“Climate change is happening, and it presents a range of security risks, from the infrastructural all the way up to the geostrategic. This is a global reality that our security and intelligence communities, regardless of the political leaders they serve, have been warning us about for years. Unfortunately, this is usually not how climate change is portrayed in the day-to-day cacophony. It is often ranked in a list, or cast as one special interest among many: healthcare, immigration, the economy, education. It is still broadly discussed as the domain of “environmentalists.” This is a mistake. It is a misreading of the true nature of the risk, which affects nearly all aspects of society. If we keep the aperture too narrow, we will miss the critical systemic risks, and be caught flat-footed. This is clear from the most cursory reading of tumultuous times in our history.
Indeed, climate change is happening without concern for who is in power. Just as it’s impossible to dispute the existence of nuclear weapons, and the threat nuclear proliferation poses to all nations, the reality of a rapidly-changing climate is here to stay. The Arctic is melting, the seas are rising, and wildfires and droughts are becoming more severe. This is the existing global reality. If tomorrow’s leaders don’t recognize and deal with this underlying trend– distracted as they are by the turbulence of daily events – we are likely to miss critical threats to national, regional and international security.”