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Pentagon Report Cites Climate Change Risks

WASHINGTON (February 1, 2010) -- The Defense Department today identified global climate change as “an accelerant of instability” that could have “significant geopolitical impacts” that "may spark or exacerbate future conflicts." The findings were contained in the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review.

Following is a statement from Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Climate change is a perilous fact of life in an increasingly dangerous world. It's a threat to stability. It weakens fragile states. It drives families from their homes. It can, literally, fan the flames of war. That's the conclusion of the Pentagon.

“Those who continue to deny these risks - against all evidence - are now at odds with the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our country.

“U.S. policy must be guided by the best information available anywhere. Our intelligence community tells us that climate change contributes to poverty, the spread of disease and the scarcity of food and water. Our defense analysts say this can trigger conflict that leads to war. And the Pentagon states flat-out that climate change is making the world a more dangerous place.

“It's time to address this gathering threat head on. It’s time for the Senate to act on clean energy and climate legislation to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, make our country more secure and cut the carbon pollution that's causing climate change.”


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


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