They can't say they weren't warned. At the Southern Governors' Association's annual meeting near Williamsburg, VA, retired military officials told the governors that climate change will have major impacts on their states. Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard Engel, who directs the Climate Change and State Stability program of the National Intelligence Council, told the governors that global warming will cause drought, floods, and storm damage.Ironically, many polluters sponsored the conference, including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Dominion Resources Inc., and Exxon Mobil Corp. Outgoing chair Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia said his goal was to see how the South can increase its use of renawble energy technologies while increasing efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases.
Twenty-eight states, plus Washington, D.C., have renewable energy portfolios that require each state to produce a minimum percentage of renewable energy. Only North Carolina in the Southeast has a renewable energy portfolio. The Union of Concerned Scientists has a helpful map that shows each states policies and any pending legislation.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Engel, who was joined by former Senator John Warner of Virginia, a longtime proponent of climate action, told the governors that immediate action was required:
He said that although the U.S. will be "less affected and better equipped than the vast majority of nations to deal with climate change," it will still face challenges. Engel said these range from the costs to control emissions and respond to emergencies, to safeguarding against the potential for terrorists to "obtain and utilize" nuclear material and expertise that will increase as more countries pursue nuclear power as an energy source.
More on the Southeastern US:
Water Crisis Scenarios For The US Southeast
First Zero Waste Zone in the Southeast Announced in Downtown Atlanta