Last week, the Partnership for a Secure America (PSA), led by former Democratic representative Lee Hamilton and former Republican senator Warren Rudman, released a letter signed by 36 other formerly important people insisting that the United States must take action on climate change for national-security reasons. The letter begins:
The effect of climate change in the world’s most vulnerable regions present[s] a serious threat to American national security interests. As a matter of risk management, the United States must work with international partners, public and private, to address this impending crisis. . . . Both the Department of Defense and the State Department have identified climate change as a serious risk to American security and an agent of instability . . . Climate change impacts could spur mass migrations, influence civil conflict and ultimately lead to a more unpredictable world. . . . Protecting U.S. interests under these conditions would progressively exhaust American military, diplomatic, and development resources . . .
That is, global warming doesn’t just threaten the polar bears but is also endangering our troops. So if you care about our brave young men and women in uniform, our national defense, and world peace, get in line and support cap-and-trade.
Well, since the PSA letter’s distinguished signatories are not exactly what one might call original thinkers, it is of some interest to track down where the inspiration (i.e., funding) for this bunk is coming from. According to PSA’s website, its climate-change campaign is funded by a group called the Energy Foundation, which, according to its own website, is a joint project of a gaggle of environmentalist groups.
While comparatively recent in the current context, the use of ersatz national-security arguments to push the environmentalist agenda is not new. In particular, the pitch for restricting carbon use has an eerie resemblance to a similar argument promulgated in the 1960s for promoting population control.
At that time, the Campaign to Stop the Population Explosion — a project led by eugenics bankroller (and subsequent prime sponsor of the first Earth Day) Hugh Moore and Population Crisis Committee (PCC) founder General William Draper — was running lurid full-page ads in leading newspapers warning of all sorts of horrid consequences unless stern population-control measures were implemented in the U.S. and elsewhere. “Have you ever been mugged? Well you may be!” said one such ad, suggesting that aborting more of the poor would help fight crime.
This kind of stuff created a stir, but during the Cold War, the best way to get congressional support for anything, from Moon rockets to higher teacher pay, was to portray it as part of the fight against Communism. So Moore and Draper enlisted the support of Johnson-administration officials and PCC members defense secretary Robert S. McNamara and deputy national-security adviser Robert W. Komer. They went to Congress to argue that swelling populations in Third World countries would man the Communist world revolution, and they successfully lobbied lawmakers to make the imposition of population control a condition for U.S. foreign aid. As a result, since 1966, billions of dollars in U.S.-taxpayer money has been laundered through USAID to such groups as the Population Council and the International Planned Parenthood Federation to advise or run horrific campaigns of forced sterilizations or abortions, wrecking the lives of tens of millions of poor people in Asia, Africa, and South America.