The military says climate change is a threat

The military and the CIA both say that climate change makes the world a more dangerous place. To our military leaders, this is no longer a debatable question – it’s a threat that requires action in order to keep us safe.  The world today is interconnected in new ways, which means climate change threatens our economy, our food supplies, and even creates new chances for conflict.

Stretching our military thin

Climate change acts as a “threat multiplier” with more frequent and severe weather events destabilizing regions with weak infrastructure, pushing them to near constant crisis. As a consequence, our military is forced to secure vital interests around the globe, stretching thin our resources and diverting attention from other critical missions.

Creating new conflict zones

Drought, flood, famine, disease, bigger storms, and more conflicts are an impact of climate change. Let’s take the example of Bangladesh, a country that mostly sits below sea level. India, the world’s largest democracy, and a US ally, is already building a wall to keep Bangladesh refugees out because of climate-driven sea level rise.

World governments will have trouble coping

Natural and man-made disasters can push countries to the brink. Sometimes national governments are unable to provide help or even collapse. When that happens, extremist groups can fill the voids of power. We saw this happen in Pakistan after a major flood, when al Qaeda-affiliated groups moved in.

Millions of refugees

In the midst of famine, storms, and struggling economies, people will start to move from where they live. As we’ve recently seen in Syria, the movement of millions of people can put a huge strain on surrounding nations, destabilizing whole regions of the world.

A threat here at home

Even a small rise in sea level would have a big impact on large cities and major ports here in America, making shipping harder and more expensive, hurting fishing communities, and tourism. And the cost and impact of storms like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy threaten our recovering economy.