President Trump may finally do something about the rampant Obama-era climate change alarmism in his agencies. The Washington Post reports that there is a draft Executive Order creating a Presidential Committee on Climate Security. Among its sorely needed tasks is the independent and adversarial review of some of the blatantly alarmists reports recently issued by various federal groups, including the Pentagon. The question is will he issue this Order?
The President has steadfastly ignored the flood of alarmism coming from his out-of-control agencies, other than tweeting that he does not believe it. The excellent and skeptical Red Team proposal from the EPA Administrator Pruitt was squashed by White House staff as too controversial. But now the Democrats have made climate change a major issue, especially with the radical Green New Deal.
So maybe the President will finally take at least a little action and actually create this Presidential Committee. It is the least he can do.
Details of the Proposed Executive Order are sketchy, as the ever-green Washington Post has not released the full leaked draft, probably because they do not like it. But the few passages they have leaked look pretty good, especially this passage regarding the wildly alarmist federal reports:
“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.”
What is really missing is an honest peer review. For example, the latest National Climate Assessment (NCA4) received many skeptical reviews. I myself submitted 99 separate critical comments, each on one of their so-called “key findings.” All of these skeptical reviews, including mine, were simply ignored by the US Global Change Research Program, which prepared the NCA4. Note that this alarmist federal Program has an annual budget of 2.5 billion dollars. It buys a lot of bogus scares.
The Post does go to great lengths to bash physicist Will Happer, the reported author of the draft EO and a staffer on the National Security Council. Happer is a prominent skeptic, who at one point was being considered to head Trump’s Office of Science and Technology policy. This was considered too controversial so the job went to an expert on thunder storms, for which the alarmists were vocally thankful.
The post mentions vaguely that Happer once worked in the Energy Department. What they carefully neglect to say is that he headed DOE’s Office of Science, which has an annual budget of over 6 billion dollars and is the world’s largest funder of physical science research. In short he is a very heavy hitter, just right for drafting this Executive Order.
Given the negative tone of the article, I am sure the Post’s hope is to quash the Order, and the alarmists are indeed pouring forth the predictable howls of anguish and damnation. These are led by the Center for Climate and Security, which makes its living hyping climate change security scares, like our naval bases slowly sinking beneath rising seas.
They have issued a long list of damnations that make for a fun read. These are quotes from various admirals, generals, captains and security wonks, each more alarmist than the last. The most heavily featured is Rear Admiral David Titley, US Navy (Ret), who is a prominent (and loud) alarmist, one that feeds heavily at the federal trough.
These screechy outcries sound like WashPo has let them, unlike us, see the entire draft EO. I am reminded of the old joke that “military intelligence” is an oxymoron. My favorite alarmist quote is from Alice Hill, Senior Director for Resilience Policy on Obama’s National Security Council. She screeches “This effort meets the definition of insanity.” I would think that climate alarmism held that honor.
In any case the cat is now out of the bag and sitting squarely in President Trump’s court, as it were. This Executive Order is a big step up from tweets when it comes to administration recognition of climate skepticism. It may be the perfect antidote to the wacky Green New Deal.
Will Trump issue the skeptical Order? Stay tuned to CFACT.