Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe is blasting President Obama for telling U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduates Wednesday that climate change is one of the most serious threats to security here in the U.S. and around the world.
In the midst of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and just days after the Islamic State capture of Ramadi, Obama focused his remarks on the temperature of the earth.
“Climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security. Make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. So we need to act and we need to act now,” said Obama, who called avoidance of the issue a “dereliction of duty.”
“Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security. It undermines the readiness of our forces,” he said.
Sen. Inhofe, who is also a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is the author of “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.”
“It shows that they’re getting more and more desperate,” he said. “He’s trying to resurrect the issue of global warming. This has got to be the most desperate statement that he’s made because it’s one that no one’s going to believe.”
“It is kind of humorous, the desperation that this president goes to trying to trying to bring this issue back,” added Inhofe.
He says Secretary of State John Kerry is floundering on climate change as well.
“He’s getting equally desperate. He’s been in on the very beginning of this with Al Gore and others. It has not panned out. The public knows it. The polling is now against them. He will say anything in order to fortify or resurrect the issue,” said Inhofe.
The senator says desperation is growing on the left because the public is less accepting of the dire climate predictions and feels less urgency to address the issue.
“We all know that climate changes all the time but it’s not a result of man-made gases. They’ve lost the argument. I can remember ten years ago it was polling as the number one or number two environmental issue. It’s now number thirteen out of fourteen,” said Inhofe.
Even if climate change were one of the most imminent threats to national security, man wonder what Obama actually expects the U.S. military to do about it. Inhofe says it’s less about logistics and more about building a consensus.
“I think what’s he’s trying to do is to get military members, and now and then he’ll find a retired general to cater to the president, to get them to agree with his assessment. So far, that hasn’t happened on anyone who didn’t have another reason for wanting to agree with the commander-in-chief,” said Inhofe.
“He’s trying to find some allies in the military, but they’re not there,” he added.
Inhofe says Obama’s commencement remarks are especially jarring given the major international challenges erupting in just the past few days.
“North Korea has just announced they have a miniaturized nuclear weapon. ISIS has already taken control of Ramadi. ISIS has sixty percent of Syria right now. They’re beheading Americans. We’re not responding,” said Inhofe.
“His timing could not have been worse to make a statement like that to a group like that, right after the declaration by everyone including James Clapper, the director of national intelligence (and others) that this is the most threatening time in the history of this country,” he said.
The senator is also blunt in blaming Obama for creating the conditions that give us so many national security challenges that he believes are infinitely more urgent than climate change.
“At a time when our enemies don’t fear us, our allies don’t respect us, they know this president has drawn the line in the sand many times as he’s done in Syria and other places and then backed away from it,” said Inhofe.
Inhofe was at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Friday, speaking with the underclassmen. He says the cadets there know very well what the real threats to national security are.
“These people at the academy know. They’re really tuned into the threat that is out there because they are trained to meet that threat,” he said.
The good news, says Inhofe, is that the young men and women at the academy show America’s military has a bright future.
“I quoted a lot of the past heroes and let them know that when they take their oath that they’re going to have to defend this country at the risk of their own lives. There wasn’t one hand that didn’t go up saying each one was willing to do that,” said Inhofe.