Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
Does Climate Change 'Really' Pose a Threat to National Security?
"The White House is working to assemble a panel to assess whether climate change poses a national security threat, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, a conclusion that federal intelligence agencies have affirmed several times since President Trump took office," report Juliet Eilperin and Missy Ryan.
- The Defense Department issued a report last month "detailing how a changing climate is a national security threat and makes the military’s job around the world harder," reported Alex Ward for Vox (via Planetizen).
- "For the third time during the current U.S. Administration, climate change was included in the annual 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community [pdf] released by the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats," according to the nonpartisan Center for Climate and Security
"The proposed Presidential Committee on Climate Security, which would be established by executive order, is being spearheaded by William Happer," an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University who currently serves as a National Security Council senior director, add Eilperin and Ryan.
Happer's form of climate denial is different than, say, President Trump's, who famously called it a Chinese hoax and dismissed the findings last November of 13 federal agencies in the Fourth National Climate Assessment. Rather, Happer denies that carbon dioxide is harmful, and likened it to being "maligned like 'Jews under Hitler,'” writes Aaron Rupar for Vox.
The discussion document obtained by the Post acknowledges the aforementioned reports issued by the federal government do indeed identify "climate change as a serious threat," report Eilperin and Ryan.
"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.
One expert put it simply in an interview with the reporters, calling the proposed panel "an effort to undermine the consensus within the national intelligence community that climate change needs to be addressed to avert serious consequences."
Related in Planetizen
Defense Department Calls Climate Change a National Security Threat, January 21, 2019
Climate Report Written by Federal Government Warns of Dire Impact on Economy, November 27, 2018
- United States
- Government / Politics
- Carbon Dioxide
- Climate Change
- Climate Change Denial
- Director of National Intelligence
- Executive Order
- Presidential Committee on Climate Security
- national security
- National Security Council
- Trump Administration
- White House
- Center for Climate and Security
- Princeton University
- Daniel Coats
- Juliet Eilperin
- William Happer
- Aaron Rupar
- Missy Ryan