• Obama Links Emergence of Boko Haram, ISIS to Climate Change

    President Obama claimed climate change is a growing national security threat, during a commencement speech on Wednesday, and linked changing weather patterns to the emergence of the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram and “the early unrest in Syria.”

    “Climate change will impact every country on the planet. No nation is immune,” Obama told new Coast Guard officers at the academy’s New London, Conn., campus. “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. And so we need to act — and we need to act now.”

    The president pointed out that under his administration, the Pentagon had begun identifying climate change as a “threat multiplier” in world conflicts. He claimed the rise of Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group, in Nigeria and the ongoing civil war in Syria were both fueled by instability caused by severe drought, high food prices and crop losses connected to rising temperatures.

    “Understand, climate change did not cause the conflicts we see around the world, yet what we also know is that severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group Boko Haram,” he said. “It’s now believed that drought, crop failures, and high food prices helped fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended into civil war in the heart of the Middle East.”

    He accused Republican skeptics of harming military readiness by denying its effects, saying temperatures are rising even though “some folks back in Washington” refuse to admit it.

    “Denying it, or refusing to deal with it, endangers our national security and undermines the readiness of our forces,” he said. “Politicians who say they care about military readiness ought to care about this as well,” he said.

    Obama explained that the United States armed forces would now have to factor in climate change in upcoming missions.

    “You need to be ready,” he said to the graduates. Refusing to act would be a “dereliction of duty,” he said.

    In February 2015, Obama argued that the media “absolutely” overstated the threat of terrorism compared to more long-term problems such as climate change.

    Conservative lawmakers, who question the science behind climate change, were not pleased with his choice to focus on climate change during Wednesday’s speech, instead of other pressing issues such as terrorism as the administration has struggled to a cohesive plan to combat ISIS following the fall of Ramadi

    Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who famously threw a snowball on the Senate floor in February to protest the administration’s climate agenda, said Obama calling climate change a national security threat shows a “severe disconnect from reality” and shows he lacks a coherent strategy to deal with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Syrian civil war and North Korea.

    “It’s no wonder that our military personnel’s trust in their commander-in-chief is at an all-time low,” the senator said in a statement. “The president’s speech at the Coast Guard Academy stating his belief that climate change poses the greatest threat to future generations is a severe disconnect from reality.”

    Alicia Powe

    Staff Writer

    Alicia Powe is a staff writer for Daily Surge. She worked in the War Room of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and served as a White House Intern during the George W. Bush administration. Alicia has written for numerous outlets, including Human Events, Media Research Center and Townhall.com.

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