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Delingpole: White House Chief of Staff Kelly Just Killed Trump’s Best Hope of Draining the Green Swamp

John Kelly
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

President Trump’s best hope of draining the Green Swamp has just been nixed by his Chief of Staff.

The New York Times has the bad news:

John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has killed an effort by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to stage public debates challenging climate change science, according to three people familiar with the deliberations, thwarting a plan that had intrigued President Trump even as it set off alarm bells among his top advisers.

The idea of publicly critiquing climate change on the national stage has been a notable theme for Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the E.P.A. For nearly a year he has championed the notion of holding military-style exercises known as red team, blue team debates, possibly to be broadcast live, to question the validity of climate change.

And yes – that really is bad news. In my view, it’s one of the biggest mistakes so far of Trump’s otherwise winning presidency.

It’s a betrayal of both the president’s instincts and his authority.

It’s a mighty victory for the sclerotic, DC Deep State establishment and for the corrupt, anti-American and eye-wateringly expensive Climate Industrial Complex.

The idea behind the “red team blue team debates” was to clarify the science underpinning the great climate change scare. For the first time, skeptical scientists would have debated openly in public with realist scientists over what the current evidence tells us about ‘global warming’.

Even if at the end no firm conclusions had been reached, what the debates would have achieved is to show to the world that the “science” of “climate change” is far from settled; that there is no consensus; that it’s more than conceivable that the trillions of dollars currently being spent on tackling this alleged problem are serving no useful purpose whatsoever.

This, you may gather, would be quite a boon to all the hapless taxpayers who currently have to bankroll this project – and who might appreciate the chance to see whether their money is being well spent.

It also ought to make perfect sense to anyone who voted for Donald Trump a) knowing that he is a vocal climate change skeptic and b) understanding that if the U.S. industrial economy is to be made great again then it makes perfect sense to dispense with any constricting environmental legislation that isn’t actually justified by hard evidence.

Well now, America, you can say goodbye to all that. For this – according to the New York Times – you can thank the faction in the White House, led by John F. Kelly, which is determinedly trying to prevent President Trump doing what President Trump does best…

Mr. Kelly is a retired four-star Marine Corps general who is said to share the pragmatic view held by military leaders including Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, that climate change is happening and poses a serious national security challenge. Since he became chief of staff last July, Mr. Kelly has toiled to control access to Mr. Trump to try to ensure that his actions are informed by an orderly process in the West Wing — a pursuit that flies in the face of the president’s freewheeling style.

The tension between the White House and the E.P.A. over the red team, blue team idea reflects a broader rift within the administration over whether and how directly to attack climate change science itself. While the words “climate change” have been removed from many federal websites, and Mr. Trump has mocked global warming in tweets, the administration has stopped short of using the power of the federal government to attack the science.

One more thing: do not be impressed by the fact that the men responsible for this disastrous decision are from the military.

I too love the military; I have boundless respect for the U.S. Marine Corps; and if ever I were wanting to retake Fallujah for the umpteenth time, there are few men that I would be happier to have leading that mission than the likes of John F. Kelly and Jim Mattis.

Here though we are not talking about combat. We are talking about Groupthink – a vice to which the U.S. military has proven itself every bit as fallible as any other profession.

The U.S. military fell to the enviro-weenies long ago.

Here, for example, is its 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review:

Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure. Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.

This is what Trump means when he talks about “draining the swamp.” The swamp is everywhere: in the military, among his White House administration.

Sure it’s good that he managed to pull the U.S. out of the iniquitous and pointless Paris climate accord. But that should have been just the start of his advance. Instead it’s starting to look like the final rearguard action before a resurgent enemy overwhelmed his position…

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