Climate 'crisis' more dangerous than terrorism? Get real, Biden
The resurgence of Taliban is now expected to pose a serious threat to U.S. and global security. Thirteen U.S. servicemen and nearly 200 Afghans were already killed in blasts outside Kabul Airport on August 26, 2021. Yet President Biden says the biggest threat to the U.S. is a climate that has been undergoing naturally driven makeovers for eons.
"This is not a joke," said Biden. "You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest physical threat facing America was? Global warming."
During Biden's presidential campaign, John Kerry said, "America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is." And here we are.
In April, U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin termed climate change an existential threat, saying, "From coast to coast and across the world, the climate crisis has caused substantial damage and put people in danger."
Categorizing climate change as a more serious threat than, say, terrorism or a hostile China is a public policy blunder that at least equals the botched Afghanistan withdrawal and exposes an ignorance of science. The Biden administration's statements are void of numbers, data, and statistics. This is because the metrics of key climate parameters stand in stark contrast to the claims.
To begin with, there is no crisis. People today live with more abundance and safety than ever. Every factor determining life expectancy has improved, be it food security, access to drinking water, and even the ability to mitigate the effects of weather disasters. Contrary to the Biden administration's claims, there has been no significant worsening of extreme weather that threatens the nation.
Hurricane frequency data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center show that there has been no increase in major hurricanes (Category 3,4 & 5) in the U.S between 1851 and 2004. The only trend we see in frequency is a declining one! The intensity of hurricanes making landfall in the United States has been decreasing, and the "U.S. major landfalling hurricanes have been down by 50% since the 1930s."
When it comes to wildfires, facts again contradict claims of Biden and his defense secretary. Data from the National Interagency Fire Center Historical Statistics of the United States (Colonial times to 1970) and the USDA's U.S. Forest Resource Facts and Historical Trends show that there is no increase in the frequency of total annual wild land fires over the last hundred years. The total burn area in 2020 was just 11% of the area that used to burn annually in the early 1900s.
Importantly, a majority of wildfires in recent times have been due to human actions and not natural causes. NASA declared, "People Cause Most U.S. Wildfires," quoting a 2017 study that showed how "Human-started wildfires accounted for 84% of all wildfires, tripled the length of the fire season, dominated an area seven times greater than that affected by lightning fires, and were responsible for nearly half of all area burned between 1992 and 2012."
Environmentalists like Michael Shellenberger have pointed out that forest mismanagement was the major reason for recent wildfires in California. Despite this mismanagement and human-caused fires, U.S. forest coverage has had no major decline in the last hundred years.
These realities are ignored not just by media, but also by politicians who choose instead to stoke fear about "climate-fueled" hurricanes and wildfires.
In addition, the administration's entire climate narrative is based on computer-model predictions that repeatedly have proven unreliable. The United Nations' own scientists have questioned these models' accuracy. Critics regularly identify a large gap between real-world temperatures and model predictions. In a recent study, scientists noted, "We find considerable warming biases in the CMIP6 modeled trends, and we show that these biases are linked to biases in surface temperature (these models simulate an unrealistically large global warming)."
In other words, the models are not capable of predicting temperatures and should not be used to draft climate and energy policies.
So the whole notion that climate is a national security issue is utterly inaccurate. This is not to say that climate has zero impact, but it is nowhere near being the United States' "biggest threat" — either in the present or in the future.
Regardless of the media's spin on reality, it is the duty of elected representatives to be judicious in declaring a national security threat. Biden and his team must retract their declaration of a climate crisis.
Vijay Jayaraj is a Contributing Writer to the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Va., and holds a Master's degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, England. He resides in Bengaluru, India.
Image via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.