HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 14 no. 2 (2014)

Climate Change Affects National Security

Raymond L. S. Wang

Discipline: Environment



Has climate destabilization already dominated the national security conversation? Well, not yet—but it should and it will. If you put a frog into a pot of hot water, it undoubtedly will try to leap out right away to escape certain death. But, if you put the frog in a pot that is filled with water—that is cool and pleasant—then you gradually heat the pot until it starts boiling, the frog may and will not become aware of the danger until it is too late. The frog will gradually and eventually become the main ingredient in a slippery and unsavory amphibian stew.



Apparently, human beings share this primordial behavioral characteristic with our amphibian friends. We evolved to detect and react to sudden changes and not to slow-moving, hard to perceive events. And so it is with our failure to collectively react in intelligent ways to ongoing climate destabilization that threatens prosperity, peace, and life itself. Therefore, climate change does affect, if not hijack, national security.