At a time when the U.S. military is facing threats on multiple fronts — most immediately, the advances of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, where the terror group recently seized Ramadi — President Obama told U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduates that climate change needs to be added to that list of threats.
“This is not just a problem for countries on the coast or for certain regions of the world. Climate change will impact every country on the planet. No nation is immune,” the president said. “So I am here today to say that 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. And so we need to act — and we need to act now.”
The president delivered the message at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.
The president in recent months has pressed for action on global warming as a matter of health, as a matter of environmental protection and as a matter of international obligation.
He even couched it as a family matter, linking it to the worry he felt when one of his daughters had an asthma attack as a preschooler.
His speech to the cadets, by contrast, focused on what the Obama administration says are immediate risks to national security, including contributing to more natural disasters that result in humanitarian crises and potential new flows of refugees. Further, the president said he sees climate change aggravating poverty and social tensions that can fuel instability and foster terrorist activity and other violence.
Obama said the cadets would be part of the first generation of officers to begin their service in a world where it is increasingly clear that “climate change will shape how every one of our services plan, operate, train, equip and protect their infrastructure.”
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SOURCE: Fox News, The Associated Press