On May 28, 2014, President Obama spoke at West Point’s commencement. In his speech to the graduating cadets, Obama touched on a range of foreign policy issues in a speech some said amounted to an emerging “Obama Doctrine.” This includes climate change as a “creeping national security crises.” Obama said that America should be a leader in addressing climate change. The President explained that we cannot expect other nations to address the threats, if we do not do so ourselves.
Obama explicitly listed problems stemming from climate change such as refugee flows, conflict over food and water, and natural disasters as ways that climate change will impact national security. Climate change deserves to move to the forefront of the agenda of many nations. For example, China is trying to reduce air pollution and its dependence on coal. Here at the American Security Project, we have written reports labeling climate change a severe threat to national security.
ASP has published many reports and fact sheets that agree with the statements made by the President in his commencement speech about climate change security. For example, ASP’s “Protecting the Homeland – The Rising Costs of Inaction in Climate Change” clearly states that the influx of rain water in certain areas, and the lack of it in others, will exacerbate natural disasters like floods and droughts. This shows how refugee flows and conflicts over food and water that the president mentioned can occur. For more on ASP’s climate security; see:
- Ten Key Facts – Climate Change
- Pay Now, Pay Later
- American Security – The Impacts of Climate Change
- Climate Security Report
- Tennessee and Climate Change
- FACT SHEET: Climate Change’s Threats to the United States – Lessons from the Netherlands