The Current

Pentagon adds climate change to list of security threats, Canada faces pressure to follow suit

We look at how the the U.S. military is rethinking its military strategies with climate change in mind, and how this stacks up to our policies at home....
We look at how the the U.S. military is rethinking its military strategies with climate change in mind, and how this stacks up to our policies at home.
[Climate change] will aggravate tensions around the world and complicate military operations, make more likely the need for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as we experience more extreme weather, floods, droughts, sea level rise, and general instability...Sherri Goodman, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defence for Environmental SecuritySherri Goodman, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defence for Environmental Security

There have long been warnings about climate change as a potential future threat to national security. But last week the U.S. Pentagon said climate change isn't a future threat--it's the current reality. Confronting floods, fires, droughts and the probable social consequences of extreme weather are now important security challenges.

To discuss the implications of the report, we were joined by three guests:

  • Sherri Goodman was Deputy Undersecretary of Defence for Environmental Security from 1993 until 2001.
  • Rob Huebert is a professor with the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary.
  • McKenzie Funk is the author of Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming.

We requested interviews with Defense Minister Rob Nicholson, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and their parliamentary secretaries. No one responded to our requests.

Do you think the military should have a role in combating climate change?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Gord Westmacott.

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