Former Defence Department Secretary James Mattis called on those who disagree with the threat of climate change to reconsider their position to protect future generations.
The former defense secretary has been making the rounds publicizing the recent release of his book, giving more insight into political views after his exit from the Trump administration early this year.
During an interview on MSNBC, Mattis told host Andrea Mitchell that he believes climate change is a major threat to global peace that could negatively impact future generations.
Watch Mattis’ comments below:
“I will say, that climate change, I believe, is a reality. We are dealing with open waters where it used to be ice fields that we have to deal with. And I think that the way — let me just talk for a moment to those who are skeptical of climate change. Wouldn’t you — even if you’re skeptical of it — wouldn’t you want to take out an insurance policy just in case it was right? I mean, I’m not going to talk to the people who believe in climate change right now but for those who are adamant there’s no climate change, you look at the receding sea ice and have different explanations. Why wouldn’t we take out an insurance policy and do prudent steps to make certain the generation that’s coming up is not going to be caught flat-footed by this?”
Mattis called climate change a “national security issue,” hinting at the issues some European countries have seen following the Syrian refugee crisis — which some believe was exasperated by global warming.
“It’s a national security issue because when people have to leave devastated areas and move elsewhere, the refugee flows, all of the humanitarian effort that goes into it, the willingness of some people to take advantage of those people, terrorists in particular, and recruit from them because they feel a loss of hope, it’s a reality we’re going to have to deal with.”
As IJR previously reported, climate change has been a top issue for many 2020 Democrats. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has not made the issue a priority, often mocking the issue on social media.