New US military report on global warming raises worry

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New US military report on global warming raises worry

Bryan Bender – 2008-12-06

New US military report on global warming raises worry

Calls theories on the cause ‘contradictory’

By Bryan Bender
Boston Globe
December 6, 2008

WASHINGTON – A new US military report has come under scrutiny for asserting that the scientific data on what is causing global warming is “contradictory” – a position one leading specialist said indicates the government still hasn’t fully embraced the urgency of climate change.

The long-range planning document, published Thursday by the US Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., which is responsible for developing blueprints for future military strategy, is intended to provide a “basis for thinking about the world a quarter of a century from now.”

But a section of the 56-page report on climate change and natural disasters prompted criticism yesterday from some leading specialists who said that spreading the inaccurate perception that the causes of climate change remain an open question could result in government agencies not taking the issue seriously enough.

The report, titled Joint Operating Environment 2008, states that “the impact of global warming and its potential to cause natural disasters and other harmful phenomena such as rising sea levels has become a prominent – and controversial – national and international concern. Some argue that there will be more and greater storms and natural disasters, others that there will be fewer.”

It adds: “In many respects, scientific conclusions about the causes and potential effects of global warming are contradictory.”

That last line in particular was singled out at a panel discussion hosted yesterday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, on the topic of climate change and national security.

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