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Does Climate Change 'Really' Pose a Threat to National Security?

The White House is planning to establish a new climate panel, headed by a well-known climate denier, to question the findings of the president's own intelligence agencies that climate change does indeed pose a national security risk.
February 24, 2019, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Stefan Fussan

"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 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."

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Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 in The Washington Post
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