By Kavya Maddali | Staff Writer

The drought in Syria has contributed to the violence that has lasted for years. (Courtesy of Medium)

The drought in Syria has contributed to the violence that has lasted for years. (Courtesy of Medium)

When it comes to climate change, so many arguments have been made as to why you should be concerned with this issue whether it is through an ethical, social justice, religious, scientific, or humanitarian stance. Deniers bring up obscure and profit-driven arguments to refute the danger that climate change poses. Many people think that climate change is not our primary concern and therefore does not matter at this point in time. I would agree to the first part of that statement; climate change should not be our sovereign nation’s primary concern—it should be national security.

Climate change is a threat to national security and needs to be solved immediately. A prime example of this would be the civil war in Syria. In Nov. 2008 in a cable from the US Embassy in Damascus to the State Department, it was stated, “A Syrian minister of agriculture…stated publicly that economic and social fallout from the drought was ‘beyond our capacity as a country to deal with.’” There are multiple causes of the civil war but climate-related drought is a major cause. In this age of being so dependent on international relations, if there is no international security, there is no national security.

Some argue that climate change is real but since they are not witnessing scenes out of an apocalyptic movie right now, we can wait.  But we cannot wait until then because then we would have no form of social order and our nation would be infiltrated with political unrest. This is not something we can deal with later. Many politicians’ rationale is that we can deal with this when the problem arises.

The problems have already risen, and are only going to exponentially increase if we do not make active change toward renewable energy. Climate change will lead to food and water shortages, an increase in pandemic diseases and “disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe” as stated by the U.S. Department of Defense. The report describes climate change as a “threat multiplier” that can lead to a world of unrest where terrorism can flourish.

Climate change is a threat to humanity as we know it. We have never faced a threat greater than climate change. We are in a unique situation where we ourselves are our own enemies. And though we may not be inclined to do so, we must accept our blame and proceed to solving it.

Advocates for climate change solutions are stigmatized as leftist tree-hugger hippies. Climate change is not a partisan issue and it is extremely perilous and foolish that it is currently dealt with in this fashion. The greatest thing about solving climate change is that you can approach climate change in a way that works with you and your values. I love capitalism and I also really love beaches. I can still hold onto these two values and preserve them for generations by advocating for solutions to climate change. Climate reality has a place for everyone.

In early March, members of the Saint Mary’s community went to the Climate Reality Project conference in Denver, Colorado. Sustainability Coordinator, Riley Smith, Professor Linda Herkenhoff, and Students, Kayla Martignetti, Anna Gibbons, Claire Huebler, Megan Hillendahl and myself, were trained by Al Gore and are now certified Climate Reality Leaders. We invite you to join on April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Soda Center where we will present the doom that is imminent and the boom of our collective agency to take action and solve climate change.

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