“National security and climate change? My students just don’t see the connection.”
This is what a Harvard law professor shared with me late last year. As it turns out, his students are not alone. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, only 56 percent of Americans see climate change as a major security threat.
Among security experts, however, there is no confusion about the national security risk from climate change. During the past eight years, I have spent thousands of hours working with senior leaders within the national security community on exactly that issue – first at the Department of Homeland Security and then on the National Security Council as the senior director of resilience policy.
A warming globe will have game-changing impacts – more extreme heat and rainfall, and more destructive droughts, storms and wildfires. This year has already given us a glimpse of what those changes look like on a national and global scale.