During his Coast Guard Academy Commencement speech, President Obama warned graduating cadets that the United States military was under attack from climate change.
Citing rising sea levels, Obama pointed out that many military bases were on the coasts.
“Around Norfolk, high tides and storms increasingly flood parts of our Navy base and an air base,” he said. “In Alaska, thawing permafrost is damaging military facilities.”
He also warned that in Western states, “deeper droughts and longer wildfires could threaten training areas our troops depend on.”
That should cause all Americans to take notice, he explained, including politicians who care about the military.
“Politicians who say they care about military readiness ought to care about this as well,” he said.
Preparing for the coming threat, he explained, would not be enough. He called on the world to act together to reduce the output of carbon.
“Some warming is now inevitable, but there comes a point when the worst effects will be irreversible and time is running out,” he warned. “And we all know what needs to happen, its no secret. The world has to finally start reducing its carbon emissions now.”
Obama challenged the Coast Guard cadets to prepare for the war on Climate Change as the protectors of the coastlines.
“As America’s maritime guardian, you’ve pledged to remain always ready – Semper Paratus – ready for all threats,” Obama said. “And climate change is one of those most severe threats.”