Like the Olympics and leap year, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) comes at us every four years. A big-picture look by the US military at the threats they see out there, the QDR (PDF) is a broad document, but you can read in it just how big the military thinks its mission is (global dominance, really). As part of that mission, the military tries to find a way to reduce the threats it sees, but what do you do about dirty air that we all create? You can't go and bomb the highways to stop the cars from polluting.

The QDR is a straight shooter when it comes to climate change. It warns of devastation to "homes, land, and infrastructure" thanks to climate change, as well as threats to water and food supplies. The QDR says:

Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. ... The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.

Note the complete lack of political equivocating. Climate change is a serious problem, the Pentagon says. That's a refreshing change from most of what comes out of DC, but it is awfully similar to what the QDR said in the 2010 version.

There is no mention of bombing highways, but the QDR does say the Department of Defense, "will employ creative ways to address the impact of climate change." As we've seen in the past, the DoD has expressed an interest in plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, but those purchases may have been made for more financial reasons. As clear as the DoD is on the effects of climate change, it is also familiar with paying up to $400 for a gallon of gas in certain situations, so any reduction in fuel use can be good for the air and the defense budget.

Over on De Smog Blog, Steve Horn notes that there is a bit of a problem with the Pentagon's attitude towards the threats of climate change: "its activities around the world are in large part responsible for the [climate change] threat to begin with." As an example, Horn writes that the so-called "Arctic Strategy" that the Pentagon published last November 2013, "would only make a bad problem worse." The White House memo describing that plan (PDF) says the US seeks an Artic, "where economic and energy resources are developed in a sustainable manner," which means we should prepare for the 2018 QDR to repeat the threats we read about this year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 88 Comments
      Spec
      • 9 Months Ago
      Lots of Republicans try to tell me that the science doesn't support climate change. How am I supposed to even take them seriously when they nominate people like this: ----------- A Republican candidate who believes that God dictates weather patterns and that tornadoes, autism and dementia are God's punishments for marriage equality and abortion access won the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) in the Chicago-area 9th Congressional District. Susanne Atanus, of Niles, Ill., garnered 54 percent of the vote in her Tuesday win over David Earl Williams III. "I am not in favor of abortions, I am not in favor of gay rights," Atanus told the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper, in January. She blamed natural disasters and mental disorders on recent advances in LGBT equality and legal abortions. -------------------------- Yeah, now there is a political party with their finger on the pulse of science. And it is really sad. The right used to be so pro-science when we needed lots of scientists and engineers during the space race and during the cold war. But now that science says things they don't want to hear . . . .
        Spec
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Spec
        Another example . . . the GOP primary for their Senate seat is currently being lead by Pau Broun: --------------- A recent PPP poll showed Broun with a double digit lead over the entire field. Broun has gotten activists’ (and the media’s) attention by giving away magazine-fed rifles on his campaign website, racking up local Tea Party endorsements, or offering up quotable declarations like calling evolution and other sciences “lies straight from the pit of Hell.” ----------------------- Yeah . . . evolution and big bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of Hell.” C'mon GOP. I'd like to have a choice when I vote but I can't vote for people who have no respect for science.
          Spec
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          That is the Georgia Senate seat . . . Paul Broun is leading.
        EVnerdGene
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Spec
        "God dictates weather patterns " You'll have to admit that one bf-volcano, a bf-solar flare, or an asteroid hitting the earth could make some major change in climate that man had nothing to do with; and turning the blue planet into yet another iceball in the universe. We're like bacteria on a beachball.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Days Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          biology Didn't say bacteria cannot do a lot of damage. Their excrement alone could be a major problem. But we're really more like a virus on this beachball. The infected organism will eventually fight-off the virus; or the virus will kill the organism - and then the virus will die-off. My point is; you are spending way too much time worrying about things you have little control over. Sure, you can volunteer not to procreate; but not much you can do to convince the other seven Billion people on the planet to do the same.
          skierpage
          • 2 Days Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Mankind is NOT bacteria on a beachball.. Human activities (greenhouse gas-driven climate change, but also loss of habitate, forest clearing, overfishing, etc.) are causing the sixth major extinction in the history of the earth. No volcanic eruption or solar flare comes close, only a huge asteroid every on the order of every 100M years comes close.
      • 9 Months Ago
      Of course, the Pentagon is currently filled with Liberals and Pinkos who embrace Climate Change - whilst a flaming Liberal is President. Let's see what the QDR says about Climate Change when the commander-in-chief is a Republican.
        Spec
        • 9 Months Ago
        The Pentagon issued the same warning about climate change issues during the Bush/Cheney administration. Duh. The problem is people like you who are uninformed and blind-faith ideologues that can't deal with facts they don't like.
        Jim1961
        • 9 Months Ago
        Ted Nugent would probably agree with you but... never mind.
        Mark Schaffer
        • 9 Months Ago
        Why are you lying about who you are? Are you REALLY this stupid?
        Jim
        • 9 Months Ago
        LOL. Anyone who believes that an election leads to full (or even significant) job turnover for career government employees knows too little to even comment on the matter.
      mylexicon
      • 9 Months Ago
      Everyone knows climate change is a clear and present danger. AGW is the controversy.
      Jared
      • 9 Months Ago
      Yeah, yet the government still flies around in massive jets for no good reason. Keep blabbing.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 9 Months Ago
      Its a good thing that military decided to study using the nuclear reactors on its aircraft carriers to make jet fuel. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA539765 "The analysis for both processes indicates that jet fuel can be produced for as little as $6/gallon. This is significant as historical data suggests that in 10 years the price of fuel for the Navy could be over $13/gallon excluding the costs associated with logistical storage and delivery. "
      2 wheeled menace
      • 9 Months Ago
      Yet our government is still going forth with allowing the keystone pipeline and using extreme amounts of gasoline in non-stop wars 8,000+ miles away. The USA and China are also the only two developed countries exempt from the kyoto protocol. And it's okay to frack the hell out of the country, because of the clean water act exemptions. Methane being one of the most potent greenhouse gases and all.. well, whatever. There's a lot of talk about a problem that needs fixing from the same group of people who are tasked to fix it.. all talk and no action.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 9 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Oh i'm sorry, 50,000-100,000 people occupying another country 8,000 miles away isn't a war, it's called a contingency operation now.
          Joeviocoe
          • 9 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Yes, Obama could use executive power to completely pull out immediately, but that is unwise for a variety of consequences both foreign and domestic. I just know that the status of forces would have a much higher number with McCain or Romney. I have lost faith that even a liberal President could just pull out every serviceman/woman within his term... after a decade of war. Just like reversing the greatest economic collapse 30 years in the making, within one term as many were expecting. But don't get me wrong.. we both want the same thing here.
          Joeviocoe
          • 9 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Many bases have closed down. Not the ones we would like (gitmo)... but 'bases' are really where we are headed.
          Joeviocoe
          • 9 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Lets look at Germany and Japan... I would not call the decades of military presence in those countries "non-stop war" I don't disagree that it is up for serious discussion about imperialism, militarism, et ceteraism. But you do no service to your argument to be hyperbolic about the terms. ------------------ What it means for me and my family.. yes, we are pulling out. I no longer have to worry about the stop loss, the sudden orders or the deployment cycle. That number is not zero, and it is still on the table to negotiate lower. And I think it will be negotiated MUCH lower way before 2024. That being said, if you want to ensure a lower number, don't vote Republican. ;)
          brotherkenny4
          • 9 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Don't forget an ever exapnding system of military bases. We are not pulling back, we are expanding the empire. Although it's difficult to say whose empire it is.
        Jesse Gurr
        • 9 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Military doesn't usually use gasoline for planes or trucks. They mostly use a form of kerosene, JP-6 I think. Even the diesel trucks burn it, makes logistics simpler if you are dealing with only one type of fuel. Saves gas and diesel for the rest of us.
          Naturenut99
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Jesse Gurr
          It's still oil. It's still burning chemicals.
        Joeviocoe
        • 9 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        non-stop wars? Um... we are pulling out. It is much easier and cheaper to fight a drone-based war... but then privacy nuts don't like that either.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 9 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Pulling out? We have over 50,000+ men in Iraq until 2024. We were supposed to be out by 2014. No clue how many we have in Afghanistan playing poppy field defender. Something like 900 bases around the world and a few detention centers are filled. Currently rattling sabers at Russia and have narrowly avoided war with Iran ( for now ). People who are randomly killed by drones don't like them either. You can't call it a war when you consider all males over the age of 18 as enemy combatants whether they are combatants or not. If you disregard that awful rule, The majority of people we have killed were innocents.
          brotherkenny4
          • 9 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Love the poppy reference. Holder came out on heroin as a epidemic even while the US occupies the planets largest supplier of opium, Afghanistan. And, as you state, they have the US soldiers actually protecting the poppy fields. You can see why people don't believe the US government. The feds are actually saying this: "We hate herion, that is why we protect the poppy fields". It's lunacy, and most are oblivious to the truth. It's funny too, shouldn't the right who are so anti drug be frothing from the mouth on this one, that is, if they believe in their own morality? Of course, they don't.
      Level4
      • 9 Months Ago
      I'm telling you this "green agenda" is a multi billion dollar industry that was fabricated....gotta love it.....
      Jim
      • 9 Months Ago
      Cue the flat-earthers who believe in the opinions of political operatives over the knowledge of scientists. NASA can put a man on the moon, The Pentagon can drop a nuke on the head of a pin halfway around the world. And yet conservatives believe that neither organization is capable of measuring the temperature of the atmosphere or constructing reasonably accurate simulation models. There is a plague of stupidity in the country, and it has poisoned a once legitimate conservative movement beyond repair.
        fairfireman21
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Jim
        Jim, First off when you talk political learn the parties. Secound it is not the conservatives trying to tell you howto live your life it is the Demecrats. If we keep them in office there will be another 700,000 people making 6 digit salary to say if your butt is dirty enough to wipe or not. Dems want more government, more control over every aspect of your life. Ibet you did not know the Dems are looking to take your IRA, 401K and invest it back into government because they feel we are too dumb to handle our own money. Republicans and Conservatives do not feel this way.
        Gabbo
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Jim
        On the other hand, Jim is a tool of the wamers ....and a dull tool at that .
      • 9 Months Ago
      With most of the pollution coming from DC via politicians and their hot air... It would seem to me that's the place to start the clean up!!
      Jim
      • 9 Months Ago
      "The Earth is the center of the universe." "There is no evidence that smoking tobacco is bad for you." "There is no global warming." Famous claims throughout the history of man by the scientifically illiterate.
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Jim
        The tobacco companies were scientifically literate. In fact, they did studies which determined that there were serious health problems. This all came out in the tobacco trials. Greedy evil liars, yes. Scientifically illiterate, no.
      Sam
      • 9 Months Ago
      Oh, those tree-hugging left wing military folk, always pushing their green agenda at the Pentagon..
      Levine Levine
      • 9 Months Ago
      First, the Pentagon waged wars called the 'global war on communism' and its attendant 'the Domino Theory.' After Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City and the collapse of the USSR, the name of the mission was changed to "global war on terrorism." After more than 13 years of anti-terrorism war while netting little substance to show to the public, the Pentagon is now readying 'global war on behalf of environmentalism.'
        Jim1961
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        I prefer a Pentagon that works toward avoiding future conflicts.
        Spec
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        The Pentagon is tasked with dealing with ALL of those risks. Wars due to climate change are definitely a significant risk. Consider this . . . the rivers that flow out of the mountains of India flow into Pakistan and Pakistan uses them for irrigation. What happens if the glaciers that those rivers are based upon melt away such that there is little water left and India decides to use up all the water leaving Pakistan to starve. Both are nuclear nations. See the problem? Don't think it can happen? Egypt was already talking about militarily attacking any upstream African country that damns the Nile and significantly reduces the water flow.
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