John Conger

Director of the Center for Climate and Security and a former environmental official at the Department of Defense

Director of the Center for Climate and Security and a former environmental official at the Department of Defense

John Conger on KCRW

Jet aircraft, carrier task forces and tanks consume vast amounts of fossil fuel--while emitting vast amounts of greenhouse gases. The Pentagon’s carbon footprint is bigger than those of many entire nations. Now, it’s caught in the middle. It’s a massive contributor to climate change, which is threatening its mission worldwide. Seaports and airstrips are being flooded or burned out, and restoring operations costs many millions of dollars. 

Meantime, environmental damage is leading to instability and the prospect of international violence. Water shortages have increased tensions in the Middle East and caused new hostilities between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers. Russia and China are taking advantage of changing conditions. Will politicians who scorn environmentalists and mistrust climate scientists listen to the warnings of military leaders?

National Security and Climate Change

Jet aircraft, carrier task forces and tanks consume vast amounts of fossil fuel--while emitting vast amounts of greenhouse gases. The Pentagon’s carbon footprint is bigger than those of many entire nations. Now, it’s caught in the middle. It’s a massive contributor to climate change, which is threatening its mission worldwide. Seaports and airstrips are being flooded or burned out, and restoring operations costs many millions of dollars. Meantime, environmental damage is leading to instability and the prospect of international violence. Water shortages have increased tensions in the Middle East and caused new hostilities between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers. Russia and China are taking advantage of changing conditions. Will politicians who scorn environmentalists and mistrust climate scientists listen to the warnings of military leaders?

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