In a speech intended to lay out his national security agenda, Donald Trump appeared lethargic and detached. His TelePrompter reading was stunted and his voice was slurred. At one point he said that Russia was tipped off to an alleged terror attack by the “CAA” (aka the CIA). It was a performance that didn’t exactly inspire confidence and strength.
The substance of the speech was a rehash of Trump’s standard “America First” rhetoric and introduced no new initiatives or solutions to ongoing problems. However, there was an omission that is guaranteed to produce severe consequences. Trump left out the risks of climate change from a national security perspective. The only mention of it came tangentially in his proposal that called for “countering an anti-growth energy agenda.” In other words, he’s advocating more production and use of dirty fossil fuels.
Trump’s stubborn adherence to his climate denial position flies in the face of the nearly unanimous conclusions of the scientific community that climate change is a real problem that is caused by human behavior. But scientists are not the only ones concerned about the issue. Defense experts have been warning of the imminent peril posed by the effects of climate change for years. And one of those experts is currently Trump’s Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis. While Trump insists that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China, Sec. Mattis says that it’s “a real-time issue, not some distant what-if,” and that it’s “impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.”
Mattis isn’t the first defense secretary to warn of the perils of climate change. The military has been crystal clear for years about the very real consequences of a world where water and arable land become scarce, and nations erupt into chaos and war. A particularly notable warning came from an unexpected source. As reported in Rolling Stone:
“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”
Let that sink in. Rumsfeld views climate change as more dangerous than terrorism. In fact, six of the past Secretaries of Defense (Mattis, Ash Carter, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that climate change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And four of the six are Republicans. Nevertheless, Trump insists on stepping out on his own demented ledge to dismiss the informed opinions of these respected leaders in favor of the denial championed by energy lobbyists and their political puppets. It’s a position that is rooted in greed, corruption, and ignorance. And it forebodes a dangerous future for America and the world.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.