In an April 20 editorial, the Times cited a report released by 11 retired generals and admirals, together with a first-ever United Nations debate on the link between climate change and international conflict, as reasons for the U.S. Congress to enact legislation to curb and reverse America’s production and consumption of greenhouse gases.
The 68-page report was especially dire, arguing that global warming could be a “threat multiplier” escalating tensions in already fragile parts of the world, with rising sea levels threatening more than one billion people in Asia. In Africa, recurring heat waves could cause widespread shortages of food and water.
As a retired Marine general put it, “we will pay for this one way or the other” — either now, to control the emission of greenhouse gases, or later, in military engagements and “human lives.”
At the UN, a majority of nations voiced grave concerns about climate change, and many urged stricter worldwide controls on greenhouse gases. Among dissidents were the U.S. and China, accused by the Times as “using each other’s inaction as an excuse to do nothing.”
“With members of the military elite joining mayors, governors and business leaders in demanding action,” the Times said, “the Democrats in Congress have all the arguments they need to take the lead. “