Quantcast

Trump to Drop Climate Change as National Security Threat

Climate
President Donald Trump at Arlington National Cemetery, May 29, 2017. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Flickr

President Donald Trump's new national security strategy will reverse an Obama-era declaration that placed climate change as a major threat facing the nation.

Trump's "America First" plan will instead focus on four themes surrounding economic security for the U.S: “protecting the homeland and way of life; promoting American prosperity; demonstrating peace through strength; and advancing American influence in an ever-competitive world," the Associated Press reported, quoting senior administration officials.


“Climate change is not identified as a national security threat but climate and the importance of the environment and environmental stewardship are discussed," a senior administration official explained to the Guardian.

The move reflects the Trump administration's stance— and downright indifference—towards global warming. In June, the president announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement.

Another official explained to the Guardian that Trump's remarks about exiting the Paris agreement “would be the guidepost for the language in the [national security strategy] on climate."

Trump had said that June: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris" and claimed the Paris accord “hamstrings the United States while empowering some of the world's top polluting countries."

According to the Federalist, which first obtained a draft document of the national security strategy, the Trump administration would actively oppose efforts to reduce the burning of fossil fuels for energy.

"U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth, energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests," the document stated, per the Federalist.

“Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty."

As the Federalist pointed out, the move to nix climate change from the list of national security threats "matches President Trump's vision, sometimes shared using his trademark hyperbole, that the United States needs to emphasize national security and economic growth over climate change."

For instance, check out Trump's tweet from 2013 below:

In 2015, former President Obama said in a speech to the Coast Guard's then-graduating class that “climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security."

"And make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country," he said.

Climate change, Obama continued, "will shape how every one of our services plan, operate, train, equip and protect their infrastructure, their capabilities, today and for the long term."

The new Trump doctrine is seemingly at odds with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' views on the issue of climate change.

"Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today," Mattis wrote in March. "It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning."

Incidentally, just last week, Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law that would require the Pentagon to do a report on how military installations and overseas staff may be vulnerable to climate change over the next 20 years.

The following language was included in the act:

Climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and is impacting stability in areas of the world both where the United States Armed Forces are operating today, and where strategic implications for future conflict exist.

RECOMMENDED

Climate Change Already Hampers U.S. Military Sites Around the World, Government Study Finds

National Guard Chief Highlights Climate Change as Pruitt Touts Denial on TV

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

In this picture taken on June 4, an Indian boatman walks amid boats on the dried bed of a lake at Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, on the eve of World Environment Day. Sam Panthaky / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation.

Read More Show Less
A man carries a poster in New York City during the second annual nationwide March For Science on April 14, 2018. Kena Betancur / Getty Images

By Will J. Grant

In an ideal world, people would look at issues with a clear focus only on the facts. But in the real world, we know that doesn't happen often.

People often look at issues through the prism of their own particular political identity — and have probably always done so.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

YinYang / E+ / Getty Images

In a blow to the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled Monday to uphold a Virginia ban on mining uranium, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less
Ragú Old World Style Traditional is one of three flavors named in a voluntary recall. Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Spaghetti with plastic sauce? That's what you might be eating if you pour one of three flavors of Ragú sauce over your pasta.

Mizkan America, the food company that owns Ragú, announced Saturday that it was voluntarily recalling some Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion, Old World Style Traditional and Old World Style Meat sauces because they might be contaminated with plastic fragments, The Today Show reported.

Read More Show Less
A butterfly in the National Butterfly Center, a private sanctuary for butterflies in southern Texas, on Jan. 22. Maren Hennemuth / picture alliance / Getty Images

While Trump's border wall has yet to be completed, the threat it poses to pollinators is already felt, according to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, as reported by Transmission & Distribution World.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
People crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on July 20, 2017 in New York City sought to shield themselves from the sun as the temperature reached 93 degrees. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

by Jordan Davidson

Taking action to stop the mercury from rising is a matter of life and death in the U.S., according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances.

Read More Show Less
Salmon fry before being released just outside San Francisco Bay. Jim Wilson / The New York Times / Redux

By Alisa Opar

For Chinook salmon, the urge to return home and spawn isn't just strong — it's imperative. And for the first time in more than 65 years, at least 23 fish that migrated as juveniles from California's San Joaquin River and into the Pacific Ocean have heeded that call and returned as adults during the annual spring run.

Read More Show Less
AnnaPustynnikova / iStock / Getty Images

By Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide.

Read More Show Less