Kerry: ‘Climate Change Is a Threat to the Security of the United States’
“But the reason I have made climate change a priority in my current role of secretary of state, is not simply because climate change is the threat to the environment. It’s because by fueling extreme weather events, undermining our military readiness, exacerbating conflicts around the world, climate change is a threat to the security of the United States and, indeed, to the security and stability of countries everywhere.
When we talk about climate change, we’re not just talking about the harm that is caused to the habitat for butterflies or polar bears, as some people try to mock it, as serious as those effects might be. We are talking about the impacts on people. People everywhere. Of severe droughts. Rapid sea level rise. We’re talking about the impacts of — on the whole cities, of unpredictable and uncontrollable extreme weather events. We’re talking about the impact on entire countries, of fundamental shocks to the global agricultural system.
And when you factor in all of these things, my friends, you can see why when we talk about the impacts of climate change, we’re not just up against some really serious ecological challenges. We also have to prepare ourselves for the potential social and political consequences that stem from crop failures, water shortages, famine, outbreaks of epidemic disease which we saw a — near brush with — with Ebola, in three African countries last year.
And we have to heighten our national security readiness to deal with the possible destruction of vital infrastructure, and the mass movement of refugees, particularly in parts of the world that already provide fertile ground for violent extremism and terror. Long story short, climate change is not just about Bambi, it’s about all of us, in very personal and important ways.”