Global warming alarmists have long cited their pet preoccupation as a growing national security issue. Obama administration strategic documents and threat assessments cite the potential of climate change leading to water wars, resource competition, refugee flows, pandemic disease, small island nations being wiped out, and other destabilizing effects. To them global warming is apocalyptic; it promises war, famine, pestilence and death.
But much of the rest of the world is not impressed. Many developing countries view global warming as a western intellectual vanity that threatens their economic growth. This fault line was on display this week at the United Nations when the Security Council discussed the implications of climate change for international security and stability. The United States and Germany pressed for some type of Security Council action, but China and Russia, among others, did not think it was within the high body’s mandate. Beijing has been a durable opponent of international action on the climate front; China has the most to lose from restrictions on carbon emissions and other mandates rooted in the climate change orthodoxy. The Chinese cheer when other countries adopt climate policies that retard economic growth and stifle innovation – after all, it means more market share for them – but Beijing has done everything it can to ensure that China will never be forced into that box. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice was disgusted by the unwillingness of other countries to take up the cause. “This is more than disappointing,” she spat. “It’s pathetic.”
The U.N.’s latest “green” initiative is even more pathetic. Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig suggested that “the helmet of the new environmental peacekeeping force be green” instead of the traditional United Nations blue. “Repainting blue helmets into green might be a strong signal,” he said, asking whether “dealing with the consequences of climate change — say in precarious regions — [would] be really very different from the tasks the blue helmets already perform today?” How the UN would determine which future crises were climate-caused green-helmet missions and which were traditional blue helmet operations is anyone’s guess. The diving line is completely arbitrary. But at the end of the day there is one thing that everyone can agree on – wherever the “green helmets” go, the United States will be expected to foot most of the bill.