“The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security,” said Panetta. “Rising sea levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
The military has addressed the issue of climate change as the matter-of-fact problem it is, and the Defense Department has begun investing in alternative fuel and alternative energy research in addition to fuel efficiency and other environmental measures. Support for these measures spreads beyond the top brass. USAA, a Fortune-500 financial services company that serves 8.8 million U.S. military members and their families, pulled its support from the Heartland Institute following the organization’s release of its billboard campaign comparing people who believe in global warming to the domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber.