President Obama spoke at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s graduation ceremony yesterday in New London, CT, stressing climate change as one of the military’s biggest 21st century challenges. Calling the evidence “indisputable”, President Obama reiterated how both the U.S. armed services and it’s elected officials need be prepared to deal with more extreme weather conditions. He even went as far as to say it would be a “dereliction of duty”, to ignore the reality of it’s dangers.
“You are part of the first generation of officers to begin your service in a world where the effects of climate change are so clearly upon us. Around Norfolk, high tides and storms increasingly flood parts of our Navy base…In Alaska, thawing permafrost is damaging military facilities. Out West, deeper droughts and longer wildfires could threaten training areas our troops depend on.”
The President has been consistent on this theme since his State of the Union address in January when he said, “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.”
For his part, Mr. Obama will be attending the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris this December. The meeting among state leaders is intended to draw up a comprehensive plan to curb greenhouse emissions world-wide. The President has already pledged to develop an environmental policy which reduces U.S. emissions 28% by 2025.
Last week, Secretary of State Kerry was in Beijing, China, and Seoul, South Korea, for a series of meetings with Asian leaders, and said that climate change “was a primary topic of discussion” in their talks regarding national security concerns.
[AP] [USA Today]