Has Trump Hired a Climate Hawk?
September 13, 2016
More weirdness. In a rational world, this would lead Cable interviewers to ask about climate change, but I expect they’ll keep focused on emails and Pneumonia. Once again, it may be up to the “climate people” to raise the obvious.
Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey has signed on as a senior adviser to Donald Trump—even though the two men’s views are oceans apart on an issue very close to Woolsey’s heart: climate change.
For years, the former CIA director has been an advocate for cleaner energy and has called for addressing global warming from a national security perspective. He argues that our current energy sources put us at “the whims of OPEC’s despots” and make us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. He wants the United States to shift from its reliance on coal and oil to renewables and natural gas. “There’s enough consensus that human-generated global warming gas emissions are beginning to have an effect,” he said in an interview in 2010. “Next year might be cooler than this year but that doesn’t mean the trend isn’t there.” (Indeed, the world keeps getting warmer.)
In 2013, Woolsey was one of dozens of national security experts who signed a statement declaring that climate change represents a “serious threat to American national security interests.” The “potential consequences are undeniable, and the cost of inaction, paid for in lives and valuable US resources, will be staggering,” read the statement. “Washington must lead on this issue now.”
Trump, on the other hand, doesn’t believe in global warming, having called it a Chinese hoax. He’s even pointed to cold winter weather in an attempt to debunk this “GLOBAL WARMING bullshit.” Trump wants to scrap President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan and back out of the Paris climate accord. Rather than move toward renewable energy, he wants to make the United States energy independent by resuscitating the coal industry.
“Mr. Trump’s commitment to reversing the harmful defense budget cuts signed into law by the current administration, while acknowledging the need for debt reduction, is an essential step toward reinstating the United States’ primacy in the conventional and digital battlespace,” Woolsey said.
Woolsey, who served for two years as CIA chief under then-President Bill Clinton, also criticized the presence of classified information in emails stored on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s private server.
In an appearance on CNN, however, he called Trump’s plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States “a bad decision.” He also has warned about the threats posed by climate change, something Trump has called a hoax that benefits China.
Woolsey was an outspoken proponent of the Iraq invasion, suggesting that Saddam was hiding nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs from U.N. inspectors. He also promoted the erroneous allegation that the Iraqi dictator backed al Qaida’s Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
Shortly after former President George W. Bush took office in 2001, Woolsey visited Britain on a Defense Department trip in a fruitless hunt for evidence that Saddam masterminded the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. He made a second visit to Britain for the same purpose shortly after Sept. 11, and again came up empty.