first_img Retired physicist leading new Trump effort to question climate threat to security Email Originally published by E&E NewsPresident Donald Trump’s administration found a way to formally question climate science after almost 2 years of false starts.William Happer, a prominent opponent of climate science in the Trump administration, is heading a new White House effort to downplay the national security risks posed by climate change. It resembles the “red team” approach promoted by scandal-plagued former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Read more… Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img By Scott Waldman, E&E NewsFeb. 21, 2019 , 12:15 PM Gage Skidmore/flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) “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,” the memo says.The meeting will be run by Happer, an emeritus physics professor at Princeton University who serves on the National Security Council as senior director for emerging technologies. Happer, who is not a climate scientist, has rejected mainstream climate science for years. He routinely says that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and that the world could burn more fossil fuels without harm. Happer heads a group called the CO2 Coalition, which advocates for a rejection of climate science, and he has said the world is in a “CO2 drought.” His work has been funded by the conservative Mercer family, a major donor to the Trump campaign.The memo’s recipients included Kelvin Droegemeier, the president’s science adviser and an expert on extreme weather, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who rejected climate science as a congressman from Oklahoma but later said he “evolved” to accept it. The meeting tomorrow follows several instances in which President Trump has confused climate and weather by implying that low temperatures disprove global warming.”Red team” exercises are typically used to review military operations. When Pruitt sought to apply it to climate science, it caused divisions among White House advisers before being scuttled by former Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general.Happer was an integral part of the initial “red team” effort. He has been in contact with other prominent skeptics of climate change as he formulated the current review plan, according to those involved in the discussions.The memo lays out a goal of bringing in a variety of experts who can examine climate science and the risks of rising temperatures to national security.”The membership should include experts in national security and the science of climate and related fields, including statistics, data reliability, fluid motions of the atmosphere and oceans, radiation transfer, and geophysics,” the memo says.Experts in those fields have determined that climate change poses security risks throughout the world, from rising sea levels and the displacement of millions of people to deadly heat waves and floods. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment both found that civilizations face sharpening threats from a warming planet.Longtime opponents of climate science hailed the move, praising a critical review of climate science because it leads to government policies with cost implications.”Other scientific or engineering issues that involve large consequences is tested and scrutinized to death from every possible angle, and every possible criticism is taken and evaluated,” said Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment. “Any process that does a critical review is welcome.”Climate scientists are rigorously scrutinized through the peer-review process, and their assessments are tested by real-world conditions. As scientists predicted decades ago, the world has continued to warm at a rapid pace. The past 5 years have been the warmest in recorded history. In addition, prominent U.S. science agencies have found that humans are warming the planet at an unprecedented pace through the burning of fossil fuels.The move comes weeks after the Pentagon released a report that showed how global warming is affecting military installations across the country. In Alaska, bases built on thawing permafrost are suffering cracking building foundations, and rising sea levels are putting a number of coastal installations at risk. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a Senate committee last month that climate change poses security risks to the country.”Global environmental and ecological degradation, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress and social discontent through 2019 and beyond,” he said.The nation’s intelligence community has studied the risk posed by climate change for decades. During the 1980s, at the height of the Cold War, the CIA examined the negative effects of climate change on grain crop yields in the Soviet Union. Declassified CIA memos show that John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, participated in at least one climate change briefing as far back as 1989, when he was assistant secretary for international organization affairs at the Department of State under President George H.W. Bush.The Trump administration’s partisan attacks on science could harm preparation for climate change across a number of agencies, said Francesco Femia, co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security. Top officials might decide to drop it from their analyses to avoid picking a fight with the president, he said.”Frankly, it’s insulting to those in the intelligence community and those who are in our science agencies,” Femia said. “Within the Pentagon and within the intelligence community, there are a lot of people who are evidence-driven, fact-driven, science-driven patriots, and they see a risk and they begin to put that into their analysis because they know if you don’t do so, you’re going to have a blind spot on security. And that’s never a good thing.”Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2019. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at Named the Presidential Committee on Climate Security, the group is scheduled to meet tomorrow in the Situation Room at the White House, The Washington Post first reported. Its goal is to provide an “adversarial” review of climate science to determine if a series of recent reports have overstated the risks posed by global warming, according to a memo circulated within the White House obtained by E&E News. William Happerlast_img read more