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PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to congress. Also on our rundown: more evidence that the rent is too, damn, high; Marathon County braces for sulfide mining; and the focus on recycling this weekend for Earth Day in North Dakota.

Daily Newscasts

Could Trump's Climate Policy Hurt U.S. Standing in the World?

As the Trump administration pulls back on fighting climate change, national security experts say that puts the U.S. and its military at greater risk. (Expert Infantry/Flickr)
As the Trump administration pulls back on fighting climate change, national security experts say that puts the U.S. and its military at greater risk. (Expert Infantry/Flickr)
April 7, 2017

SEATTLE – An expert on national security is condemning efforts by the Trump administration to reverse Obama-era climate-change policy. Citing a desire to protect coal-industry jobs, one recent Trump executive order starts repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which limited emissions at coal-fired power plants.

Retired Marine Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, now CEO of the American Security Project, says this retrenchment in the battle against climate change is counterproductive. He notes that bases such as Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean already are losing ground to the sea.

"Military services have to plan for this and survive," he said. "So yes, the military's on the forefront of it, because it's a daily, ongoing, they-can-see-it occurrence; whereas others perhaps have the attitude, 'Not in my backyard, so I don't have to worry about it.'"

Cheney says climate change threatens national security by acting as a "force multiplier" - extreme weather causes floods, wildfires or drought, which in turn lead to food and water shortages. He cites massive migrations in Syria and Nigeria caused by drought as recent examples, setting the stage for unrest.

Gov. Jay Inslee and other West Coast governors say their states remain committed to reducing emissions and fighting global warming.

President Trump also lifted a rule that required national-security decision makers to plan for climate change. But General Cheney says he's optimistic that the Secretary of Defense will still take the matter seriously.

"Jim Mattis, a retired Marine general in the Department of Defense, has recognized that climate change is man-made, that it's a problem and it's a threat to our stability," he explained. "We feel fairly confident that at least he'll include it in his national-security plans, but I'm not sure about Department of State and Department of Homeland Security."

Trump has said he would like to "cancel" the Paris Accords on Climate Change, but hasn't pulled out of the treaty thus far. Cheney argues that doing so would effectively hand over the U.S. leadership role to countries like Russia and China that have pledged to uphold the treaty.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA