Documentaries

Military Experts Issue a Warning Climate Skeptics Won't Want to Hear

A gripping new documentary explores the link between climate change and violent conflict.

Photo Credit: PF Pictures

“Requiem for the American Dream” director Jared P. Scott is back with a new must-see documentary. Billed as "The Hurt Locker" meets "An Inconvenient Truth," his new film, The Age of Consequences, offers a chilling warning for climate skeptics from an unlikely source: members of the U.S. military. 

"From my perspective, as a former member of the United States military with 30 plus years of service of service in uniform, climate change is what we call an accelerant to instability," argues retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Cheney in the film. "It is what's causing a lot of the conflict or helping assist the confict that's going on around the world. And you can see that on the front pages of the paper virtually every day."

"Consequences" relies heavily on a landmark study by Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, linking Syria's 2007−2010 drought to its 2011 civil war.

"This is the first study that quantitatively draws a connection between climate change and the onset of the conflict," Seager explains in the film. "Farming families just cannot survive on the land when a drought lasts that long."

The drought in Syria forced 1.5 million to flee their homeland, many of them young men.

"That has a major destabilizing imact when people have to pick up and leave," says Army officer Michael Breen, now executive director of the Truman National Security Project. "As anyone can tell you, a bunch of unemployed young men in a major city is not a recipe for social stability." 

"The Age of Consequences" is now available for pre-order on iTunes. In honor of Earth Hour, the film can be purchased for just $6.99 from Friday through Sunday. Every pre-order dollar goes to the #cleanjobs4vets campaign to create more renewable energy jobs for veterans. 

Watch: "The Age of Consequences": Exclusive Clip

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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