Trump breaks with military leaders, removes climate change from list of national security threats

President Donald Trump’s new National Security Strategy removed all mentions of climate change as a national security threat, a decision in line with major steps taken by the administration over the past 11 months to downplay the perils of climate change. Two years ago, the Obama administration issued a strategy that identified climate change as “an urgent and growing threat to our national security.”

Trump’s decision to exclude climate change from current national security threats comes only a month after government scientists released the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which contained a dire warning on the impact of climate change, including an increase in wildfires due to heat waves and severe droughts. In a separate report on climate change adaptation the Government Accountability Office explained that the expected impacts associated with climate change pose operational risks to Department of Defense overseas installations.

“The United States will remain a global leader in reducing traditional pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while expanding our economy. ­This achievement, which can serve as a model to other countries, flows from innovation, technology breakthroughs, and energy efficiency gains, not from onerous regulation,” the Trump administration wrote in the strategy.

While China emits the most carbon dioxide per year, the United States remains the largest emitter of carbon dioxide per capita in the world from the burning of fossil fuels. And yet the Trump administration is in the process of gutting federal programs to fight climate change caused by the emitting of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

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