The National Security Threat of Denying Climate Change

President Trump’s latest ploy to manufacture doubt about climate change is disingenuous and dangerous.
A firefighter on a night operation during the Falcon Complex Fire in Oregon
Credit: Scott Lind/USFS

President Trump’s latest ploy to manufacture doubt about climate change is disingenuous and dangerous.

Since day one, President Trump and his climate-denying lieutenants have rejected reality in the face of incontrovertible scientific evidence and the direct experience of millions of Americans.

Now they’ve reached a new low.

The White House wants to create a panel to assess whether climate change threatens our national security, as both the Washington Post and the New York Times have reported. The effort would be led by William Happer, whose serial falsehoods about the benefits of carbon pollution have been amplified by his friends at the polluter-funded Heartland Institute.

What next: a blue-ribbon commission to determine the shape of our planet?

Road closures due to flooding caused problems for first responders during Hurricane Florence in 2018.
Credit: Liz Roll/FEMA

The threats of climate change to our health, well-being, and national security have been well-documented for half a century, including in multiple reports from the Pentagon. And major reports like last November’s Fourth National Climate Assessment have already gone through an exhaustive peer-review process—by experts who evaluate evidence based on its scientific strength, not its unpalatability to big polluters.

It’s no accident that the White House is proposing this adversarial review just as we’re seeing a surge of public concern about climate hazards and the start of a serious national conversation about climate solutions.

Trump’s ploy to create an official propaganda shop in the U.S. government is only the latest attempt—but perhaps the most disingenuous and dangerous one yet—to manufacture ignorance and distract from the urgent task of combating climate change.

His gambit should be consigned to the dustbin of history, alongside the Flat Earth Society.

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