Former Bush official speaks out on climate change

7 months ago

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell under President George W. Bush, wrote in an op-ed that "progress is slow" on international efforts to address climate change if you calculate the accomplishments since the 1992 pact that created U.N. Framework on Climate Change.

"On balance, though," he wrote. "Such progress might be all that officialdom can achieve. Politics is the art of the possible and there are many who still do not believe climate change is real, and many who believe that it might be real but, if it is, it's natural, i.e., human activity is not a contributing factor (this, as if humans are not as 'natural' as any other form of life occurring on the planet)." He blamed the influence of money for opposition in the U.S. to climate progress, calling Germany "far more committed" to implementing climate solutions and pointing out that Cuba "is working harder to combat the effects of climate change than is a colossus country like the United States."

Wilkerson touched on the security risks climate posed, and how some day, opponents to action may finally see the light.

"When the seas rise, the storms come, the rains fall incessantly, the deserts extend, water turns salty or disappears, oceans are so acidic that fish stocks dwindle and are gone, and the U.S. armed forces move from one humanitarian disaster to another trying to help, and when 500 million people are on the move looking for water to drink and food to eat, when we are manning our borders with machine guns to keep them out, everyone will be seized of the truth. All will know that climate change is an issue of national security; indeed, of human security everywhere."