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President Joe Biden warned during a speech to American troops in England that global warming presents the greatest threat to the United States.
“The military sat us down and let us know what the greatest threats facing America were — the greatest physical threats,” Biden said of a meeting he had with the joint chiefs after becoming vice president in 2009. “This is not a joke. You know what the joint chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming.”
Biden told the troops at the Royal Air Force Mildenhall station on Wednesday that global warming still presents that kind of threat, asking nations to commit to “ambitious climate action” that would stop the globe from warming no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Biden warned that global warming could cause “significant population movement,” which could include “fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they’re literally sinking below the sea, like in Indonesia because of the fights over land that is not there anymore.”
The president’s remarks are a departure from his assessment just last week, when he said white supremacy posed the “most lethal” threat to America in a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the race riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“According to the intelligence community, terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today,” Biden said. “Not ISIS. Not al Qaeda. White supremacists.”
Biden’s abrupt turn to focusing on global warming comes after Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized global warming as at least partly to blame for the crisis at America’s southern border. Those comments came shortly after Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said the Biden administration’s policy shift toward a more welcoming environment to illegal immigration was to blame for the situation at the border.
Former President Donald Trump weighed in on the issue following Biden’s remarks, releasing a statement questioning the idea that climate change poses such a major threat.
“Biden just said that he was told by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Climate Change is our greatest threat. If that is the case, and they actually said this, he ought to immediately fire the Joint Chiefs of Staff for being incompetent,” Trump said in a statement.
But the idea that climate change presents a grave threat to global stability is not a new one, as the idea was prioritized by Pentagon officials after former President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
The threat that global warming posed to security was also a major talking point of former Secretary of State John Kerry, who called climate change the “largest weapon of mass destruction” in 2014.
“Climate change can now be considered the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” Kerry said at the time.
Biden’s remarks to troops stationed in the United Kingdom came ahead of his meeting with world leaders at the G-7 summit, which is set to take place in Cornwall.
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Original Author: Michael Lee