President Obama plans to warn graduates of the Coast Guard Academy today that their biggest fears should be about climate change, citing its specific dangers to national security.
“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,” Obama will say, according to advance speech excerpts published by the New York Times.
Since the midterm elections, Obama has spent more time discussing the issue, particularly in the light of national security.
In February 2015, the president argued that the media “absolutely” overstated the threat of terrorism compared to more long-term problems such as climate change.
This is also a theme driven by Secretary of State John Kerry, who frequently refers to climate change as being as great a threat as those posed by radical Islamic terrorists.
“When I think about the array of global climate – of global threats – think about this: terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – all challenges that know no borders – the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them,” he noted gloomily in February 2014.
Speaking to graduates today, Obama will claim that climate change will “change the nature of U.S. military missions” predicting widespread humanitarian problems around the world.
“Climate change, especially rising seas, is a threat to our homeland security — our economy, infrastructure, and the safety and health of the American people,” he plans to say.