Most Americans are not on the same page as President Joe Biden in believing that climate change is the “greatest” security threat to the nation.
A Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday shows that only 29 percent of those surveyed agreed with Biden when he recently repeated a claim he made on the campaign trail in 2018, that military leaders told him and then President Barack Obama that climate change was the biggest threat facing the United States.
“When I first was elected vice president with President Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the greatest threats facing America were,” Biden told US troops in England on June 9. “This is not a joke: you know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming. Because there will be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they are literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia, because of the fights over what is arable land anymore.”
Fifty-four percent of those surveyed in the poll disagree with Biden’s claim and another 17 percent said they were not sure.
Within his own party, just 42 percent agree with his assessment and 33 percent do not believe it, while 25 percent are unsure.
Seventy-six percent of Republicans and 56 percent of unaffiliated voters also disagree with Biden on the issue, according to the poll.
The survey of 900 U.S. likely voters was conducted June 10 and 13 by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC and has a margin of error of +/- three percentage points.
Biden’s speech on June 9 mirrors what he said on the campaign trail in 2018, telling voters the same story about what military leaders said to him as vice president with President Obama in the Pentagon.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley said June 10 that China and Russia were bigger “physical” threats than climate change.
"Climate change does impact, but the president is looking at a much broader angle than I am," Gen. Milley told a congressional panel Thursday morning. "I'm looking at it from a strictly military standpoint. And from a strictly military standpoint, I am putting China, Russia up there."
Milley and the seven other members of the Joint Chiefs were appointed by former President Donald Trump, who also weighed in on Biden’s claim.
"Biden just said that he was told by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Climate Change is our greatest threat. If that is the case, and they actually said this, he ought to immediately fire the Joint Chiefs of Staff for being incompetent," Trump said in the U.S. News and World Report.
Whether or not the threat of climate change is as big as Biden thinks it is, the poll has worse news as he works to address the issue.
Most of those surveyed, 43 percent, said they would not pay higher taxes or utility costs to combat climate change, just 19 percent would be willing to pay $100 more, 28 percent said they would pay $300 more, and 10 percent said they would pay $1,000 more, according to the survey.
The results are about the same as surveys from three years ago that showed 39 percent of respondents not willing to pay anything to address the issue.
The payment issue breaks down more along economic lines than political with 53 percent of those who said they would not pay anything earning less than $30,000 per year while 38 percent of those earning $200,000 or more per year said they would pay $1,000 a year.
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