War-Gaming Climate Change
This image released by the US Navy Sunday Jan. 2, 2005 helicopters depart from the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) enroute to Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. The helicopters are transporting supplies, bringing in disaster relief teams and supporting humanitarian airlifts to tsunami-stricken coastal regions. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is currently operating in the Indian Ocean off the waters of Indonesia and Thailand. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy photo)

Helicopters depart from the USS Abraham Lincoln enroute to Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, bringing in disaster relief teams and supporting humanitarian airlifts to tsunami-stricken coastal regions in January 2005. (AP/U.S. Navy photo)

Climate change and its consequences have for years been the cause of green warriors and environmentalists.

Now climate change is getting the attention of real warriors — the Pentagon and U.S. Defense Department — as a national security issue.

They’re war-gaming the implications of global warming: Drought, famine, rising seas, populations on the move. Island airstrips underwater. Naval bases, too.

Some say it’s politics driving defense. But the Pentagon is serious about it.

This hour, On Point: War-gaming global warming.

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Joining us from New York is Andrew Revkin, environment reporter for The New York Times and author of “The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World.” He writes the Dot Earth blog, where he recently offered some context on a New York Times article by his colleague John Broder about climate change as a growing concern for the Pentagon.

Joining us from the Pentagon is Amanda Dory, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy. She is leading the drafting of the Pentagon’s upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review, due out in February 2010, reporting to Congress on strategic objectives and potential military threats.

Joining us from Washington is Sharon Burke, vice president for natural security at the Center for a New American Security. She has directed an international climate change war game and other energy security projects in conjunction with experts in and out of the military.

Joining us from Arlington, Virginia, is Gen. Paul Kern, a retired four-star Army general. He was commanding general of the United States Army Materiel Command from 2001 to 2004 and serves now on the military advisory board of CNA, a non-profit research organization which operates the Institute for Public Research and the Center for Naval Analyses. In the last two years, CNA has issued two seminal reports on climate change, energy and national security. He is president and chief operating officer of AM General, which supplies the military with Humvee vehicles.

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