President Obama’s foreign policy speech to West Point graduates Wednesday leveled a serious charge against Republicans who deny human-induced climate change: You’re threatening national security.
Check out the progression of the few climate sentences in Obama’s wide-ranging remarks. He starts by telling the grads that battling global warming requires global cooperation. Then he says climate change is “a creeping national security crisis that will help shape your time in uniform, as we’re called on to respond to refugee flows, natural disasters, and conflicts over water and food.”
OK, that’s worrisome, and that security message sets up Obama’s pitch for trying to reach a United Nations-brokered climate accord at a make-or-break 2015 meeting in Paris: “That’s why, next year, I intend to make sure America is out front in a global framework to preserve our planet.”
Then Obama looks at the U.S. role, and here’s where the speech includes what looks like a subtle pitch for imminent EPA regulations to cut power plants’ carbon emissions: “You see, American influence is always stronger when we lead by example. We cannot exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everyone else,” Obama says.
The remarks arrive just a few days before EPA (and maybe Obama himself) unveils first-time carbon-pollution standards for existing power plants. Obama’s “influence” line is another version of what Obama told The New Yorker months ago about domestic action giving the U.S. leverage with China and India, the world’s largest and third-largest emitters (the U.S. is No. 2).
Finally, we get to a thinly veiled jab at the GOP: “We can’t call on others to make commitments to combat climate change if so many of our political leaders deny that it is taking place.”
Run it backwards: GOP climate skepticism is a roadblock to global cooperation on the “creeping” national security crisis that these graduates will face.
What We're Following See More »
"Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland, one of the party’s most outspoken progressive voices, will formally launch her campaign Monday to chair the House Democratic Caucus — a post that would make her the first African-American woman to hold a leadership spot in either major political party."
A new short film by the BBC, which premiered in the U.S. this weekend, explores the question of whether President Trump sexually harassed women in the 1980s and 1990s. Witnesses say they saw the president at cocaine-fueled parties harassing women as young as 17.
"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.