The current US administration does not do honesty, integrity, nor is informed evidence-based decision making on the agenda. Trump’s own personal stance on Climate Change is well-known as one that is robustly founded upon exactly zero credible evidence, hence it should not be a surprise to observe that his various appointments consist of those that either donate to him, stroke his ego, or simply have views that align with his fantasies.
Panel To work out if Climate Change poses a security threat
The White House is currently putting together a panel to determine if Climate Change poses a security threat, and so it is in the context that this news has just popped up …
The proposed Presidential Committee on Climate Security, which would be established by executive order, is being spearheaded by William Happer, a National Security Council senior director.
We will get to why this rather bland bit of news is in reality a manifestation of the utterly bizarre, but first, let’s ask a rather obvious question.
Why is this being done?
No seriously, why yet another committee to look into Climate Change?
Less than three weeks ago the Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats delivered a worldwide threat assessment that identified it as a significant security risk.
Beyond that, there exist vast numbers of subject matter experts, federal scientists, who have been clearly and very consistently been sounding the alarm for quite some time.
Last November there was an official US Government Report that presented clear decisive and very robust evidence that global warming is intensifying and poses a major threat.
The objective of this new panel would be … “to advise the President on scientific understanding of today’s climate, how the climate might change in the future under natural and human influences, and how a changing climate could affect the security of the United States.”
Seriously, why does he need to be advised, when he has been constantly and persistently advised?
They proceed to claim this … “However, these scientific and national security judgments have not undergone a rigorous independent and adversarial scientific peer review to examine the certainties and uncertainties of climate science, as well as implications for national security,”.
Like almost everything else that comes from the White House, this is a demonstrable lie. The US Fourth National Climate Assessment published in Nov 2018 was created by a team of 32 Lead Authors, including scientists from Federal agencies. It was rigorously peer-reviewed. It took over 3 years to create as it passed through a very rigorous six-step review process. That was as robust as it gets.
Reactions to this news
Francesco Femia, chief executive officer of the Council on Strategic Risks and co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security …
“This is the equivalent of setting up a committee on nuclear weapons proliferation and having someone lead it who doesn’t think nuclear weapons exist, It’s honestly a blunt force political tool designed to shut the national security community up on climate change.”
Well yes, we are back to Trump’s pick for this new committee, so let’s get into that now.
Who Is William Happer?
He is a physicist, so surely he is not that strong a climate denier … right?
Wrong, this guy might indeed be a physicist, but he is also, when it comes to climate change, a complete crank.
Let’s briefly review his stance.
CO2 is jolly fine stuff and good for plants
No seriously, that’s his belief. His Wikipedia page lays it all out with links that you can check …
Happer disagrees with the scientific consensus on climate change, stating that “Some small fraction of the 1° C warming during the past two centuries must have been due to increasing CO2, which is indeed a greenhouse gas”, but argues that “most of the warming has probably been due to natural causes.” Michael Oppenheimer said that Happer’s claims are “simply not true” and that the preponderance of evidence and majority of expert opinion points to a strong anthropogenic influence on rising global temperatures. Climate Science Watch published a point-by-point rebuttal to one of Happer’s articles. A petition that he coauthored to change the official position of the American Physical Society to a version that raised doubts about global warming was overwhelmingly rejected by the APS Council. Happer has no formal training as a climate scientist.
In May 2013, Happer and Harrison Schmitt published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “In Defense of Carbon Dioxide,” in which they termed elevated atmospheric CO2 “a boon to plant life.” It was described by Ryan Chittum in the Columbia Journalism Review as “shameful, even for the dismal standards” of the editorial page.
That last one is quite frankly jaw-dropping.
Godwin’s law is an observation that says …
“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”
… and so yes, we literally have Godwin’s law in play with this guy.
This is Trump’s goto guy to advise him on climate change.
If you have not already done so, then about here would be the correct place to proceed to face-palm.
Meanwhile in some other news a panel of foxes has been appointed to determine if the henhouse needs guarding.