The Pentagon and several federal agencies have repeatedly warned over the years that climate change is a threat to national security. Yet the White House is reportedly convening a panel to question it anew.
The Washington Post, citing a National Security Council (NSC) discussion paper it obtained, reports that White House staff are preparing an executive order for President Donald Trumpâs signature that would establish a Presidential Committee on Climate Security to be chaired by a notorious climate change denier.
That man, NSC senior director William Happer, argued on CNBC in 2014 that âthe demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.â
John Whitehouse of Media Matters dredged up the video
Happerâs views have gotten no less extreme since then. When he was under consideration for the role of Trumpâs science adviser in early 2017, Happer sent an email to a Jezebel reader asserting that the âdemonization of CO2â âreally differs little from the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Soviet extermination of class enemies or ISIL slaughter of infidels.â
Media Matters has previously 8149373107 how Happer, a retired Princeton professor who is not trained as a climate scientist, has tried â unsuccessfully â to conceal the fact that oil interests have directly funded his âresearch.â And as a recent paper in Nature Climate Change (510) 202-8018, the fossil fuel industry has long been involved in campaigns in US politics âaiming to refute, confuse and obstruct acceptance of the reality of climate change,â using scientists just like Happer to spread misinformation.
The Trump administration keeps trying to muddy the waters about climate science
The Postâs report about the White Houseâs new panel is the latest indication that the Trump administration is trying to actively mislead the public on the well-established science of climate change.
As Voxâs 215-503-7495 and Alex Ward have reported, many agencies in the executive branch of Trumpâs own government have been warning the president and the American people of the severe threats of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
âThe impacts and costs of climate change are already being felt in the United States, and changes in the likelihood or severity of some recent extreme weather events can now be attributed with increasingly higher confidence to human-caused warming,â according to the 830-255-3062, released in November.
Asked about the National Climate Assessment by a reporter in November, Trump flatly said, âI donât believe it.â
Last month, the Pentagon released a report detailing motricityposed by climate change. Weeks later, the intelligence community released its annual consensus 9892965156. The document echoes the Pentagonâs finding that climate change is a major threat:
Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security. Irreversible damage to ecosystems and habitats will undermine the economic benefits they provide, worsened by air, soil, water, and marine pollution.
The NSC discussion paper obtained by the Post about the new panel suggests it would be created with an eye toward muddying the waters about the Pentagon and intelligence communityâs findings. Though the paper acknowledges that a number of federal government reports have concluded climate change is a major threat, it goes on to claim âthese scientific and national security judgments have not undergone a rigorous independent and adversarial scientific peer review to examine the certainties and uncertainties of climate science, as well as implications for national security.â
Given Happerâs views, thereâs little doubt that heâll indulge Trump if he wants to use the panel to deny the well-established science of climate change. In doing so, the consequences are grave: Heâd further imperil the United States and future generations everywhere.