White House: Biden ‘Absolutely’ Stands by Saying Climate ‘Only Existential Threat’

On Monday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “The Story,” White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby defended President Joe Biden’s remarks last month that climate change is “more frightening than a nuclear war,” and is “the only existential threat” facing humanity.

Host Martha MacCallum said, “So, now the United States is essentially involved in a war in Europe, as we give a tremendous amount of military aid to Ukraine as they fight Russia. We also say that we are rock solid in our support of Israel as they now face a battle that is against — and we can get into this in a moment — but supported by Iran, by all accounts. So, given that the United States is now involved in wars that are taking place in Europe and also in the Middle East, I want to play this soundbite that [was] just last month in Vietnam and ask you if this still holds for the President.”

She then played a clip of Biden stating that “the only existential threat humanity faces, even more frightening than a nuclear war, is global warming going above 1.5 degrees in the next ten years.”

MacCallum then asked, “Given all the nuclear players in these two areas where we are now engaged, John, does the President stand by that comment?”

Kirby answered, “Absolutely he does. Climate change is an existential threat. It actually threatens and is capable of wiping out all human life on Earth over time. I don’t know how [much] more existential you can get than that. But that doesn’t mean that we walk away from our obligations or our national security interests in very dangerous parts of the world, you mentioned two of them –.”

MacCallum then cut in to ask, “But John, he said it was ‘more frightening than a nuclear war,’ is that — it’s more frightening than a nuclear war in this moment?”

Kirby responded, “The President believes wholeheartedly that climate change is an existential threat to all of human life on the planet. That’s just science. That’s fact, Martha. But it doesn’t mean that we turn our back on the other challenges facing this country and our allies and partners around the world. We’ve got broad national security commitments literally globally. And we’ve got to mind all of them at the same time. You mentioned two of them, obviously, Israel right now. Certainly, Ukraine over the last almost two years now. We are a big enough and powerful enough and effective enough nation to be able to look after all of these disparate national security threats, and one of them, absolutely, is climate change.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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