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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.)