A month ago, during the State of the Union Address, President Obama averred that “no challenge—no challenge—poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” And ten days ago, the White House released a National Security Strategy that lists climate change alongside international terrorism and Russian aggression as the preeminent threats today facing the United States.
And yet, despite the President’s best efforts to elevate AGW as a clear and present danger, not one of the four Sunday political talkies (Fox News Sunday, Face the Nation, This Week, and Meet the Press) has fielded a full question about climate change since the SOTU. (As I’ve noted here, here, and here). This is notable insofar as these shows are the embodiment of the political establishment. By ignoring the putative AGW threat to national security, they suggest that conventional wisdom on the issue rests well to the right of the President.
This notion was reinforced yesterday, when ABC This Week became the first Sunday political talkie to ask a question about climate change since the SOTU. The query was delivered by ABC’s Jon Karl with mild incredulity, and its purpose was gauge whether Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Cal.) & Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) agree with the president that AGW and terrorism are on par as national security threats:
KARL: So I want to ask you quickly before we go, the president gave this interview to Vox where he suggested that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism. Do you agree with that? Start with you Congressman Schiff.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, I wouldn’t agree that it’s the more immediate threat. It’s certainly a threat to our planet and it’s one we have to deal with and we don’t know where the tipping point is. But it’s such a very different problem, I’m not sure I’d put them in the same sentence.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER, (R) ILLINOIS: I agree. It’s very different problems. We’re facing ISIS and al Qaeda today, which is a very big threat to us.
So, a bipartisan duo on House Representatives disagreed with the President. Even the California democrat said that he’s unsure whether he’d “put them in the same sentence.” And judging by the tone of his voice, I’d suggest that Karl disagrees with the Commander in Chief, too.
On Friday, outgoing White House climate czar John Podesta tweeted that his “biggest failure of 2014” was failing to secure the disclosure of UFO files. I’d go ahead and try to draw an unfavorable comparison between belief in catastrophic AGW and belief in flying saucers, but I believe the truth is out there, too, so I’ve no leg to stand on.