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WASHINGTON – President Trump is preparing to set up a panel of experts to examine the impact of climate change on national security. A White House advisor whose opinions run contrary to the scientific consensus established that global warming caused by humans poses a threat to the country's economy, health and safety.
According to a White House memo dated February 14, Trump's staff members drafted a decree to create a 12-member presidential committee on climate security, which will advise Mr. Trump "how can a changing climate could affect the security of the population ". United States ". The memo was first reported by the Washington Post.
The panel would include William Happer, physicist at Princeton, Trump's assistant assistant for emerging technologies. Dr. Happer has gained notoriety among the scientific community for his claims that carbon dioxide – the greenhouse gas that scientists say traps heat and warms the planet – is good for humanity. .
Efforts to establish the group of experts follow several new detailed reports concluding that global warming poses clear and specific risks to national security. The inclusion of Mr. Happer suggests that efforts could be the last step of the Trump administration to minimize or distort the scientific consensus established on the impact of climate change.
A spokesman for the National Security Council, who leads the formation of the committee, declined to comment on the minutes.
"We invite a rigorous independent group of credible climate and security experts to study the implications of climate change for security, but that is not it," said Francesco Femia, founder of the Center for climate and security, a research organization focused on national security affects climate change. "The proposed committee is supposed to provide a so-called" adversarial review "of already rigorous reports from scientific agencies, intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense."
He said that the role of Mr. Happer meant that the panel "would be neither independent nor rigorous".
In 2015, Mr. Happer was called to testify before a Senate committee after environmental group Greenpeace revealed that he agreed to write a scientific article at the request of an unnamed oil and gas company in the Middle East.
In his e-mails with Greenpeace, Mr. Happer wrote: "More CO2 will benefit the world. The only way to limit CO2 emissions would be to stop using fossil fuels, which I think would be a deeply immoral and irrational policy. "
Dr. Happer suggested to the alleged backers not to be paid directly. "My activities to fight against climate extremism are a work of love," he wrote.
The White House note notes that several scientific and defense reports have recently concluded that climate change poses a significant threat to national security, but it casts doubt on these reports, stressing that "these scientific and national security judgments do not Have not been subject to rigorous, independent and contradictory analysis. peer review to examine the certainties and uncertainties of climate science, as well as their implications for national security. "
Earlier this month, the director of national intelligence services released his The Global Assessment of the 2019 threat concluded that "the degradation of the environment and the environment around the world, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress and social discontent until 2019 and beyond. Climatic hazards such as extreme weather conditions, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, forest fires, storms, sea level rise, land degradation and ocean acidification intensify, threatening infrastructure, health, water security and food security.
The report lists the specific threats posed by climate change, such as the threat of sea level rise for the safety of low military installations and the likelihood that intensification of drought and floods will result. massive displacement of people and intensification of conflict. The report concluded that climate-related food shortages could increase "the risk of social unrest, migration and interstate tensions in countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq and the United States. Jordan".
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