Green Military Industrial Complex: Vested Interests Behind US Generals’ Climate Alarm
Retired military officers deeply involved in the climate change movement — and some in companies positioned to profit from it — spearheaded an alarmist global warming report this month that calls on the Defense Department to ramp up spending on what it calls a man-made problem.
The report, which the Obama administration immediately hailed as a call to action, was issued not by a private advocacy group but by a Pentagon-financed think tank that trumpets “absolute objectivity.” The research was funded by a climate change group that is also one of the think tank’s main customers.
The May 13 report came from the military advisory board within CNA Corp., a nonprofit based in Alexandria, Virginia, that includes the Center for Naval Analyses, a Navy-financed group that also gets contracts from other Pentagon units. CNA also operates the Institute for Public Research.
CNA’s webpage states that it is not an advocacy group. It says it maintains “absolute objectivity. In our investigations, analyses and findings we test hypotheses, carefully guard against personal biases and preconceptions, challenge our own findings and are uninfluenced by what a client would like to hear.”
The Center for Naval Analyses’ motto is “high quality, impartial information.”
One of the CNA panel’s vice chairmen, retired Navy Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, is president of a private think tank, the American Security Project, whose prime issue is warning about climate change.
The other vice chairman, retired Army Brig. Gen. Gerald E. Galloway Jr., is a prominent adviser to the Center for Climate and Security, a climate change group.
In all, four CNA board members sit on the panel of advisers to the Center for Climate and Security, whose statements on climate change are similar to those found in the CNA report.
Other board members work in the climate change world of consulting and technology.
The CNA advisory panel is headed by retired four-star Army Gen. Paul Kern, who sits on the board of directors of a company that sells climate-detection products to the Pentagon and other government agencies. At least two other board members are employed in businesses that sell climate change expertise and products.
The greatest influence on CNA reports seems to come from the Center for Climate and Security, whose position is that the debate on climate change, or man-made global warming, is over.
“This is a world which recognizes that climate change risks are unprecedented in human history and does not wait for absolute certainty before acting to mitigate and adapt to those risks,” the center says.
The CNA report, titled “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change,” says: “Some in the political realm continue to debate the cause of a warming planet and demand more data.” It then quotes a board member as saying, “Speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”
The Center for Climate and Security has taken donations from the Tides Foundation, which gets money from Democratic Party financier and liberal billionaire George Soros.
The CNA credits the Center for Climate and Security for helping release the report, and the center issued a press release lauding the report the day it was released.
The CNA report was celebrated by other global warming foreboders, particularly The New York Times, which gave it home page prominence on its website. The Times quoted Secretary of State John F. Kerry as saying the report would ignite a larger administration effort to combat climate change.
The military board’s 16-member roster is filled with former commanders and strategists, such as retired Gen. James T. Conway, a former Marine Corps commandant, and retired Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald, who rose to the No. 2 position at NATO.
The CNA report prominently displays the opinions of three retired officers who sit on the advisory board at the Center for Climate and Security: Gen. Galloway; Adm. Frank L. “Skip” Bowman, the Navy’s former director of nuclear propulsion and who now runs a consulting business; and retired Rear Adm. David W. Titley, a former Oceanographer of the Navy.
A fourth board member tied to the center is Gen. Ronald E. Keys, a former chief of Air Force Combat Command.
Climate change has become big business. The U.S. government alone increased spending by more than $100 billion from 2003 to 2010, according to the Government Accountability Office.
Nations around the world are buying sensors, imaging technologies and airborne monitors.
That means huge contracts for consulting, studies and technologies to analyze the Earth and its environment.
Gen. Kern, the CNA advisory board chairman, is on the board of directors of Exelis Inc. (formerly ITT), a broad-based defense contractor that is also in the climate change business. It sells climate-detection systems to the Pentagon as well as to private industries.
This month, SpaceNews.com reported that Exelis Geospatial Systems won two climate-related contracts worth a potential $200 million — one for a NASA monitoring system, the other for Japan’s Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.