Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry, and current chair of the Arctic Council, delivered a speech on climate change and national security at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.
"Addressing the impacts of climate change in the Arctic" indeed has turned into a top priority for the U.S. over the past few years.
"The reason I have made climate change a priority in my current role as Secretary of State" John Carry explained during the speech "is not simply because climate change is a threat to the environment. It’s because – by fueling extreme weather events, undermining our military readiness, exacerbating conflicts around the world – climate change is a threat to the security of the United States and, indeed, to the security and stability of countries everywhere".
When we talk about climate change, we’re not just talking about the harm that is caused to the habitat for butterflies or polar bears – as some people try to mock it – as serious as those effects might be. We are talking about the impacts on people – people everywhere – of severe droughts, rapid sea level rise. We’re talking about the impacts on whole cities of unpredictable and uncontrollable extreme weather events. We’re talking about the impact on entire countries of fundamental shocks to the global agricultural system.
Mr. Carry concluded "It shouldn’t be a hard choice, folks. We have a moral responsibility to protect the future of our nation and our world. That is our charge. That is our duty. And for our ship, for our shipmates, all of us, and for the generations that follow in their footsteps, we have to get this right".
You can read the transcription of the speech here.
(Source: US Department of State)