Global Climate Change : A New And Very Different Type Of Challenge

Better Essays
For centuries the United States Military has addressed the many challenges of national security, from fighting for the foundation of America in the Revolutionary war, to the containment of terrorism and Islamic extremism in recent years, but now global climate change presents a new and very different type of challenge to national security. The stability of the world’s climate that has enabled human civilizations to grow and flourish over the last five thousand years is changing, causing environmental conditions deteriorate, and worldwide instability that threatens national security. The sobering truth is that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are greater now than at any time in the past 650,000 years . If the average global…show more content…
Climate change is a “threat multiplier” that exacerbates instability through environmental degradation, and in turn threatens national security by posing a threat to every country’s existence, capital, and monopoly of power, infrastructure, broader legitimacy, refugees, wellbeing, governance, and territorial borders.
To understand how Climate Change is a threat to national security, it is important to first consider what climate change is, and how it differs from all previously defined threats to national security. “Climate change is a broadly inclusive term that refers to a long-term (decades to centuries) change in any of a number of environmental conditions for a given place and time—such as temperature, rainfall, humidity, cloudiness, wind and air circulation pattern, etc.” Climate scientists project average global temperatures to become hotter, sea levels to rise higher, droughts to last longer, food and water supplies to diminish, health problems to increase, ecosystems to forever alter, and the global population of climate change refugees to grow as civilizations are displaced or lost to extreme natural disasters. The security implications of these changes are that they can and will provide future avenues to inflate destabilizing conflicts that threaten national security. Historically, national security has meant
Get Access