Recently-appointed Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has announced his intention of dealing with the pressing issue of global warming as a national security concern. “America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” the 76-year-old former Secretary of State wrote. “I am proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis.”
The announcement drew praise from many professional climate activists and groups, perhaps assuming that Kerry was taking his lead from Bernie Sanders, who has for years been saying the same thing. Executive Director of the Sunrise Movement, Varshini Prakash said his statement was an “encouraging move,” while 350.org’s Bill McKibben, predicted Kerry would be an excellent climate czar. Yet, as media critic Adam Johnson argued, Kerry’s proclamation should deeply concern progressive activists and will likely lead to expanding the already bloated military budget.
Kerry is a founding member of the Washington think tank, the American Security Project (ASP), whose board is a who’s who of retired generals, admirals and senators. The ASP also hailed the appointment of their man, explaining, in a little-read report, exactly what treating the climate as a national security threat entails. And it is nothing like what Sanders advocates.
For the ASP, climate change constitutes an “accelerant of instability” and a “threat multiplier” that will “affect the operating environment,” and notes that Kerry will have three priorities in his role as President Biden’s right-hand man. What were those three priorities? Making sure people in the Global South could eat and have access to safe drinking water? Reparations? Disaster relief or response teams? Cutting back on fossil fuel use? Indeed not. For the ASP, the primary objectives were:
- A huge rebuilding of the United States’ military bases,
- Countering China in the Pacific,
- Preparing for a war with Russia in the newly-melted Arctic.
The ASP notes that rising sea levels will neutralize or destroy dozens of American naval bases around the world, including the world’s largest such base in Norfolk, VA. The ASP recommends “prioritizing the measures that can protect readiness” of the military to strike at any time, also warning that rising sea levels will hurt the combat readiness of the Marine Expeditionary Force. Thus, a rebuilding of the U.S.’ worldwide network of military bases is in order….
Just as long as we have war, that’s what’s important. If they invent a reason for it (anthropogenic global something, covid, sunrise and sunset, it doesn’t matter) so much the better. Rub the peasant’s faces in it and dare them to talk back. They’ll be ridiculed as conspiracy theorists.