President Barack Obama focused on global climate change in his commencement remarks at the Coast Guard Academy.

“I’m here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and – make no mistake – it will impact how our military defends our country,” Obama said.

He added that climate change deniers are negligent and derelict in their duties.

“And if you see storm clouds gathering or dangerous shoals ahead, you don’t just sit back and do nothing. You take action to protect your ship, to keep your crew safe. Anything less is negligence. It is a dereliction of duty. And so too with climate change. Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security,” he said.

For those of you want to endure the entire speech, here is the White House video:

There are so many perplexing aspects to these remarks, I hardly know where to begin.

Such a great deal of evidence refutes the climate assertions made by environmental activists (including expanding Antarctic glacial levels) that failure to question the premise is a dereliction of common sense.

Additionally, instead of offering inspiration and a reason to take pride in serving, President Obama projected hostility and fear. In contrast, former President George W. Bush set a much more uplifting tone in his commencement address at Southern Methodist University:

I know which audience I would have preferred to be part of if I were graduating!

Furthermore, Obama’s remarks leave me deeply troubled that President Obama is escalating the seriousness of climate change science ahead of some ill-advised executive order. Given the fact that Obama is issuing executive orders at the fastest pace in his presidency (an achievement in itself), I surmise that one focused on the environment might be issued in conjunction with Pope Francis’ much anticipated remarks to the United Nations.

But the most disturbing aspect of this address is that it shows the administration has lost perspective on what its military priorities must be. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly used the term “delusional,” and I would have to agree.

When it comes to Obama’s priorities, O’Reilly said the president should stick with the here and now.

“I mean it’s fine to want a cleaner planet. I do. And it’s good to explore ways to eliminate harmful emissions. Every sane person supports that,” he said. “But to tell a group of military graduates that climate change is a defense priority borders on delusion.”

O’Reilly said savages are bent on destroying America and the civilized world, “and the president is presenting climate change as a military priority.”

“That’s like George Washington telling his troops at Valley Forge to concentrate on making wax candles and apple cider,” he said.

However, it looks like other branches of our government have a better perspective on the relative threats to the nation. The CIA is ending its main climate research program, known as Medea, which allowed civilian scientists to access classified data—such as ocean temperature and tidal readings.

“In my judgment, the CIA is not the best lead agency for the issue; the agency’s ‘in-box’ is already overflowing with today’s threats and challenges,” [Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a 23-year veteran of the CIA] said via email. “CIA has little strategic planning reserves, relatively speaking, and its overseas presence is heavily action-oriented.”

Our Coast Guard cadets can at least take comfort in knowing that some people in our government are grounded in reality. It’s just too bad it’s not their Commander-in-Chief.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.