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  • Climate change    May 14 
Retired officers urge U.S. military to plan for climate change

Republicans continue being challenged to rethink long-held positions — ostensibly by members of their own base. In the immigration debate, for example, prominent Evangelicals have urged Republicans to embrace immigration reform. Meanwhile, retired military officers — typically considered a reliable part of the Republican voting bloc — are now sounding the alarm on climate change.

From an article in the Wall Street Journal:

The military must do more to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate, including updating war plans and building more ships to operate in the Arctic, a report by a group of retired military officers will say Wednesday.

The report by CNA Corp., a nonprofit research group that frequently does work for the Navy, says the military must be more aggressive as it prepares to deal with everything from increased numbers of natural disasters in the Pacific to expanded shipping in the Arctic. [Wall Street Journal]

The focus isn't on combating global warming, but instead, on military preparation. Still, this news could have political consequences. In the PR business, this is called "man bites dog." (It's not a story if a tree-hugging hippie warns about global warming; it is a story when a decorated military veteran does.)

And according to a survey I was provided (conducted by pollster Alex Lundry), 79 percent of Republicans believe that "strengthening national security with energy independence" is an important reason to take on climate change — and 74 percent of Republicans say "preventing the U.S. from going to war over oil" would be a good enough reason to do the same.

While this report certainly doesn't mean the global warming alarmists are correct, it is yet another example of how conservative orthodoxy is being challenged on all sides — and how Republicans (see Marco Rubio) are increasingly finding themselves forced to answer difficult questions about topics that were once automatic winners.

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