Republicans aren’t laughing. They’re shaking their heads in disgust.
“ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States,” Obama recently told the Atlantic, referring to the Islamic State. “Climate change is a potential existential threat to the entire world if we don’t do something about it.”
The president’s view of what is and isn’t an existential threat raisedplenty of eyebrows among conservative commentators, who characterized his statements as essentially saying, “Russia doesn’t matter. Climate change is huge.”
But Obama isn’t alone. In recent years, most of the U.S. national security community has started talking up the threat posed by climate change. It’s become a fixture in the White House national security strategy, in the intelligence community’s future outlook, and at the State Department.
And there are some seemingly clear cases where climate change is either sparking conflicts or making them worse. The Syrian civil war, for example, has its roots in the Arab Spring, in the brutality of the Assad regime, and in the atomized nature of Syrian society. But what also seemsto have played an outsized role in kindling the five-year horror show, according to scholars, is the worst drought in Syria’s recorded history — a drought that forced millions off the farm and into crowded cities, battered food production, and exacerbated an already terrible water shortage.
Meanwhile, in Brussels today…
These clowns may want to delete this tweet:
Obama says climate change is more of a threat than ISIS. Why are Republicans laughing? https://t.co/c7Iql2Tgvq
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) March 22, 2016
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) March 22, 2016
Obama just can’t move his focus away from the Middle East/terrorism. His Cuba trip now overshadowed by today’s events.
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) March 22, 2016