President Obama’s trip to the Middle East last week served as a nagging reminder of the world’s most intractable problems: the Palestinian conflict, Iran, North Korea. These are geographically distant but historically persistent threats to the United States. With meteors landing unexpectedly from the sky, the entire earth suddenly feels like one big bulls-eye of doom.
Now, in this year’s Worldwide Threat Assessment, issued last week by the office of the director of national intelligence, a new risk has been highlighted, marking a historic shift in how we think about our enemies: the weather — more specifically climate change. And the fact that America’s entire national security apparatus has embraced it as a threat is, in the end, good news for local communities.