You are on page 1of 6

Train Wreck Alert

What U.S Administration Officials have said about climate security risks:
Secretary of State, John Kerry (2013, 2014)
Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel (Nov, 2013)
U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper (2013, 2014)
National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon (April, 2013)
U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance,
Michael Camuñez, (April, 2013)
Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear (March, 2013)
Former Secretary of State, George Shultz (March, 2013)
Former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Secretary of Homeland Security under
President George W. Bush, Tom Ridge (R-PA) (February, 2013)
Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano (July, 2012)
Former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta (May, 2012)
Former Commander of U.S. European Command, Admiral James G. Stavridis, USN (ret) (March, 2012)
Former Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Robert F. Willard, USN (ret) (February, 2012)
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice (July, 2011)
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, USN (ret) (October, 2010)
Former Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command under President George W. Bush, Admiral John
Nathman, USN (ret) (October, 2009)
Former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates (July, 2008)
Former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Thomas Fingar (June, 2008)
Former CIA Director, James Woolsey (June, 2008)
Former Commander of the United States Army Materiel Command under President George W. Bush,
General Paul Kern, USA (ret) (April, 2007)
Former Army Chief of Staff, General Gordon Sullivan, USA (ret) (April, 2007)
Former NASA administrator Vice Admiral Richard Truly, USN (ret) (April, 2007)
Former Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Central Command, General Anthony Zinni, USMC (ret) (April, 2007)
Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel (March, 2007)
Douglas Grandt <answerthecall@icloud.com>
To: Rex Tillerson <Rex.W.Tillerson@ExxonMobil.com>, David Rosenthal <David.S.Rosenthal@exxonmobil.com>
Ground Zero - clear and present danger: train wreck alert

October 31, 2014 11:30 AM
2 Attachments, 480 KB
On the Record: Climate Change as a
National Security Risk According to U.S.
Administration Officials
Under both Republican and Democratic Administrations,
leaders in the U.S. foreign policy and national security
establishment have recognized the security risks of climate
change, and have become increasingly active in arguing for a
response commensurate to the threat. Below is a sampling of
statements, and actions, regarding the security risks of climate
change, by some of our current and past foreign policy and national security
leaders. This is by no means a complete list, but it is a good reminder that climate
change is far more than an environmental concern. See Jill Fitzsimmons’ post
from 2012 for more.
Secretary of State, John Kerry (2013, 2014)
Feb 2014: “When I think about the array of global climate – of global threats –
think about this: terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction – all challenges that know no borders – the reality is that
climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them.”
May 2013: “And at the top of that list of shared challenges which does not get
enough attention…a principal challenge to all of us of life and death
proportions is the challenge of climate change…So it’s not just an
environmental issue and it’s not just an economic issue. It is a security issue, a
fundamental security issue that affects life as we know it on the planet itself,
and it demands urgent attention from all of us.”
Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel (Nov, 2013)
“But the challenge of global climate change, while not new to history, is new to
the modern world. Climate change does not directly cause conflict, but it can
significantly add to the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and
conflict. Food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees
and resources, more severe natural disasters – all place additional burdens on
economies, societies, and institutions around the world. Typhoon Haiyan in the
Philippines is a reminder of humanitarian disaster brought on by nature. And
climatologists warn us of the increased probability of more destructive storms
to come.”
“Planning for climate change and smarter energy investments not only make
us a stronger military, they have many additional benefits – saving us money,
reducing demand, and helping protect the environment.”
“Climate change is shifting the landscape in the Arctic more rapidly than
anywhere else in the world…Over the long-term, as global warming
accelerates, Arctic ice melt will lead to a sea level rise that will likely threaten
accelerates, Arctic ice melt will lead to a sea level rise that will likely threaten
coastal populations around the world.”
U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper (2013, 2014)
Jan, 2014: “Risks to freshwater supplies due to shortages, poor quality, floods,
and climate change are growing. These forces will hinder the ability of key
countries to produce food and generate energy, potentially undermining global
food markets and hobbling economic growth. As a result of demographic and
economic development pressures, North Africa, the Middle East, and South
Asia particularly will particularly face difficulty coping with water problems. Lack
of adequate water is a destabilizing factor in developing count ries that do not
have the management mechanisms, financial resources, or technical ability to
solve their internal water problems.”
March, 2013: “Terrorists, militants and international crime groups are certain to
use declining local food security to gain legitimacy and undermine government
authority. Intentional introduction of a livestock or plant disease could be a
greater threat to the United States and the global food system than a direct
attack on food supplies intended to kill humans. So there will almost assuredly
be security concerns with respect to health and pandemics, energy and climate
change. Environmental stresses are not just humanitarian issues. They
legitimately threaten regional stability.”
National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon (April, 2013)
“The national security impacts of climate change stem from the increasingly
severe environmental impacts it is having on countries and people around the
world…The fact that the environmental impacts of climate change present a
national security challenge has been clear to this Administration from the
outset.”
U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market
Access and Compliance, Michael Camuñez, (April, 2013)
“Extreme weather events can damage agricultural production as we know,
paralyze the transport of goods and services, and result in an economic loss
that reverberates across the globe. Therefore, protecting our ecosystem and
improving the management of our resources are at the core of our regional
security and economic prosperity alike. And certainly participating States, like
all nations of the world, face the challenge of climate change and global
warming, which is perhaps the paramount existential security threat facing us
all today.”
Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear (March, 2013)
Significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely
thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment,
probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’
And: “While the Indo-Asia Pacific today is relatively at peace, I am concerned
by a number of security challenges that have the possibility to impact the
security environment…Examples include, climate change, where increasingly
severe weather patterns and rising sea levels, along with inevitable
earthquakes and tsunamis’ and super-typhoons, and massive flooding threaten
today and will continue to threaten populations in the future in this region.”
Former Secretary of State, George Shultz (March, 2013)
“There are huge changes that are in the works if we don’t moderate what’s
going on. Changes in heat levels. Some places can get very, very hot, and
going on. Changes in heat levels. Some places can get very, very hot, and
we’ve already experienced some of that. Even Vladimir Putin got out of
Moscow a couple summers ago. So you’ve got that problem…I’m a marine,
and during World War II I flew over the Pacific, and we flew over those islands,
and they’re just little islands out there in the ocean…So you can create
conditions that lead people to want to fight about things. If I suddenly find that I
am losing all my land, I want to get somebody else’s.”
Former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Secretary of
Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, Tom Ridge (R-PA)
(February, 2013)
“The U.S. national security community, including leaders from the military,
homeland security, and intelligence, understand that climate change is a
national security threat… They’re not talking about whether or not it is
occurring – it is… They’re talking about addressing the problem and protecting
the American people. It’s time Washington does the same.”
Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano (July, 2012)
“You have to look at climate change over a period of years, not just one
summer…You could always have one abnormal summer. But when you see
one after another after another then you can see, yeah, there’s a pattern here.”
Former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta (May, 2012)
“Our mission at the Department is to secure this nation against threats to our
homeland and to our people. In the 21st Century, the reality is that there are
environmental threats which constitute threats to our national security. For
example, the area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national
security: rising sea levels, to severe droughts, to the melting of the polar caps,
to more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
Former Commander of U.S. European Command, Admiral James G. Stavridis,
USN (ret) (March, 2012)
“Climate change in the Arctic makes it one of the world’s most rapidly changing
environments. As the volume of Arctic sea ice decreases, access continues to
increase permitting maritime traffic into areas previously impassable without
specialized vessels. This new access is creating opportunities for transit,
development, and natural resource extraction. While some see these changes
as a potential breeding ground for conflict, we see the risk of armed conflict as
low, and continue to approach the Arctic as an area of cooperation among
Arctic nations.”
Former Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Robert F. Willard, USN
(ret) (February, 2012)
“The U.S. alliance with Australia anchors USPACOM’s strategy in Oceania.
Australia, with additional contributions from New Zealand, invests extensively
in security and assistance efforts in this sub-region. The Australian continent
notwithstanding, most of Oceania is comprised of Pacific Island nations spread
across the vast expanse of the South Pacific Ocean. Security challenges
associated with natural resources in this sub-region tend to predominate. In
particular, illegal fishing, resource damage attributed to climate change and
global warming, and the susceptibility of low lying island nations to typhoons
and tsunamis define USPACOM and U.S. Coast Guard approaches to
engagement in Oceania, often in concert with Australian and New Zealand
actions.”
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice (July, 2011)
“In this Council we have discussed many emerging security issues and
addressed them, from the links between development and security to HIV-
AIDS. Yet this week, we have been unable to reach consensus on even a
simple Presidential Statement that climate change has the potential to impact
peace and security in the face of the manifest evidence that it does. We have
dozens of countries in this body and in this very room whose very existence is
threatened. They’ve asked this Council to demonstrate our understanding that
their security is profoundly threatened. Instead, because of the refusal of a few
to accept our responsibility, this Council is saying, by its silence, in effect,
“Tough luck.” This is more than disappointing. It’s pathetic. It’s shortsighted,
and frankly it’s a dereliction of duty.”
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, USN (ret)
(October, 2010)
“The scarcity of and potential competition for resources like water, food and
space, compounded by an influx of refugees if coastal lands are lost, does not
only create a humanitarian crisis but creates conditions of hopelessness that
could lead to failed states and make populations vulnerable to radicalization.
These challenges highlight the systemic implications and multiple-order effects
inherent in energy security and climate change.”
Former Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command under President George
W. Bush, Admiral John Nathman, USN (ret) (October, 2009)
“There are serious risks to doing nothing about climate change. We can pay
now or we’re going to pay a whole lot later. The U.S. has a unique opportunity
to become energy independent, protect our national security and boost our
economy while reducing our carbon footprint. We’ve been a model of success
for the rest of the world in the past and now we must lead the way on climate
change.”
Former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates (July, 2008)
“We also know that over the next 20 years and more, certain pressures—
population, resource, energy, climate, economic, and environmental—could
combine with rapid cultural, social, and technological change to produce new
sources of deprivation, rage, and instability…But, overall, looking ahead, I
believe the most persistent and potentially dangerous threats will come less
from ambitious states, than failing ones that cannot meet the basic needs—
much less the aspirations—of their people.”
Former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Thomas Fingar (June,
2008)
“We judge global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for US
national security interests over the next 20 years … We judge that the most
significant impact for the United States will be indirect and result from climate-
driven effects on many other countries and their potential to seriously affect US
national security interests.”
Former CIA Director, James Woolsey (June, 2008)
“The combination of 9/11, concern about climate change, and $4 a gallon
gasoline has brought a lot of people together. I call it the coalition of the tree-
huggers, the do-gooders, the cheap hawks, the evangelicals, and the mom
and pop drivers. All of those groups have good reasons to be interested in
and pop drivers. All of those groups have good reasons to be interested in
moving away from oil dependence.”
Former Commander of the United States Army Materiel Command under
President George W. Bush, General Paul Kern, USA (ret) (April, 2007)
“Military planning should view climate change as a threat to the balance of
energy access, water supplies, and a healthy environment, and it should
require a response.”
Former Army Chief of Staff, General Gordon Sullivan, USA (ret) (April, 2007)
“Climate change is a national security issue. We found that climate instability
will lead to instability in geopolitics and impact American military operations
around the world.”
Former NASA administrator Vice Admiral Richard Truly, USN (ret) (April, 2007)
“The stresses that climate change will put on our national security will be
different than any we’ve dealt with in the past.”
Former Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Central Command, General Anthony Zinni,
USMC (ret) (April, 2007)
“You may also have a population that is traumatized by an event or a change
in conditions triggered by climate change,” Gen. Zinni said. “If the government
there is not able to cope with the effects, and if other institutions are unable to
cope, then you can be faced with a collapsing state. And these end up as
breeding grounds for instability, for insurgencies, for warlords. You start to see
real extremism. These places act like Petri dishes for extremism and for
terrorist networks.”
Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel (March, 2007)
According to Andrew Holland at the American Security Project: “Hagel was an
original cosponsor of S.1018 in the 110 Congress, which required the
Director of National intelligence to submit to Congress a National Intelligence
Estimate on the anticipated geopolitical effects of global climate change and
the implications of such effects on the national security. This legislation found
that “The consequences of global climate change represent a clear and
present danger to the security and economy of the United States.” The
legislation was included as an amendment to the Committee-passed FY08
Intelligence Authorization, but was removed before passage on the Senate
floor due to opposition in the Senate.”
th