For the past few weeks we have seen stock markets surge as macro-economic data has collapsed around the world. The ‘excuse’ given for this apparent dichotomy – weather. But now it seems “weather” is to blame for other problems in the world too. As Russia Today reports, in its latest Quadrennial Defense Review, the US Department of Defense (DoD), stressed threats to global stability and American hegemony posed by climate change warning that that an erratic climate will likely cause increased “terrorist activity,” among other impacts…“The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world…these effects are threat multipliers.”
Like the 2006 and 2010 versions, the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) – a report released every four years on US military strategy and the challenges to its global operations – highlights threats, some more predictable than others, that global climate change will present to human civilization.
“The impacts of climate change may increase the frequency, scale, and complexity of future missions, including defense support to civil authorities, while at the same time undermining the capacity of our domestic installations to support training activities,” states the 64-page report, published Tuesday.
“Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating.”
A warming planet will likely “exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs,” the report details, leading to devastated infrastructure and living conditions, especially in poorer regions of the world.
In addition, this fierce “resource competition” will only push the likelihood of additional terror threats, the QDR states.
“The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world,” the report continues.
“These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.”
Perhaps more ironically, despite identifying climate change as a global menace and an antagonist to American power, the Defense Department does not address its own unrivaled fuel consumption.
According to the Pentagon’s Defense Energy Support Center, the military spent $3.8 billion in 2009 for 31.3 million barrels, or about 1.3 billion gallons, of oil that was consumed at posts, camps, and overseas bases, TomDispatch’s Nick Turse reported in 2010.
Estimates as to how much oil the US military uses per day varies between about 400,000 barrels per day in “peacetime” to around 800,000 barrels each day during the height of the Iraq war.
Bad economic data, blame the weather! Bad earnings, blame the weather! Bad Social Unrest, blame the weather!