Giving Compass' Take:

• Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, explains how U.S. National Security is impacted by climate change and renewable energy. 

• How can funders help fight climate change to improve national security? 

• Read about profitable climate change solutions

Greg Dalton: So what is the connection between climate change and national security.  Climate change is thought about something far away in geography or time.  What’s the connection to U.S. national security.

Leon Panetta: Well I've always felt that you can't really provide for the security of the United States without accepting reality.  The reality of adversaries.  The reality of competing economies.  The reality of changing cultures and the reality of climate change is something that I think also has to be recognized as one of those things we have to confront now.  And whether it's increasing the rising oceans that we’re now seeing.  Whether it’s the impact on weather systems, the reality is that all of that impacts on people.  And if people are finding it difficult for one reason or another, either to survive or to have to change where they exist because of it's no longer viable for climate reasons, then that creates instability.

Greg Dalton: Defense Secretary Mattis has talked about un-tethering the U.S. forces from fossil fuels.  How do you view the connection more on the battlefield fossil fuels, supply lines, fuel convoys.  How are they a vulnerability or an asset?

Leon Panetta: It's a huge issue and when I was Secretary of Defense we’re really trying to encourage particularly the Navy, which depend so much on fuel for our fleet.  The Navy was really working in trying to develop alternative fuels.

Greg Dalton:  Fuel convoys are great targets.

Leon Panetta: Yeah, they’re great targets.  The dependence on our ability to be able to fuel whether it's our fighter planes or bombers, our ships, our tanks is critical to our war fighting capacity.  And so it made a great deal of sense to begin this effort to try to get the Pentagon and DoD to be able to move towards alternative fuels.

Read the full conversation about security and climate change at Climate One.