|February 21, 2019|
Trump National Security Council may dispute Pentagon climate change threat findings
|I'm sensing Wednesday's theme already: Everybody's In Business For Themselves. From the Washington Post:|
The proposed Presidential Committee on Climate Security, which would be established by executive order, is being spearheaded by William Happer, a National Security Council senior director. Happer, an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University, has said that carbon emissions linked to climate change should be viewed as an asset rather than a pollutant. The initiative represents the Trump administration's most recent attempt to question the findings of federal scientists and experts on climate change and comes less than three weeks after Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats delivered a worldwide threat assessment that identified it as a significant security risk.
Everybody who knows anything about national security---a group that definitely does not include the president*---believes the climate crisis to be a threat to national security.
For example, nobody has done more to mitigate the effects of the crisis than the people at the Pentagon have. After all, if the sea level rises, Newport News might wind up as an aquarium.
In late November, Trump dismissed a government report finding that global warming is intensifying and poses a major threat the U.S. economy, saying, "I don't see it." Last month, his nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, acting administrator Andrew Wheeler, testified that he did not see climate change as one of the world's pressing challenges. According to the NSC discussion paper, the order would create a federal advisory committee "to advise the President on scientific understanding of today's climate, how the climate might change in the future under natural and human influences, and how a changing climate could affect the security of the United States."
The document notes that the government has issued several major reports under Trump identifying climate change as a serious threat. "However, these 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," it said.
Usually, people arguing with themselves can be found on your finer street corners and in public parks. Here, we have an administration* preparing to argue with its own national security establishment.