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Pentagon Faces a Battle on Climate Change

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In the run-up to the United Nations climate change conference in Bali, businesspeople implored political leaders to take bold steps to combat global warming. They insisted that their ability to undertake effective long-term planning was undermined by uncertainty about the future cost of carbon emissions. Yet their calls for action were ignored.

Perhaps the outcome would have been different if the world’s single largest organisation – the Pentagon – had joined the chorus. After all, it also needs to know what kind of environment to prepare for to allocate its vast resources efficiently. Planning for future contingencies is a long-term process, as force structure and weapons systems have to be co-ordinated at least a decade in advance.
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