Mohamed Nasheed, with his outspoken climate activism, has been a thorn in the Obama administration’s side. (Photo by Presidency Maldives.)

The Pentagon knows it. The world’s largest insurers know it. Now, governments may be overthrown because of it. It is climate change, and it is real. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last month was the hottest March on record for the United States since 1895, when records were first kept, with average temperatures of 8.6 degrees F above average. More than 15,000 March high-temperature records were broken nationally. Drought, wildfires, tornadoes, and other extreme weather events are already plaguing the country.

Across the world in the Maldives, rising sea levels continue to threaten this Indian Ocean archipelago. It is the world’s lowest-lying nation, on average only 4.3 feet above sea level. The plight of the Maldives gained global prominence when its young president, the first ever democratically elected there, Mohamed Nasheed, became one of the world’s leading voices against climate change, especially in the lead-up to the 2009 U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen. Nasheed held a ministerial meeting underwater, with his cabinet in scuba gear, to illustrate the potential disaster.