Global climate change and energy security are two of the greatest challenges facing the United States today. America's contributions to global climate change and our oil dependence are endangering our national security, our economy and our environment. But the global climate crisis is more than an urgent scientific imperative; it is also a tremendous economic opportunity to secure America's leadership in creating the low-carbon global economy and our future prosperity.
The crisis is growing. Carbon pollution threatens to damage our children's health and radically and irreversibly alter our climate. It threatens to bring more famine and drought, worse pandemics, more natural disasters, and human displacement on a staggering scale. In an interconnected world, the instability that would trigger endangers all of us.
In 2007, eleven former admirals and high-ranking generals issued a report warning that climate change is a "threat multiplier" with "the potential to create sustained natural and humanitarian disasters on a scale far beyond those we see today." In 2008, General Anthony Zinni warned that without action "we will pay the price later in military terms."
But the opportunity is also great. In this time of economic challenge, we can put Americans back to work and take charge of our own energy future and the fate of our planet. Leading the world in inventing new energy technologies and transitioning to clean energy will create thousands of high-paying American jobs and put our country back in control of our economy. We can create a clean, stable, prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.
That is why I've been working with the Congress and with the Obama Administration to make our energy security and reducing carbon pollution top priorities. I have introduced legislation with Senator Boxer that will reduce carbon pollution and stimulate the economy by creating millions of jobs in the clean energy sector. Senator Lieberman and I released the American Power Act, comprehensive climate change and energy independence legislation to be considered in the Senate.
And as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I recognize that protecting Americans from the impacts of climate change requires global reductions in carbon pollution through tough, verifiable international efforts. I am committed to working towards achieving these goals while also maximizing opportunities for American leadership.
Our energy future, our economy, our health and our security all demand the same thing: we must reinvent the way America generates and uses energy. America has never shied away from a challenge before, and neither have I. I will continue to work to ensure that we lay the cornerstone for decades of economic growth, and a stronger, more powerful America.