General: Climate change threatens national security

Island PacketSeptember 18, 2009 

Global climate change affects national security, a former four-star general and assistant commandant of the Marine Corps told about 150 people gathered Thursday at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

"Anytime you have environmental instability, the young men and women who wear uniforms that look like that," said retired Gen. Robert Magnus, referring to the Marines in attendance, "are called on to do their thing.

"They shouldn't have to worry about the security of the energy they need to do their jobs."

Magnus, who retired in July 2008 after serving as the Corps' second-in-command, spoke for more than an hour inside the depot's chapel about the relationship between climate change, energy and national security. Magnus serves on the Military Advisory Board of the Center for Naval Analyses, a federally funded research group that studies the Navy and other defense agencies.

"We need to have a better handle on three things as it relates to energy: Our power generation and what our energy sources are, our problems with energy transmission, and our consumption problem," Magnus said. "I'm proud to say that the Marine Corps is a leader in these areas; they aren't the only ones, but they're certainly a leader. Here at Parris Island, they've cut their energy consumption by 33 percent in a little over 20 years."

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