President Obama is not only worried about global warming’s effect on the climate, he’s now saying Americans should treat it like a national security threat.
“The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe,” Obama said in his State of the Union Address Tuesday night.
“The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it,” Obama said.
Obama’s remarks come after a recent CNN poll saying that 57 percent of Americans don’t see global warming as a significant threat to their lives. Despite this, the Obama administration has been trying to tie global warming to national security for years.
Secretary of State John Kerry has sounded the alarm on global warming in many speeches around the world. Kerry has said that global warming is the “biggest long term threat” to the U.S.
Even the Pentagon has issued warnings on the impacts global warming could have on U.S. national security. In 2007, the government-backed the Center for Naval Analysis claimed global warming was a “threat multiplier” for instability around the world.
National security experts have criticized claims that global warming will make the world a more dangerous place by increasing violent conflict and crime. A paper by the Marshall Institute found that environmental factors rarely incite conflict, but more often breed cooperation.
“2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record,” Obama told Congress Tuesday. “Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does — 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.”
Last year was declared the warmest on record, but only by 0.05 degrees Celsius. Satellite temperature records, however, show that 2014 was at most the third warmest year on record 00 but it could be the sixth warmest as well.
There has also been no spike in climate-related disasters like hurricanes, typhoons and tornadoes that was predicted by climate scientists.
Environmentalists were encouraged by Obama’s remarks on global warming, while Republicans said his policies would raise energy prices and cause unemployment.
“President Obama made it clear that he intends to solidify the nation’s leadership on climate change,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, president of the World Resources Institute. “The Obama administration is primed to build on the progress over the past six years and bring countries together around a strong international climate agreement.”
“The President’s War on Fossil Fuels and nuclear energy is most evident in his unbridled mandates being issued by the EPA,” said Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe in a rebuttal to Obama’s speech. “The President’s climate agenda would only reduce CO2 concentration by less than one-half of a percent; it would only reduce the average global temperature by less than 2/100th of a degree; and it would only reduce the rise of sea levels by 1/100th of an inch – or the thickness of three sheets of paper.”
“In the meantime, the President’s agenda will cost our economy $479-billion dollars; we will experience a double-digit electricity price increase; and tens of thousands of Americans will lose access to well-paying jobs over the course of the next decade,” Inhofe said.
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