John Kerry at Old Dominion

On Tuesday of this week, Nov 10, 2015, US Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, warning of the impact of climate change/ instability will have on national security.

It was a wide-ranging talk, simultaneously addressing implications for defense infrastructure and logistics, the types of missions the military may be handed in the future, and the role some of the downstream effects of climate change have played and will continue to play in either fomenting or prolonging conflicts.

While the text of the speech is itself fairly unremarkable, i.e. no one would confuse Kerry’s words with those of Roosevelt or Churchill, in a sense, it was an extraordinary moment; both an admission and a declaration that the US government, must, as an entirely practical matter, consider the role of climate change in formulating its diplomatic and defense posture around the world.

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