White House Doubles Down: Global Warming Enables Poverty, Terrorism
In its May release, “The National Security Implications of a Changing Climate,” the White House doubled down on President Obama’s recent statements linking the rise in terror groups like Boko Haram and ISIS to a warming Earth.
Using “findings from select federal reports” and not any data from third-party assessments, the release tackles the perceived risks to America’s national security because of climate change. Citing extreme heat, heavy downpours, floods, and droughts, all increasing in intensity and frequency, the case is made that the effects of these weather patterns and rising sea levels contribute to poverty and terrorism.
Other “at risk” areas include U.S. transportation infrastructure — airports, rail lines, tunnels, and bridges — energy production facilities, and human safety and health. Ultimately, the release warns, effects of climate change will “directly impact U.S. military readiness.” One way would be in the design of future weapons systems that will need “to account for extreme weather.”
“Assessments are currently underway by the Department of Defense (DOD) to determine the national resources necessary to respond to these growing threats to U.S. national security,” the White House promises. “While the challenges are vast, the United States is preparing with strong resilience measures that will address these changing dynamics, making the Nation safer at home and strengthening missions abroad.”
From the release:
With climate change, certain types of extreme weather events and their impacts, including extreme heat, heavy downpours, floods, and droughts, have become more frequent and/or intense. In addition, warming is causing sea level to rise and glaciers and Arctic sea ice to melt. These and other aspects of climate change are disrupting people’s lives and damaging certain sectors of the economy. The national security implications of climate change impacts are far- reaching, as they may exacerbate existing stressors, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and political instability, providing enabling environments for terrorist activity abroad. For example, the impacts of climate change on key economic sectors, such as agriculture and water, can have profound effects on food security, posing threats to overall stability.
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