagon to the CIA to the World Bank, retired Admirals and Generals by the score, all say that this instability will cause great unrest in the world and accelerate threats to our national security. We need to do something about this right now to keep the problem from growing worse.