It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing
Yesterday, speaking at an international confab of defense ministers in Peru, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel unveiled his department’s Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. A letter from Hagel asserts at the beginning of the Roadmap that:
While scientists are converging toward consensus on future climate projections, uncertainty remains. But this cannot be an excuse for delaying action. Every day, our military deals with global uncertainty. Our planners know that, as military strategist Carl von Clausewitz wrote, “all action must, to a certain extent, be planned in a mere twilight.”
Clausewitz, indeed. Side note: This quotation from the great 19th century German theorist of warfare appears to come from the translation of Colonel J.J. Graham, who, sadly, passed away in 1883, his edition having since been superseded by numerous quality 20th century translations.
I like to picture Secretary Hagel composing his introduction to the Roadmap late at night in an elegantly appointed Northern Virginia study, perhaps by a roaring fire—strike that: too much carbon—with a snifter of brandy at hand, suddenly reaching for his dog-eared and much beloved Graham translation of On War. Sure, his aides make gentle fun of this stubborn refusal to consult more contemporary editions—but the old fox is set in his ways.
That, or a twenty-something staffer from Hagel’s office pulled it from Wikipedia. Either way.
But back to climate change. We can all applaud the Department of Defense showing initiative in the face of prospective future threats: the possibility of war with a major power like China or Russia, the prospect of a nuclear Iran, the (likely, it seems) calamity of an Ebola pandemic. It might also help to show initiative in the face of present threats, like the two wars we are currently fighting. Someone in an ungenerous frame of mind might suggest that the threat of global warming—heck of a hurricane season we’re having here on the East Coast, by the way—ranks somewhat lower than these issues.
Let us concede, then, for purposes of present argument, the most dire predictions of the warmists (even if those predictions seem to be taking their own sweet time in coming true) and look at what the DOD is going to do about it.
Well. The Roadmap outlines one of DOD’s two major responses to the problem of climate change—adaptation. (The other response, mitigation, presumably gets its own roadmap.) This plan for DOD adaptation is related to the Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP), and sets out three Goals—identifying the effects of climate change, integrating the response to these effects, and collaborating with stakeholders—each of which will be supported by four Lines of Effort. The Roadmap itself is divided into four sections, corresponding to the three Goals (plus a bonus round!) and is driven both by the 2010 and 2014 Quadrennial Defense Reviews and the president’s Executive Orders 13514 and 13653, all of which take very seriously the third National Climate Assessment.
Click here to read the rest of this article on the Washington Free Beacon…