Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday described climate change as a nationwide safety risk — at a time when the U.S. army is battling the Islamic State within the Mideast, responding to the Ebola disaster in West Africa, and monitoring tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
The Defense secretary addressed the problem throughout a speech in Peru, because the Pentagon launched a complete report on the “national security” challenges posed by rising world temperatures and “extreme weather events.”
Hagel described climate change as a “threat multiplier,” saying it “has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today — from infectious disease to armed insurgencies — and to produce new challenges in the future.”
The Pentagon’s new report maps out 4 areas of climate change deemed essentially the most threatening to the U.S. army — rising world temperatures, altering precipitation patterns, extra excessive climate and rising sea ranges. And it warns in regards to the affect they may have on meals and water provides, the surroundings and American safety itself.
“Our militaries’ readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed,” Hagel mentioned, addressing a convention of army leaders.
Still, whereas the Pentagon and high-ranking officers have beforehand warned of the hazards of altering climate patterns and its unwanted effects, the strong give attention to the problem is elevating questions at a time when the U.S. army is engaged in preventing the advancing Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Citing the Islamic State’s current beneficial properties, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., mentioned in a assertion: “It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the president and his administration would focus on climate change when there are other, legitimate, threats in the world.”
Inhofe is among the many Republican lawmakers in Congress who downplay the affect of climate change, and argue the federal government is imposing too many modifications and rules to guard in opposition to it.
Hagel, and the Pentagon report, argued that altering climate patterns might spur extra pure disasters, demanding extra army help. More broadly, the report warns that as temperatures rise and extreme climate will increase, meals, water and electrical energy shortages might create instability in lots of international locations, spreading illness, inflicting mass migration and opening the door for extremists to take benefit of fractures in already-unstable international locations.