President Barack Obama argued Wednesday that it’s a “dereliction of duty” to deny the existence of climate change during his commencement address to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
The president also told the academy’s graduates that denying climate change “endangers our national security” and “undermines the readiness of our forces.”
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Climate change is one of those most severe threats. This is not just a problem for countries on the coasts, or for certain regions of the world. Climate change will impact every country on the planet. No nation is immune. So I am here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security. And make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. So we need to act and we need to act now.
After all, isn’t that the true hallmark of leadership? When you’re on deck standing your watch, you stay vigilant, you plan for every contingency. And if you see storm clouds gathering or dangerous shoals ahead, you don’t just sit back and do nothing. You take action to protect your ship, to keep your crew safe. Anything less is negligence. It is a dereliction of duty. And so too with climate change. Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security. It undermines the readiness of our forces.