Monday, August 10, 2009

NYT: Climate Change is a Threat to US Security

Saturday's front page NYT story on climate security marks the first time this issue has been linked in the media so prominently. Joe Romm from Climate Progress says,
"BUT as serious as this argument is, it’s equally important not to leave people with the impression that one is arguing global warming is mainly going to impact other countries, and not us. The United States will be directly devastated by climate change if we don’t rapidly reverse emissions trends"
Matt Yglesias from the Center for American Progress misses the point when he argues that "I don’t think it makes a ton of sense to look at every possible instance of drought, famine, mass migration, civil conflict, and human tragedy abroad as a “threat” to the United States per se."

The reason why military planners in many countries look at climate change as a security measure is because the international security environment is interconnected. US efforts to fight terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan involve economic development rather than just predator drone attacks. Ensuring security from climate change underscores the need to cut emissions and the need for greater adaptation funding. As countries move closer to Copenhagen this December, adaptation financing will be pivotal to ensure nations do not face existential threats to their stability. As evidenced by the NYT, climate change must be looked at not just environmentally but from a security standpoint.

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