American politicians who deny that rising seas, thawing permafrost and longer wildfires are the crippling effects of global warming pose a serious threat to US national security, Barack Obama said on Wednesday.
During his speech to the United States coast guard academy Obama stated, “This is not just a problem for countries on the coast or for certain regions of the world,” Obama said. “Climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and make no mistake: it will impact how our military defends our country.”
Many of the United State’s military bases are located along coastlines, putting them in direct path of rising oceans. The military is also used in large natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. With the climate changing rapidly large storms may be a more common feature across the globe.
Obama told graduates that climate change “will affect everything that you do in your careers,” and that climate change is expected to “impact to homeland security, economic structures, and the safety and health of Americans,”
President Obama is increasingly setting the stage for aggressive world action at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later in the year. It remains to be seen what the US is willing to bring to the table, and whether the other major global emitters will be willing to do their part to halt significant climate change.