Kerry Says Global Warming Poses National Security Risk
Today, Senator John Kerry spoke at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the urgent need to address the national security threats posed by global warming. He said that global warming could impact America's national security by leading to large-scale migrations, increased border tensions, and the spread of disease and conflicts over food and water - all of which might lead to U.S. military involvement.
On April 17, Senator Kerry wrote Chairman Joseph Biden to request today's hearing, arguing that the growing risk of climate change posed a risk to American security and should be reviewed by the Foreign Relations Committee. Three experts, including Admiral Joseph Prueher, former Commander if Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, General Charles Wald, former deputy commander of the U.S. European Command, Air Force, and Vice Admiral Richard Truly, a former shuttle astronaut and administrator at NASA, who was also the first commander of the Naval Space Command, appeared before the committee. They wrote the recent "National Security and the Threat of Climate Change" report and testified at this morning's hearing. Their report highlighted the evidence that global warming is inextricably linked to our national security.
Below is Kerry's statement from the hearing:
"When a dozen of our most respected former admirals and generals discuss emerging threats to our national security, we must listen," Senator Kerry said. "We know we have a ten year window to address global climate change before it's too late. But now, it's abundantly clear that global warming is not just an environmental threat - it's also a national security imperative. If we're serious about our national security, we better get serious today about combating global warming.
"Climate change is likely to result in extreme weather events, drought, flooding and sea level rise. Thanks to our witnesses, we now better understand that these natural disasters are likely to result in political instability in the most volatile regions of the world.
"It is now more imperative than ever to reduce our oil consumption and target global climate change as a major security threat. This is going to become an increasingly urgent matter as we work to create a stable Middle East and a safe home front, and I pledge to work with my colleagues to pass sound energy policy and an economy wide cap and trade bill to reduce our nation's growing greenhouse gas emissions."