Why Aren’t We at War Yet over Climate Change?

Marine camouflage (Pornchai Kittiwongsakul / AFP / Getty)
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul / AFP / Getty

Recently, President Barack Obama declared that “climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security.” So, when does the war begin?

Presumably, any president who failed to react to an “immediate risk to our national security” would be violating the oath of office, no? Especially if the risk is even greater than the risk of terrorism, as Secretary of State John Kerry has said?

If our coastlines are threatened by rising oceans, if our forests are in danger of wildfires–how can we not declare war?

War on whom, you ask?

Why, on the nations producing the most greenhouse gases–China, in particular, and perhaps India as well. Those nations have been unwilling to adopt global restrictions on fossil fuel use, unwilling to join us in the War on Coal.

Diplomacy has failed, after twenty years of trying. Therefore, it is time to attack China–preferably using biofuel-powered aircraft carriers– and occupy it for as long as it takes to destroy its industrial capacity and rebuild it with solar-powered alternatives.

After all, our national security is at immediate risk.

Am I joking? Does one joke about something that is an “immediate risk to our national security”?

Certainly that is a higher level of threat than a nuclear Iran, which will be at least 10-15 years away from a weapon, if Congress passes the new agreement (and even if it doesn’t).

We ought to attack China now, while we can still save ourselves–because by the time the ocean floods our most populous cities, it will be far too late.

Unless, of course, talk of “immediate threat to our national security” is just a way to scare people.

But why would our President do that?


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