[QA] Why is climate change called a threat multiplier?

“Climate change is never going to be the one thing that causes a war or that causes a government to fall or that drives migration, but it is a factor within that that makes all of the other factors more difficult. It makes other problems worse.” – Andrew Holland, chief operating officer of the American Security Project.⁠

Climate change is a huge problem in itself but it can also exacerbate already dangerous social and political situations; that’s why it’s called a threat multiplier. More often this is now seen through the availability of food and water. Communities, countries, and regions that experience shortages of food and water – more likely through drought, increased storms & severity, etc – are more vulnerable to tension, conflict and migration that can then increase. Why? Just look at how popular being ‘hangry’ has become in popular conversation and then add the real problems of total food depletion, severe water restrictions, searing heat, geopolitical contexts, poverty, colonialism and wars. ⁠

NATO and the Pentagon have both labeled climate change as a threat multiplier. Climate change creates feedback loops (some of which we are starting to see in action) but we often only associate these with environmental impacts. We could, in essence, also consider these sociopolitical exacerbations within a feedback loop context to understand them better and consider them a whole lot more as we’re going to have to learn to manage these impacts and mitigate them wherever possible.⁠