Text by K. Cecchini
According to his Department, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel identified climate change as a threat at the Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas today in Peru.
Hagel asserted that climate change is likely to aggravate present issues such as infectious diseases, drought and failure which can be a slippery slope to political instability, armed conflicts and mass migration.
The DoD referenced the current desertification in the Sahel area of Africa and climate extremes in Australia as examples of what we may expect on a larger scale throughout the world.
Hagel also provided specific forecasts for sea level rise “…which could have cascading economic and security consequences.” More extreme weather and sea level rise will be a great challenge for the Pentagon, “Our militaries’ readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed.”
In preparation for the possible changes, Hagel unveiled the Defense Department Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap today. The program, with the guidance of science, “…will integrate climate change considerations into our planning, operations and training.”
“We must be clear-eyed about the security threats presented by climate change, and we must be pro-active in addressing them,” -Secretary Hagel