Climate change and resource scarcity are with us today—we already have climate change refugees in America. Scientists around the world know it, and the United States military is already testing, adapting, and researching how to operate and succeed in these rapidly changing environments.
Our naval bases around the globe are seeing the effects now. In the past 10 years, nine major floods crippled Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Key West Naval Air Station (where I learned to dogfight in the F/A-18) will be almost completely under water in the next 80 years. Weather patterns are changing as well, with tragic effects.
Seeing the Effects Now
We are seeing hurricanes, floods, and fires in ways we’ve never seen before. Large parts of the world (the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia) are experiencing dramatic desertification at an alarming rate. This means less food will be produced and large migrations of people will be forced out of the lands they occupy today. In the 20th century, we fought wars over values or economic clashes. In the 21st century, it will be over water and resources.
This is the world we will live in. This is the world our children and grandchildren will face. This is an American issue and a global issue. We need leaders that get it.