And what are we arguing about instead? This is the biggest and most immediate threat to our existence, and politicians beholden to fossil-fuel billionaires pretend it doesn't exist:
Rising sea levels, hotter global temperatures, wildly fluctuating precipitation patterns, and more frequent extreme weather systems will likely intensify global instability, hunger, and poverty. These events could very well lead to acute food and water shortages, an explosion of pandemic diseases, waves of destitute refugees, and violent conflagrations over dwindling natural resources — a likelihood that should be viewed as an immediate threat to America's national security.
Those are the sobering themes of a new report on climate change, authored not by scientists or environmentalists, but by uniformed personnel at the US Department of Defense.
"The loss of glaciers will strain water supplies in several areas of our hemisphere," US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday during a visit to Arequipa, Peru for the Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas. "Destruction and devastation from hurricanes can sow the seeds for instability. Droughts and crop failures can leave millions of people without any lifeline and trigger waves of mass migration."
The report — the 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, which was released during Secretary Hagel's visit to Peru — proposes steps America's armed forces should take to identify and plan for the impacts of global climate change. It comes as NASA announced on Monday that September 2014 was the hottest September on record, making it increasingly likely that 2014 will become the warmest year ever documented.