That is the sober -- and welcome -- conclusion of a new report by the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA), entitled Powering America's Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security.
"The U.S. should not pursue energy options inconsistent with the national response to climate change."
The report, written by a dozen retired generals and admirals, explores the national security implications of America's energy policy choices. It is a follow-up to CAN's groundbreaking 2007 report National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, which found that "climate change, national security, and energy dependence are a related set of global challenges."
This new report focuses on the following: security risks inherent in our current energy posture; energy choices the nation can make to enhance our national security; the impact of climate change on our energy choices and our national security; and the role the Department of Defense can play in the nation's approach to energy security and climate change.
To summarize, the report's "Roadmap for Energy Security" makes the following recommendations:
Given the U.S. military's push for unsustainable high-carbon fuel alternatives during the Bush administration -- most notably the Air Force's quixotic quest for liquid coal -- it is refreshing and reassuring to see that "green" no longer just applies to the color of our warriors' uniforms.
Since global warming poses a direct threat to America's national security it makes perfect sense to avoid jumping from the frying pan into the fire via dirty fuels that only exacerbate the climate crisis. Rather than wasting tax dollars on dirty, costly, and unsafe technologies like tar sands, oil shale, and liquid coal, our nation should be harnessing our greatest resource -- our American ingenuity -- to create a secure energy future based on never-ending supplies of energy like wind, solar, and geothermal that will keep the air we breathe clean, the water we drink safe and our country prosperous.
With CAN's expert analysis, and the climate advocacy of a host of old and new veterans groups and security hawks, the voice of our military leaders matters more than ever. We salute these allies for engaging with us to protect the planet and we welcome them to the fight against dirty fuels.
This post originally appeared on NRDC's Switchboard blog.
Follow Rob Perks on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NRDCSwitchboard