Bernie Sanders has been ridiculed for saying that climate change is the greatest threat to our national security. Although he may be oversimplifying this complex issue, he is essentially correct. Don’t take it from me, take it from the U.S. Department of Defense, who recently cited climate change as “an urgent and growing threat to national security.” Top military leaders acknowledge climate change as a “threat multiplier” that worsens conditions in already unstable and impoverished nations, creating breeding grounds for terrorist groups like ISIS who perpetrated the vile atrocities in Paris.
With this in mind, I want to applaud the world leaders who are standing strong and attending the COP21 climate talks in Paris beginning Monday despite the violent ISIS attacks. This conference may be our last chance for world leaders to come together and create a unified plan for a livable planet. A strong, binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions among the 127 heads of state attending COP21 will not only reduce the risk of climate-related radicalism; it will also send a clear signal to ISIS that the powerful force of cooperation among peaceful nations can quell any threat, whether it be the climate crisis or extremist violence.
Patrick Thomas, Boise