The Department of Defense and the intelligence community have long maintained that climate change is a threat to national security in very tangible ways, but the current White House isn't convinced or at least hopes you haven't been convinced.
The Washington Post reports that the Trump regime is assembling a panel of climate change deniers to challenge the assessment that climate change is a threat to national security.
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. [...]
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.
The science of climate change is one of the most peer reviewed subjects in all of science. Literally thousands of scientists from across the world have reviewed the science and all but a handful of world governments have accepted their consensus. Climate change is a reality accepted by the vast majority of humans on this planet, most of whom are already experiencing the effects of it.
For the Pentagon, the threat of climate change is imminent, not theoretical. We have military installations across the world and right here inside the United States, along with other critical infrastructure, that is threatened by rising sea level and intense storms. When the deadly Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida panhandle in October of 2018 packing winds of 155 miles per hour, some of the Air Force's most expensive fighter jets were damaged because the hangar they were stored in was not engineered to withstand it.
It's not clear if the White House panel will include any climate scientists who are actually qualified to conduct a peer review, but it seems unlikely. And that's not the point. This is a political panel, not a scientific panel.
Francesco Femia, chief executive of the Council on Strategic Risks and co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security, said in an interview that the plan appeared to be an effort to undermine the consensus within the national intelligence community that climate change needs to be addressed to avert serious consequences.
“This is the equivalent of setting up a committee on nuclear-weapons proliferation and having someone lead it who doesn’t think nuclear weapons exist,” he said. “It’s honestly a blunt-force political tool designed to shut the national security community up on climate change.”