Obama’s Wrong: Climate Change Is Not Our Biggest Threat
Throughout President Obama’s time in office, he and his cabinet officials have made claims that climate change is the greatest threat we face.
Last year, Vox pressed the president on the matter, asking if he truly believes it is a greater threat than even terrorism. He responded by saying “absolutely,” and his press secretary Josh Earnest reaffirmed a day later saying unapologetically, “the threat of climate change is greater than the threat of terrorism.”
Just a few days after the administration’s remarks, the Islamic State beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in the Middle East and posted it on the Internet for all to see. While the president is busy pushing climate change as the most important issue among international elites, the Islamic State is working to recruit its newest members using such tactics as this.
Whether in San Bernardino, Brussels, London, Madrid, Paris, Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Philippines, Australia, or across the globe, deadly and violent attacks by radical extremists are happening on a regular and increasing basis.
The objective of these acts of terror is to destroy Western way of life, extinguish religious minority groups, drive out vulnerable and poor populations, and suppress women and children’s freedom and participation in society. To suggest that rising temperature is the cause for these efforts is not only disingenuous, but also dangerous.
On April 13, I held a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to highlight the consequences of the Obama administration’s rhetoric that elevates the theory of man-driven climate change above the current threats our society is facing.
Retired Major Gen. Bob Scales provided an expert perspective on the tendency for liberals to compare climate change and war, saying, “The administration’s passion to connect climate change and war is an example of faulty theories that rely on relevance of politically correct imaginings rather than established historical precedent or a learned understanding of war.”
Gen. Scales went on to testify that the greater threat is the Obama administration’s syphoning off of defense dollars in order to pay for his climate change initiatives. The $120 billion spent by the Obama administration on climate change in the past seven years would have better served our national defense.
Instead the administration has put into motion $1 trillion in defense budget cuts while also using precious defense funds for wasteful green energy initiatives to include building biofuel refineries for the private sector — a job more suited for the Department of Energy.
Gen. Scales highlighted that as a result of this misprioritization of taxpayer dollars, our “soldiers and sailors today are bombarded by a series of global threats and diminishing resources. The additional distraction of focusing on climate change in the midst of all this is simply counterproductive.”
Today, the international community gathers once again in the name of climate change, this time in New York City to sign the Paris agreement. We will undoubtedly hear speech after speech about how today’s actions are necessary in order to save our children’s children from an imperiled future.
The U.N. is great at hyping up the legitimacy of photo-op diplomacy. But these actions are a distraction from the fact that climate change policies come at a high economic cost while having no actual impact on the climate change.
For the United States, the high profile distraction being led by Secretary of State John Kerry is meant to settle the concern among some international circles that President Obama will not be able to follow through on his emission reduction promises.
But these concerns are well founded, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s truly historic stay against his Clean Power Plan, which makes delivery of his 26 to 28 percent emission reduction promise wholly unrealistic.
It’s a shame the president and the U.N. will spend the day celebrating an agreement that has no legal weight and will ultimately fail just like the Kyoto Protocol.
Their time and our resources would have been better spent unifying the international community around a need to protect and defend our citizens from the real threat at the door step — radical Islamic extremism.
Senator Jim Inhofe is a Republican senator from Oklahoma. Follow him on Twitter at @JimInhofe.
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