In her most dramatic speech to date about climate change, National Security Advisor Susan Rice suggests climate change was partially responsible for the conflict in Syria and represents a looming threat to the entire world.
“In the years prior to civil war breaking out in Syria, that country also experienced its worst drought on record,” she said during a political speech at Stanford University. “Farming families moved en masse into urban centers, increasing political unrest and further priming the country for conflict.”
An alarmed Rice warned that climate change was “an advancing menace” that portended doom for the nations around the world.
“Today, we face no greater long-term challenge than climate change, an advancing menace that imperils so many of the other things we hope to achieve,” she said according to advance text of her speech.
Rice echoed many themes promulgated by the Obama administration but ratcheted up the alarmist rhetoric to a fever pitch.
“Consider the impacts—to the global economy and to our shared security—when rising seas begin to swallow nations whole,” she explained while discussing rising sea levels of “as much as 20 feet.”
She also suggested that the the recent floods in North and South Carolina and massive forest fires were partially a result of climate change.
“While we can’t say that climate change is the direct cause of any specific weather event, these are exactly the trends that we expect to see more of, if climate trends continue on their current trajectory,” Rice said.
Rice detailed how climate change was directly affecting national defense, warning of military bases that were “imperiled” by rising sea levels and training ranges that were “jeopardized” by drought.
“In fact, this summer we had to cancel some training exercises, because it got too hot,” she explained.
The changing climate, she insisted would change the entire world, plunging into conflict, disease, and despair.
“[E]ven if climate change isn’t the spark that directly ignites conflict, it increases the size of the powder keg,” she said.