- The Washington Times - Monday, November 23, 2009


Adm. James A. Lyons served our country with distinction, but his analysis of climate change and the costs of continued energy dependence is off the mark (“National security omissions,” Opinion, Wednesday).

The Department of Defense understands better than most the cost of relying on petroleum suppliers and logistical routes in countries that do not always have America’s best interests at heart. In short, it costs too much in American lives and treasure.

It is for this reason that leaders like Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway have chosen to act. Gen. Conway held the first Marine Corps Energy Summit in August 2009. He has ordered the first audit of Marine Corps energy usage in Afghanistan, and he has ordered the Marine Corps to find cheaper, more efficient ways to transport fuel (and less of it) in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even more recently, Secretary of the Navy Raymond E. Mabus Jr. announced that by 2020 the U.S. Navy will cut its use of fossil fuel by half and will increase overall energy efficiency. Why? Because reliance on foreign energy supplies diverts precious taxpayer dollars from other vital priorities. This isn’t misguided environmentalism - it is clear-eyed national security planning.

America’s economic competitiveness - and our power - will suffer more if we fail to adapt to the opportunities and risks of a warming planet than if we take appropriate steps now. Europe already leads the way on alternative energy, and China is aiming to lead the world in the production of electric vehicles.

Changes in climate and the way people get their energy will have consequences for our national security. Failing to respond to changes in the world around us will cost much more and make us much less safe.


Vice admiral (retired)

U.S. Navy


American Security Project


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