William Happer, a physicist who has suggested higher levels of carbon dioxide are beneficial, would be on committee
— The White House is planning to assess how climate change impacts national security and will involve a prominent doubter of the scientific consensus that man-made warming is putting the US at risk.
Donald Trump’s staff have drafted an executive order to establish a Presidential Committee on Climate Security, according to reports from the Washington Post and New York Times. It would include senior aide William Happer, a Princeton physicist who has suggested – in conflict with the vast majority of climate scientists – that higher levels of carbon dioxide are beneficial.
A recent assessment from the national intelligence director, Daniel Coats, called climate change a significant security risk, the Post noted.
Under former president Barack Obama in 2014, the Pentagon said climate change posed “immediate risks” to national security and laid out plans for boosting resilience and readiness as seas rise, disasters intensify and drought exacerbates instability around the world.
However, Trump and his cabinet have dismissed several federal government reports that said climate change is worsening and already threatens public health and the economy in the US.
“I don’t believe it,” Trump said in November. His agencies have suggested that the reports are based on the worst-case scenario, although the scientists who wrote them said they project what could happen based on current trends.
Trump’s former environment administrator, Scott Pruitt, long planned to host debates on climate science but was thwarted by some White House staff. Happer helped create a list of possible participants for that debate, according to emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
In 2017, Happer told the Scientist that climate change research has become a “cult movement”.
by Emily Holden | The Guardian