The Age Of Consequences

ABC Four Corners - PBS International | Jared P Scott

"We are not your traditional environmentalists." Gen. Gordon Sullivan (Retd), Fmr. Chief of Staff, U.S. Army 

ABC Four Corners iview
The Age of Consequences
PBS International, Jared P Scott
Available until 9:18pm
19 Apr 2017
Four Corners brings you the views of distinguished former members of the US military and senior policy makers who warn that climate change is not only real, it's a threat to global security.
"I'm here today not only representing my views on security implications of climate change, but on the collective wisdom of 16 admirals and generals."
Rear Admiral David Titley (Retd), U.S. Navy
They say climate change is impacting on vital resources, migration patterns and conflict zones.
"Climate change is one of the variables that must be considered when thinking about instability in the world."
Gen. Gordon Sullivan (Retd), Fmr. Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
Rear Admiral David Titley spent 32 years in the US military. He was the US Navy's chief oceanographer and led the Navy's Task Force on Climate Change. He argues climate change must be acknowledged.
"Our collective bottom line judgement is that climate change is an accelerating risk to our nation's future."
Rear Admiral David Titley (Retd), U.S. Navy
The film analyses the conflict in Syria, the social unrest of the Arab Spring, and the rise of groups like ISIS and how these experts believe climate change is already acting as a catalyst for conflict.
"This is the heart of the problem in many ways. Climate change arrives in a world that has already been destabilised."
Dr Christian Parenti
Director Jared P Scott explores how water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather and rising sea-levels can act as accelerants of instability.
"We realised that climate change would be a threat multiplier for instability as people become desperate, because they have extreme weather and the seas are rising, and there are floods in one area and droughts in another, fragile states become more unpredictable."
Sherri Goodman, Fmr. Dept Undersecretary of Defense
These Pentagon insiders say a failure to tackle climate change, conducting 'business as usual', would lead to profound consequences.
"It's a very dangerous thing to decide that there is one and only one line of events heading into the future and one and only one best response for dealing with that."
Leon Fuerth, Fmr. National Security Adviser, White House '93-'01

Related Reports

CNA Military Advisory Board | National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change | May 2014 - Seven years later, the Military Advisory Board has gathered again to re-examine the nexus of projected climate change and national security. The update serves as a bipartisan call to action. It makes a compelling case that climate change is no longer a future threat - it is taking place now.

CNA Military Advisory Board | National Security and the Threat of Climate Change | April 2007 - Climate change can act as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world, and it presents significant national security challenges for the United States. Accordingly, it is appropriate to start now to help mitigate the severity of some of these emergent challenges.

Be Prepared: Climate Change, Security and Australia's Defence Force | The Climate Council | 22 Sep 2015 - The report reveals Australia is lagging behind its UK and US allies in preparing its militaries for climate change, with Australian Defence Force resources already under strain from the increased need for humanitarian assistance in response to climate-induced disasters. By Admiral Chris Barrie (Ret.) and Will Steffen.

Chronology of Climate and Security Risks | The Center for Climate & Security | 2016 - The Climate Security Chronology lists significant policy documents, reports and events by year.

The longest conflict: Australia's climate security challenge | Centre for Policy Development | Jun 2015 - Report launched by Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, former UK Government Climate & Energy Security Envoy, and Admiral Chris Barrie, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force.

News Coverage
Trump's Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge | Pro Publica | March 14, 2017 - James Mattis' unpublished testimony before a Senate panel recognizes a threat others in the administration reject or minimize.

House Republicans Buck Trump, Call for Climate Change Solutions | Newsweek | 3 Mar 2017 - Seventeen lawmakers sign on; sponsor says "many, many more" are interested.

Opinion: As global food demand rises, climate change is hitting our staple crops | The Conversation | 1 Mar 2017 - While increases in population and wealth will lift global demand for food by up to 70 per cent by 2050, agriculture is already feeling the effects of climate change. By Dr Andrew Borrell, University of Queensland.

Climate change could threaten entire financial system, APRA warns | ABC News | 17 Feb 2017 - Climate change could threaten the stability of the entire financial system, the prudential regulator has warned, as it prepares to apply climate change "stress tests" to the nation's financial institutions.

Military experts say climate change poses 'significant risk' to security | Guardian | 14 September 2016 - A coalition of 25 prominent members of US national security community warn that higher temperatures and rising seas will inundate bases and fuel conflict.

Meet The Woman Whose Two-Word Catchphrase Made the Military Care About Climate | BuzzFeed News | 30 Nov 2015 - Global warming poses a huge threat to U.S. national security. The military began to care about it a decade ago, largely thanks to Sherri Goodman and her wonky catchphrase.

Climate change is a major security threat but old and bold don't get it | News.com.au | 28 Oct 2015 - Climate change was a 'sleeper issue' for ageing defence brass because potential security impacts were 20 to 30 years away according to former Chief of Defence retired Admiral Chris Barrie.

Links & Social
ABC Environment | @ABCenvironment - A compendium of all the environment news and issues from ABC Australia.

American Security | @amsecproject - ASP is a non-profit, non-partisan research organisation dedicated to fostering honest, public knowledge and understanding of national security issues.

Climate Council | @climatecouncil - Providing Australians with a reliable source of information on climate science, headed by Chief Councillor Tim Flannery.

The Center for Climate and Security (US) | @CntrClimSec - A non-partisan security and foreign policy institute with a distinguished Advisory Board of military, security and foreign policy experts, envisions a climate-resilient international security landscape.

Climate Desk | @ClimateDesk - A journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact-human, environmental, economic, political-of a changing climate.

World Resources | @WorldResources - Global research organisation that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. 

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