The Obama administration is organizing a U.N. coalition to launch a bold air war against CO2. Speaking at the East-West Center in Honolulu on August 6, Secretary of State John Kerry explained the urgency, stating that climate change is “the biggest challenge . . . we face right now.” Yup, he warned that global warming ranks “right up there” with “terrorism, epidemics, poverty, [and] the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
This will come as a surprise, possibly even a relief to many of us who were more worried about other threats. Like for example a brutal terrorist ISIS caliphate which is rapidly expanding across northern Iraq and Syria, our close ally Israel under siege, Russia rampaging against Ukraine and neighboring countries, Iran’s unabated nuclear weapon development, or China’s explosive military buildup and concomitant muscle-flexing in the South China Sea.
Unlike those matters for future attention, Secretary Kerry recently urgently warned Asian officials that “Climate change is here now. It’s happening all over the world.”
Accordingly, Kerry also advised African leaders to stop creating new farms and focus upon what they already have. Why? Well because “Certain agricultural processes can actually release carbon pollution.” Forget about feeding starving people, or worrying about Islamic terrorist insurgencies, AIDS, or Ebola outbreaks. Those priorities can wait.
Whereas President Obama conspicuously avoided characterizing the fight against ISIS as a war during his September 10 national address,Kerry deftly waffled on the subject the following day. He told CNN that despite a commitment to send 475 more troops to Iraq, increase airstrikes in the region, and arm Syrian rebels who have been vetted, the Obama administration is not really at war with ISIS.
He said that “If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL [or ISIS], they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counterterrorism operation that will have many different moving parts.”
Kerry told CBS: “I think ‘war’ is the wrong terminology and analogy, but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity . . . I don’t think people need to get into war fever on this. I think they have to view it as a heightened level of counterterrorist activity.”
That same day, September 11, Chris Hayes asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on MSNBC’s “All In” program, "Before getting into the strategy, though, there seems [to be] a fundamental, existential question: Is the United States presently at war with ISIS — yes or no?"
Earnest replied, "No, Chris. What we are doing is we are working very aggressively with international partners, with Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, to take the steps necessary to mitigate the threat that's posed by ISIL."
During briefings with reporters the following day, Earnest admitted that “The U.S. is at war with ISIL in the same way the U.S. is at war with al-Qaida,” using an alternate acronym for the group. Minutes earlier, a Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, reiterated the same talking point to reporters that “This is not the Iraq war of 2002.” He added, “But, make no mistake, we know we are at war with ISIL, in the same way we are at war and continue to be at war with al-Qaida and its affiliates.”
While the Obama administration argues that current actions are already covered by a 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force passed after 9/11 so that no congressional approval is required, they obviously prefer to gain some political cover by getting Congress on board. On September 17 an amendment approving Obama’s request for funding to arm and train Syrian rebels for ground action against ISIS passed 273-156.
As for the White House being worried about congressional approval for its climate war — not so much. This week the president will make a star appearance at a U.N. Climate Summit in New York to push his “climate accord in lieu of treaty.” His strategy is to bypass a necessary two-thirds Senate ratification vote to get a “politically binding” deal that will “name and shame” recalcitrant countries into emissions control commitments.
As for gaining a Climate Temperature Counteroffensive Coalition, however, it seems Obama is up against the same struggle that he and Secretary Kerry are experiencing in organizing one to battle ISIS. While about 120 heads of state were invited, some of the largest CO2 emitters have declined. Aussie PM Tony Abbott, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and even Angela Merkel, president of über-green Germany apparently made other plans.
Perhaps influenced by going on two decades of flat global temperatures, they have decided there is little worth getting hot and bothered about.
Larry Bell is a professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston, where he directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and heads the graduate program in space architecture. He is author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax,” and his professional aerospace work has been featured on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel-Canada. Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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