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Letter: Climate change is the bigger threat

President Barack Obama stared down a melting glacier

President Barack Obama stared down a melting glacier in Alaska on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in a dramatic use of his presidential pulpit to sound the alarm on climate change. Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik

Newsday is correct in highlighting the threat climate change already poses to Long Island [“Climate change rolls in,” Editorial, Jan. 17]. Local, county and state governments don’t have the necessary revenue to provide protection from, and adaptation to, its disastrous effects. Only the federal government has that kind of money, and climate change is a matter of national security, as even the Pentagon realized and began planning for under President George W. Bush.

But our tax dollars are being wasted on the many endless U.S. conflicts in the Middle East. The Islamic State group and al-Qaida are much lesser threats to our security than climate change. The average American has a greater chance of being struck by lightning than of becoming a victim of terrorism in the United States, despite the hysteria and fear-mongering of politicians and the media.

If only a portion of the nearly $1 trillion budgeted for national security each year could be wisely diverted to true national security — including adaptation to climate change and long-overdue infrastructure repair — then local governments could cope with the increasing threat.

Ed Ciaccio