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Schulman reports: "The Massachusetts-based defense contractor - which makes everything from communications systems to Tomahawk missiles - thinks that future "security concerns" caused by climate change could mean expanded sales of its military products."

(illustration: engadget.com)
(illustration: engadget.com)


Raytheon: Climate Change Could Create "Business Opportunities"

By Jeremy Schulman, Grist

15 August 13

 

f all the business opportunities presented by global warming, Raytheon Company may have found one of the most alarming. The Massachusetts-based defense contractor — which makes everything from communications systems to Tomahawk missiles — thinks that future "security concerns" caused by climate change could mean expanded sales of its military products.

Raytheon, it should be noted, isn't exactly gunning for catastrophic global warming. Quite the opposite, in fact: In February, the company received a "Climate Leadership Award" from the EPA for publicly reporting and aggressively reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. It's working on renewable energy technologies. And it has publicly warned of significant climate change-related risks to its business — from things like hurricanes, floods, droughts, and forest fires.

So it's particularly striking that these very same climate-induced disasters could also have a financial upside for Raytheon. Like many other companies, Raytheon regularly submits information to the nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project about its carbon reduction efforts and how climate change could affect its business. In response to a question about climate-related opportunities, Raytheon wrote [reg. req.] last year that "expanded business opportunities are likely to arise as consumer behaviour and needs change in response to climate change."

What kind of business opportunities? Raytheon cites its renewable energy technologies, weather-prediction products, and emergency response equipment for natural disasters. But the company also expects to see "demand for its military products and services as security concerns may arise as results of droughts, floods, and storm events occur as a result of climate change."

The document says that these extreme weather conditions could have "destabilizing effects" and that on an international level, "climate change may cause humanitarian disasters, contribute to political violence, and undermine weak governments":

Recent actions and statements by members of Congress, members of the UN Security Council, and U.S. military officers have drawn attention to the consequences of climate change, including the destabilizing effects of storms, droughts, and floods. Domestically, the effects of climate change could overwhelm disaster-response capabilities. Internationally, climate change may cause humanitarian disasters, contribute to political violence, and undermine weak governments. Customers' needs are changing as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy where energy efficiency, renewable energy, and highly efficiently energy delivery becomes paramount. Expanded business opportunities will arise to Raytheon as a result of these security concerns and the possible consequences.

Raytheon says in the document that these opportunities are "very likely" to occur six to 10 years down the road, but the company doesn't specify which military products in particular it thinks could become more popular. Jon Kasle, a Raytheon spokesperson, declined to elaborate on specific, future business opportunities, citing "competitive and other reasons." Kasle did highlight Raytheon's work on the Joint Polar Satellite System – a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration program to monitor environmental and weather conditions. In addition, Kasle cited a mobile air traffic control system, recently purchased by the U.S. Air Force, that he noted "could be used in humanitarian missions such as supporting recovery from a hurricane, flood or other natural disaster." Raytheon's website suggests it could be useful on a "remote battlefield," as well.

Kasle also emphasized that the Carbon Disclosure Project document "details the company's extensive commitment to environmental stewardship and related, substantive programs."

Raytheon certainly isn't alone in contemplating the potential for climate-related conflict. Recently, a group of researchers published a paper in Science concluding that global warming could substantially increase the frequency of violent conflict. The paper, which surveyed dozens of academic studies, noted that "some forms of intergroup violence, such as Hindu-Muslim riots [in India] … tend to be more likely following extreme rainfall conditions" and that low water availability, very low temperatures, and very high temperatures "have been associated with organized political conflicts in a variety of low-income contexts." That may be happening in Syria, where some experts believe that a severe drought helped spark the country's bloody civil war.

Raytheon also isn't the only defense contractor thinking about both the risks and opportunities associated with government responses to a warming world. Boeing, for example, says in a Carbon Disclosure Project report that its business could be impacted by the U.S. government's "increasing focus" on renewable energy. And Lockheed Martin states that the reputational boost from its efforts to reduce carbon emissions could help it win defense contracts.

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+4 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-08-15 08:26
Of course the MITC - military, industrial,terr orism complex has longtime worked on plans to make more $$$$$$$, as do the 'fossil foolers' who are, in relatively short order, going to thrive off of ruination of drinkable water. Does not take a brilliant person to foresee what's acoming - incredibly high prices for drinkable water, along with little or no knowledge or understanding by we the sheeple of what the hell is going on (i.e. very now advanced weather control satellites, based on HAARP development, that along with adding chemicals to air and water, can and do control weather now far more than we are being told). Kinda lake NSA total surveillance of us all, the govt. ain't gonna inform us.

Wake up folks. Real McCoy war is what the 1%ers are waging against we the 99%er sheeple and Mother Earth, for control over all (enslavement) and endless $$$$$$$ flowing into their bottomless coffers. Time to revolt?
 
 
+7 # angelfish 2013-08-15 10:45
money, Money, MONEY! Is there NOTHING else MORE important to these Blood Suckers? What about the viability of the Planet and the survival of the People? Hell NO! It's, "HOW can we PROFIT from all this forth coming Ecological Disaster"?!!! Excuse me while I Puke!
 
 
+1 # modernjacobin 2013-08-15 23:21
Note that the 1% does not care about any of the repercussions because they will hardly be affected. How?

A good number of them live in southern CT, NJ and the suburbs of NYC: a region generally the least shat upon by Mother Nature: well, until the 2011 thundersnow and the 2012 Sandy.

Not to mention that the 1% live in gated communities with the best services. Even if not, their 10,000+ sq. ft mansions--built like fortresses for the typical 13th century (robber) baron--are much more solidly built than standard sized wood/vinyl siding houses or the flimsy structures commonly found in public housing, inner cities, or poorer areas due to reduced fed/local spending. (Thanx, Repugs & Dems!)

Of course, 1% mansions come equipped with multiple generators so that Mr. 1%'s vintage wines stay chilled while Mrs. 1%ers closetful of furs don't moult during a power outage. The security alarms remain on so those "pesky Occupiers" can't storm in (pun intended!) when the hurricane winds are whipping about at 80 mph. (Mr. and Mrs. 1% are deathly afraid of a French Revolution taking place in the US. Quel horreur!) The computer will also remain on so that Chip can study uninterrupted for the SATs enroute to applying to Mummy and Daddy's overrated and overpriced 300 yr. old universities.

Meanwhile, everyone else is told to be patient. A 10-day power outage is nothing. Who cares about spoiled food? If they can't shower? If the school is shut for more than a week?
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-08-15 23:28
It's almost funny to see the Oil Industry busting it's butt to deny Global Climate Change, even as it's brethren Oligarchs are already plotting ways to make money off of the same Climate Change that the Oil Boyz deny is even taking place. ;-)

Chilling as it is, I still prefer the bared fangs of naked greed being displayed by Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, et al,
to the inane, insane, and highly insulting denial of plainly observable facts regarding Climate Change being employed by the Extraction Industry shills and their hired "Tobacco Scientists".
 

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