Environment

White House Assembles Panel of Climate Change Deniers

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

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.”

  • Draxiar

    “…to advise the President on scientific understanding of today’s climate”

    In other words, tell him what he wants to hear. Aside from that, trump only absorbs information with short sentences and colorful pictures. Don’t expect him to ever have a “scientific understanding” of anything ever.

  • Christopher Foxx

    …the plan appeared to be an effort to undermine the consensus within the national intelligence community that climate change needs to be addressed…

    Ya think?

  • muselet

    Ignore inconvenient science.

    It’s the conservative way.

    Also, peer review is not adversarial, or at least it’s not meant to be. The point of peer review is to make sure the science is right, not to engage in a dick-swinging contest.

    –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    I saw a comment from a right winger touting the fact that a long lost bee, a black leopard, and something else I forgot have been rediscovered that it means habitat loss and climate change is malarkey. Well..wouldn’t it also be the case that as we push further and further into these last remaining pockets of forest things like that turn up? Just because you find something you thought was extinct doesn’t mean they’re on solid footing. Maybe it means we are finding the last possible examples where these things were pushed to.

  • katanahamon

    Followed the tweets out of Roger Stone’s court appearance..he threatens a judge with crosshairs, gets a slap on the wrist. “One more chance” while being out and free. Meanwhile, Jussie Smollett is still the headline..