Montana Politics Ryan Zinke

Congressman Zinke Mocks His Own Idea That Climate Change is a National Security Threat

Congressman Zinke is so proud of his performance in an empty room in the House Armed Services Committee when he got Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to “admit” that ISIS presents a more immediate threat to the United States than climate change that he’s posted it three times, including his visits to Fox News, in the last 13 hours.

Of course, it’s an idiotic premise. To argue that one thing (ISIS) is a greater immediate threat than another thing (global warming) hardly proves that the second thing isn’t a threat. Just because armed madmen are a more immediate threat to the safety of schools, churches, government buildings and every other place people gather hardly proves that Congressman who do the bidding of organizations like the NRA are not a threat, for instance.

But with Congressman Zinke, there’s always more. You see, he did think climate change presented an immediate threat to our national security—one that needed to be addressed “today,”—back in 2010, when he signed a letter to President Obama that claimed:

“Our nation’s most respected military leaders recognize that climate change is a threat multiplier for instability in the most volatile regions of the world. The climate change threat presents significant national security challenges for the United States – challenges that should be addressed today, because they will almost certainly get worse if we delay.

Now, I haven’t served as a Navy SEAL, but I do understand how time works, having looked at a clock at least seven times in my life. If Congressman Zinke believed that climate change was a significant challenge to national security in the most volatile regions of the world five years ago, it’s pretty hard to argue that it isn’t a threat today.

Maybe an enterprising reporter here in Montana can ask him that, though I certainly won’t hold my breath, even if the people of the Marshall Islands soon will need to.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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