We have seen this dynamic at play in recent years. The global food crisis of 2008 was destabilizing, causing unrest in the Middle East, Africa, and South America; and this summer’s drought will similarly be felt throughout the world. As Robert Thompson, who studies food security at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, recently said, “What happens to the U.S. supply has an immense impact around the world. If the price of corn rises high enough, it also pulls up the price of wheat. I think we are in for a very serious situation worldwide.” The full impact the drought will have throughout the globe remains to be felt, but we can already see world food prices rising…

It is past time for Republican leaders to come around to this reality, and for candidates to formulate a fact-based approach to this significant problem. Environmental issues and national security ones are increasingly intertwined, with climate change the leading edge of this connection. It isn’t clear that Republicans will lose electoral support if their environmental policies have a second-order consequence of making the U.S. less safe, though they may (already, some evidence suggests that failure to appeal to environmentally-minded voters is costing the GOP). What is clear, though, is that ignoring climate change won’t make it go away — and that America will be worse off if Republicans fail to act.