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Posted by on Oct 8, 2009 in Guest Contributor, Science & Technology, War | 14 comments

Climate Change — A National Security Challenge

Guest post by Rafael Noboa Rivera

Rafael Noboa Rivera is a writer and combat veteran. He served in Iraq from April 2003 to March 2004. This post originally appeared at The Hill‘s Congress Blog.

“You never have 100% certainty. If you wait till you have that, you’ll fail.”

The evidence is unmistakable. We have hard choices before us. As the impact of irreversible climate change and the need for cheap energy increases, you’ll see more resource conflicts, more epidemics, and more deaths.

In short, life as we know it – for millions of people, including us – will become nastier, more brutish, and perhaps shorter. As an Iraq War veteran, I’ve dealt with the consequences of our energy needs in ways few have.

Acknowledging that our gnawing desire for cheap energy compels our involvement in the Middle East doesn’t cheapen my sacrifice; it doesn’t attenuate my service. It places it in rich context. Our energy posture is disastrous – economically, diplomatically, and militarily. It’s a national security crisis. Our future depends on resolving this.

The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do.

President Obama was talking about health care; it could’ve been about energy and climate.

The gathering storm – the magnitude of the threat before us – demands your attention. If you haven’t paid attention before, you must now. The price we’re bound to pay – in treasure, and, yes, in the lives of our uniformed services – is much too high. We must change our course.

We will – if people like me are paid heed. We must change. Doing so will result in security and wealth for America. Our present course can only end in failure and ruin.

(Cross-posted from Operation FREE.)

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • DLS

    [yawn] The irresponsible and worse alarmists and catastrophist regurgitated Malthusians and PC Lysenkoist political perverters of science repeat their same childish nonsense once again.

    The only interesting thing about this nonsense, this year, is that so much of their silliness and idiocy is associated also with so many other things that the loony lib Dems in Washington (and their camp followers) have chosen to screech about all year, to the point of “derailing” as well as deranging themselves about health care “reform” (federal takeover).

  • Father_Time

    Good Article!

    It’s interesting that the Republicans deny there is a problem, but have invaded the middle east because of it.

    I am sure that here, they will attack with stupid things like, “well you didn’t volunteer to fight for oil, you were defending America against terrorists”, as if the two were not joined at the hip perfectly.

  • DLS

    “our gnawing desire for cheap energy”

    It’s too expensive currently. Energy should be cheap (and sound, rather than play-pen leftist political, energy policy should be directed, at least among truly progressive people) to the point of its effectively being made a commodity. Unfortunately, we have lunatics turning energy policy and government into an asylum (which may appeal to fellow crazies, but not to those of us higher on the intellectual and moral bell curves).

  • Father_Time

    I rest my case.

  • JSpencer

    Of course we all know that climate change is a liberal invention and therefore doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously… along with evolution, or any of the other troubling aspects of science and the environment for that matter. What the heck, we don’t really need to worry about taking care of our planetary home anyway, god has it all figured out and wouldn’t really let us mess it up beyond a certain point right? Let’s just get on with the business using and consuming like we always have, and stop worrying about tomorrow. Afterall, worrying is also a liberal invention. Let someone else think about tomorrow. . . cuz that’s what we’ve always done right?

  • JeffersonDavis

    As greendreams and I have debated a few times. (Where is he by the way? This article screams his name.)I’m not one into denial. That’s a great thing to call it, when someone doesn’t agree with you, but I digress. I have done the research. My first major was Climatology/Meterology. I changed it to Geography after seeing the game being played. I found out that I could not become a “serious” meterologist unless I prescribed to the theories of global warming. I saw the entire department essentially under a gag order under fear of losing tenure. Blackballing happens a lot within that particular scientific discipline. When contrary evidence to the ebb and flow of solar and terrestrial cycles is given; it is ignored. Talk about denial!Current Globalwarmologists (because they are hardly Climatologists) put out the info because of political mandate from ultra-liberal sources. No shock there. The truth is that our Earth revolves in an irregular orbit around a sun that has a regular cycle (11/22 years). When these two variables coincide, they produce hot eras and cold eras. That’s a very simplistic synopsis of the truth.Does man have an impact on environment? Absolutely.Does man have an impact on greenhouse effect? Absolutely (if unchecked)
    Does man CAUSE “global warming”? Absolutely NOT!.The point is, that we are currently on the waning side of our warm period. This year had the coolest average temperatures in years. You’ll see that trend continue, getting cooler (on global average) every year. As a matter of fact, that’s why they’ve taken to calling it “climate change” instead of “global warming”. Those who can benefit politically from the installation of green energy have to act quickly, before they are shown as the scam artists they are.And I am a man that cares for the environment. I am a conservationist. I refuse to call myself environmentalist, because they’ve ruined that word.

    Should we pursue green energy? Yes, but we should not do it overnight as the liberals are attempting. Reliance on fossil fuels IS a national security issue for obvious reasons. I personally like plans similar to “Pickens Plan” that exploit what we have while pursuing other clean routes to energy. That’s a responsible thing to do. But let’s do it because it is the right thing to do, not because some left wing group lies and tells me that we’re plunging ourselves into the sun. Twits.

  • JSpencer

    Anyone can throw out their pet explanation for what is happening with global warming (or call themselves whatever they like for that matter) but words mean little if they selectively ignore evidence, large chunks of the science, or merely repeat scenarios that have already been explained and/or debunked. It’s true, there are many natural forces related to temperature variations, and they have long been well known. Ask any WWII era ham radio guy about the effects of sunspot cycles, nothing new there. All the “natural” phenomenon doesn’t account for what has been occuring since the industrial age though. Attitudes and evidence about global warming need to be up to date if they are to be taken seriously. Global warming doesn’t give a damn about politics or whether we are personally comfortable with the phenomenon or not; it will continue to occur while we continue to debate it (although the word debate is especially generous in this context). You may not like the word “denial”, but the other explanations aren’t very flattering either.

  • DLS

    “Does man have an impact on environment? Absolutely.”

    There is no doubt about that. There’s even no doubt about the effects of large-scale combustion that was brought on by the Industrial Revolution (which was and is a blessing, not any curse)

    http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/society/carbondioxideonrise.gif

    and whose related measurements on Mauna Loa for carbon dioxide are there for all to see:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html

    and this is happening at a rate much faster than much larger swings (note) have occurred naturally.

    That in no way merits the idiocy we see now (including sub-50-IQ robotic defensiveness about being so wrong, when told) with this issue, which has been made into a religion (complete with priests and other celebrities, stupid catechisms full of apocalypse if we do not repent and punish ourselves, and suitable mistreatment of heretics and apostates), and been made into the latest, strongest Movement by the same kinds of radicalized leftist fools who earlier screeched about a “population explosion,” or about a “food crisis” [sic] and imminent exhaustion of natural resources in the 1970s (Club of Rome idiocy), flirting with global cooling briefly (revived with “nuclear winter” during US-and-Western disarmament subversion after the election of Ronald Reagan as US President), global warming (notably hyped in 1988), now “climate change” (because there hasn’t been substantial warming in every recent year), with always the same kind of “solutions” to the pet “crisis” in the form of command and control economic and social[ist] policy measures, which now is combined with environmental activism and extremism (not only naive faith in what has been desired “soft power” since the 1960s, solar and wind power, and alternatives to the Evil Automobile — we cannot all walk or bicycle, and electric or other substitute vehicles for cars and aircraft remain long in the future).

    Unfortunately, the idiots prefer idiocy and prefer to defend the idiocy and attack those who want better.

  • DLS

    “My first major was Climatology/Meterology. I changed it to Geography after seeing the game being played.”

    I didn’t major in Met or its relative, climatology, but have been interested in both since childhood, had my max-min thermometer and other goodies from Edmund Scientific before my teens, etc., and have always liked the science of climate in particular (and lived and experienced, as well as studied, all kinds of climatic variety living and traveling not only in California, where I grew up, but all over North America). I’m not so much aghast at what has happened, but have been disgusted at how perversely the science has been coopted (hijacked) by political extremists and all their scummy traveling camp to rationalize what has been sought before, and what will no doubt be sought again (it has since the mid-to-late 1960s, in earnest, in the West, as part of political radicalism). Even what itself was a good original movement in many ways (the environmental movement and related to it, ecology as well as conservation) has likewise been corrupted and misused. So much “global warming” or “climate change” babble is merely a current favored form of rationalization (and bogus ego-boosting smugness fake-fuel) for recycled(!) Sixties stuff.

  • DLS

    “Should we pursue green energy? Yes, but we should not do it overnight as the liberals are attempting.”

    In particular, we shouldn’t be stupidly rushing to de-industrialize, which is what really is often being sought, in addition to the more superficial and even more stupid “de-carbonization” in favor of PC pet favored energy sources. (Actually, more with electricity generation and use, less with transportation; the electric vehicle, something I’ve been interested in for years, remains a long time away, and there will be still the need to develop all kinds of new generation and provision of the electricity to power these new vehicles). There is no excuse for self-crippling enforced deprivation in the name of “conservation measures,” crippling taxes on energy supply or its use, PC-fascist promotion of solar and wind and dimunition of fossil fuels, nuclear power, or hydropower (political “winners and losers”), or related social engineering and economic interference such as crippling fuel or fuel-use taxes, vehicle engine displacement or output (horsepower or torque) taxes, vehicle size or weight taxes, promoting some kinds of vehicles over others, and so on. (Aside from these being simply wrong, they’re also more trouble and cost than they’re worth, among other defects they possess.)

    • JeffersonDavis

      Looks like we agree on more than I thought. I love climatology as well.

      Where in the world is GreenDreams on this one? I’m shocked that he hasn’t weighed-in.
      It’s rare that so many are in agreement on a thread.

  • JSpencer

    In my earlier commentary I neglected to give enough credit to the near maniacal state some anti-AGW detractors can work themselves into. Apparently they are under the impression the phenomenon is personal in nature. Guess again. 😉

  • DLS

    “Looks like we agree on more than I thought. I love climatology as well.”

    I suspect you weren’t confused or surprised when I referred to Trewartha (or to Koppen) before. (I also have books, for example, by Kendrew.) Trewartha books I have, going back to around early 1940s. I’ve got Flohn stuff, and even got my hands on a related book (last part of the book) about ecology by none other than Budyko. (Progress Publishers, Cold War-era Moscow stuff. Includes an obligatory paragraph about environmental failures of bourgeois systems and the need instead for superior socialism.)

    “It’s rare that so many are in agreement on a thread.”

    It’s not that hard to see what’s going on (much the same since later 1960s). Even with the separate subject of environmentalism, the real, serious stuff was and still is right. Pollution abatement is a good idea and merely needs to be checked against cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis. Same with a fuel tax (as opposed to cap and trade scam stuff), etc. Unfortunately, some prefer to be fooled and to be exploited (and want everyone else, or objects of envy or dislike, to be in the same situation, if not worse).

  • DLS

    “near maniacal state some anti-AGW detractors”

    Projection. (We’re reminded of this every time we hear about “crisis” and “disaster” and “catastrophe”)

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