On December 18, President Donald Trump delivered his first National Security Strategy (NSS) report to Congress. The 68-page document, released one week before Christmas, was an early and much-needed Christmas present to America. But it is a lump of coal to the global warming alarmist lobby that had transformed the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security into climate-change fright peddlers under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Below we look at the extreme reactions by opponents to the president’s security message, and then look at what he is actually saying in the document, and its implications for America’s national security.
Unlike the NSS reports of those previous administrations, and especially the Obama administration, the Trump NSS barely mentions climate, and then only as a means of emphasizing the need to develop America’s (and the world’s) energy resources. This dramatic change of direction away from presenting anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming, or AGW, as a dire “security threat” predictably sent the Big Green NGOs and the Big Media punditocracy, along with its usually-cited “climate experts,” into a tizzy.
Greenpeace declared in a press release, “Despite Donald Trump’s delusions of being master of the universe, dropping climate change from the list of global threats won’t make it any less of a global threat. In fact, if the fossil fuel cronies in the Trump administration insist on hiding from the very real threat of climate change, they will only make all of the other listed threats — from border security to economic insecurity — that much worse. Climate change doesn’t care what the Trump administration thinks about it; it will continue to get worse unless concrete action is taken to address it. Myopic decisions like this show just how far the irresponsible stupidity of Trump’s agenda has reached, and how much work we have to do around the world to overcome it.”
Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News, opened her criticism of President Trump’s NSS and national security speech on December 18 by blasting his withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. “The other thing is notably is that he doesn't speak about climate change,” Mitchell lamented, “which has been declared by the Pentagon and by the Obama administration certainly as part of a national security challenge because of the effect that climate change has on refugees and migration movements.” Mitchell is one of the several hundred elite “journalists” and media owners and executives who are members of the über-globalist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which has been a prime mover in the strident AGW alarm lobby. (Andrea Mitchell’s husband, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, is also a prominent longtime member of the CFR.)
Days later, on December 23, over at CNN, historian/commentator Douglas Brinkley (another CFR-member media talking head) slammed President Trump for taking the United States out of the UN Paris Climate Accord that President Obama had (illegally) committed our nation to supporting. Brinkley complained: “Well, just take a look at what you said, pulling out of the Paris Accord. Yes, he did that. What does that mean in the end? And it means Donald Trump has turned his back completely on climate change — what history may show as the overridingly important issue of our time. I mean, we've got the unusual wildfires, hurricanes, glaciers melting. The planet is really alarmed right now, and Donald Trump decides, ‘Ah, it doesn't exist. I don't want to believe and listen to the scientists.’”
The Associated Press, in an article titled “Under Trump, Climate Change Not a National Security Threat,” reported that Trump’s new NSS is “a significant departure from the Obama administration, which had described climate change as an ‘urgent and growing threat to our national security.’ And it demonstrates how Trump, despite struggling to push his own agenda through a Republican-controlled Congress, has been able to unilaterally dismantle one of his predecessor's signature efforts.”
The AP report then went on, predictably, to quote the usual “expert” activists. Michael Oppenheimer, a climate activist at Princeton University, said, "There's a big element of cutting off our nose to spite our face just because the administration doesn't like the words ‘climate change.’” Rosina Bierbaum, an environmental policy advocate at the University of Michigan, told the AP: "Not including climate change in a document about security threats is putting our head in the sand."
Time magazine quoted Wolfram Schlenker from Columbia University, who said of Trump’s NSS: “It’s short sighted. Incidents that occur abroad come back to hurt you in your own country.” Schlenker’s Columbia University is a hotbed of AGW fanaticism, led by the Soros-funded Columbia University Earth Institute, run by CFR guru Jeffrey Sachs.
Much of the “news” analysis of the Trump NSS featured references to past Pentagon reports that postulated absurd apocalyptic climate scenarios masquerading as science (see here, here, and here) and recycled the discredited claims that global warming is responsible for the world refugee crisis. Timed, apparently, to coincide with the Trump NSS release, the above-mentioned Wolfram Schlenker and coauthor Anouch Missirian (also at Columbia) came out with a new study in Science flogging the AGW-will-cause-massive-migration thesis. Science is one of the many formerly respected scientific journals that have jumped on the AGW apocalypse bandwagon, abandoning real science, inquiry, and debate for politically correct propaganda. Naturally, the same Fake News media, which uncritically trumpets in headlines every new climate change disaster claim produced by any “scientist” with a taxpayer-funded or foundation-funded computer model, rushed to promote the latest Science piece as an authoritative refutation of the Trump NSS report.
The new Schlenker-Missirian article predicting massive new floods of refugees to Europe due to global warming has been effectively eviscerated by author/mathematician/statistician/meteorologist/blogger William M. Briggs. Far from being awed or convinced by statistical arguments of Team Columbia, Dr. Briggs writes that the Schlenker-Missirian study “is the dumbest, most idiotic use of statistics I have seen in over a decade. (And I have seen a lot.)" Dr. Briggs then gets down to explaining technically how the Science authors misused and abused statistical data to claim “evidence” for their incredibly speculative climate refugee numbers.
National Security Strategy — Energy Sense vs. Climate Nonsense
What does President Trump’s NSS say that inspires such wrath and ridicule from the globalists, the socialists, and the Left in general? Among other things, his insistence on moving the United States from energy dependence to “energy dominance” by responsibly developing and exploiting our vast energy resources — “coal, natural gas, petroleum, renewables, and nuclear” — is anathema to the Al Gore-Barack Obama AGW mantra that insists we must fear CO2 and lock up all fossil fuels.
“For the first time in generations, the United States will be an energy-dominant nation,” the heretical Trump NSS proclaims. “Energy dominance — America’s central position in the global energy system as a leading producer, consumer, and innovator —ensures that markets are free and U.S. infrastructure is resilient and secure. It ensures that access to energy is diversified, and recognizes the importance of environmental stewardship.”
Trump’s National Security Strategy continues:
Access to domestic sources of clean, affordable, and reliable energy underpins a prosperous, secure, and powerful America for decades to come. Unleashing these abundant energy resources — coal, natural gas, petroleum, renewables, and nuclear — stimulates the economy and builds a foundation for future growth. Our Nation must take advantage of our wealth in domestic resources and energy efficiency to promote competitiveness across our industries.
Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system. U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests. 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. The United States will continue to advance an approach that balances energy security, economic development, and environmental protection. The United States will remain a global leader in reducing traditional pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while expanding our economy. This achievement, which can serve as a model to other countries, flows from innovation, technology breakthroughs, and energy efficiency gains, not from onerous regulation.
In a piece for his Manhattan Contrarian blog titled “U.S. Regains The Ability To Identify Real National Security Threats,” Francis Menton reminds us of the “climate threat” insanity of the previous administration. In his second inaugural address in January 2013, Obama declared that “no challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” Menton recalls.
Then, in a 2015 commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy, President Obama warned 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. And so we need to act, and we need to act now.”
“Supposedly,” noted Menton, “something like sea level, or maybe wildfires, or maybe floods — all completely speculative — would somehow make the country harder to defend. Meanwhile, when Obama talked about ‘acting now,’ what he meant was restricting production fossil fuels in the United States. What did he think was the fuel that powers the planes and ships and missiles, let alone powering the economy that provides all the logistical support to keep the military functioning? As far as I could tell, he had no idea. In the name of ‘national security’ he would hobble and ultimately shut down our own oil and coal and gas industries, leaving us to go begging for the necessary fuel to — where? OPEC? Russia? Venezuela? You really need to be delusional not to be able to distinguish the real national security threat here from the imaginary one.”
Photo of President Trump: AP Images