Recently-retired US Senator John Warner made a trip to South Carolina last week to make a case for dealing with the changes in global climate. He and leaders from the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate held a town hall meeting at the Citadel about they say is the link between climate change and America’s national and energy security.Warner, while in the Senate was a leading Republican on such issues. After 30 years in the Senate, he says he spends perhaps more than a third of his time working on this issue, because “it’s important to my children, their children and my great-grandchildren.”
At the Citadel event, Senator Warner was joined by retired military leaders and a professor from the University of South Carolina. Greg Carbone who says he stands behind the climate change research he sees.
“Compelling evidence where we have the most certainty about the effect of change as evidenced from 21 different climate models and hordes of scientists who are analyzing the results is convincing evidence that there are certain areas that are going to change,” says the professor.
Carbone,a climatologist,says he helped lead the town hall meeting because of what he has studied in South Carolina. That includes, he says, “Sea level, water resources, including agriculture, timber, forestry, and so forth. PEW is particularly interested in this issue because they see this nexus between climate, energy and national security and that the solution to one of those problems is the solution to all three.”
Senator Warner says it is that very climate instability that threatens global military security.
Warner says, “For example, when a fragile nation–I’m talking about fragile in terms of its sovereignty and its government–is hit by a terrible drought as you see in Africa now, or terrible floods, as you saw in other parts of the world, often it’s the US armed forces that have to bring relief.”
Warner says that left unchecked, global warming could lead to civil strife, genocide, conflicts over water and other resources, and increased terrorism.
Mayor Joe Riley of Charleston also spoke at the Citadel gathering.