Climate Change and National Security

A new report by NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, suggests that rising sea levels resulting from global climate change may present a greater threat to the world’s cities that previously thought. According to the report, rising global ocean levels resulting from thermal expansion and the melting of land-based ice could displace millions of people globally.

While several US states—including Florida and Wisconsin—have been prohibited from discussing or even using the phrase “climate change,” the Pentagon earlier this year described climate change as an “urgent and growing threat” to national security. Multiple analyses by the Department of Defense have concluded that global climate change could aggravate existing global tensions and exacerbate domestic political instability in countries around the world.

What do you think? Should climate change be framed as a national security issue? Why? What are the implications—both positive and negative—of thinking about climate change as a security rather than as strictly an environmental issue?

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