EDITORIAL: Panetta’s next war

Defense secretary targets ‘climate change’

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America has a fresh national-security threat, an enemy is every bit as elusive as al Qaeda: global warming. That’s according to Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, who has declared war on climate change. This is a fight America can’t afford.

“The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security,” Mr. Panetta told an Environmental Defense Fund reception last week honoring the Defense Department’s latest initiative, according to the American Forces Press Service. “Rising sea levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” he claimed.

As former White House chief of staff, CIA director and now as secretary of Defense, Mr. Panetta has probably forgotten more about national security than most experts will ever know. So it’s troubling that he is apparently relying on outdated information in marshaling military resources in an effort to alter the planet’s weather.

Global warming is a theory premised on the belief that the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels traps the sun’s heat and causes the earth’s temperatures to rise. However, as increased industrialization during the past century has caused atmospheric CO2 levels to increase steadily, global temperatures have not followed the predicted upward trend. Not surprisingly, the polar ice caps have not melted in expected fashion. For example, Arctic sea ice in April averaged 5.69 million square miles, “the highest average ice extent for the month since 2001,” according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Warnings about the threat of increasingly severe weather are equally unfounded. In March, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the organization largely responsible for sparking global hysteria over purported global warming, published a special report backing away from its claim that severe weather events resulting from either human activity or natural occurrences are trending upward.

Scientist and environmental guru James Lovelock, the creator of the “Gaia” theory that the Earth is a living being, has recently characterized his own notions about the danger of global warming as “alarmist.” “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago,” Mr. Lovelock told MSNBC.com in April. “That led to some alarmist books - mine included - because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened.”

Sen. James Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, thinks the defense chief’s climate-change remarks indicate a need for more congressional oversight of the Pentagon’s budget. “Secretary Panetta has an important job and doesn’t need to waste his time trying to perpetrate President Obama’s global warming fantasies or his ongoing war on affordable energy,” the Oklahoma senator said. “He has a real war to win.”

Mr. Panetta has promised to invest billions of taxpayer dollars in unaffordable energy boondoggles like solar “microgrids” and algae fuel to combat carbon dioxide - the harmless gas essential for all life on this planet. If the defense secretary is looking for a new enemy, he should wage war on waste in his own department’s budget.

The Washington Times

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