Senior military figures from around the world have warned that climate change is expected to cause a major refugee crisis, and that this will represent one of the greatest security threats ever faced.
“Climate change poses a threat to U.S. national security,” said Brigadier General Wendell Christopher King, following the climate meeting in Marrakech. “This risk has been identified by the Department of Defense and the National Intelligence Council. U.S. engagement in national security and diplomatic forums on this critical issue remains a paramount concern, and I hope that the new administration carefully considers the scientific and security data in addressing threats posed by climate change.”
They have warned that climate change could eventually “severely impact” global security as the effects set in. As rising sea levels, coupled with extended droughts that lead to failed crops and food shortages, hit poorer nations, millions of people are expected to go on the move to regions faring better. Over a billion people already live in areas that are classed as having “water scarcity”, a number that is only expected to rise as global temperatures continue to creep ever upwards.
In fact, the generals said that climate change is already having an impact on human migration. It has already been identified as a factor contributing to the current migrant crisis dominating Europe at the moment. In the Syrian conflict alone, it is thought that the displacement of over a million farmers due to an ongoing drought wracking the country has helped spark the current civil war, which has now resulted in around 12 million refugees, half of whom have fled the country altogether.
It has also been implicated in other wars, such as the uprising of the terrorist group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, as well as the Arab Spring that swept across North Africa and the Middle East in 2011. This has further resulted in an increase in migrants trying to enter Europe by crossing the Mediterranean, often with fatal results. These massive movements of people are only expected to increase in scale and “set to become the new normal,” according to a member of the US Department of State’s foreign affairs policy board.
But they also highlight that this is not a threat that will only be faced by the more disadvantaged nations. An increase in floods, storms, and wildfires are predicted to cause massive displacements within Western countries, while many military bases are also threatened by rising sea water.
They stress that these are security threats and humanitarian issues that President-elect Donald Drumpf simply cannot ignore, despite his previous musings that climate change is a “hoax”.