Some brainstorms are more persuasive in the brain than on the ground. The grand notion that masterminds should take control of civilization before the unwashed masses render pristine nature a scorched trash heap is one prominent example. The related scheme to muster the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to fight global warming, euphemistically called climate change, is coming to a necessary end. The U.S. military’s mission is to fight the nation’s enemies, not the weather.
In a major national security strategy speech Monday at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, President Trump presented his “America first” agenda, founded on “principled realism.” A 53-page accompanying blueprint includes protecting “America’s way of life,” the homeland, promoting American prosperity, championing “peace through strength,” and advancing American influence. Climate change no longer makes the cut.
Marketers and politicians know the public is always tempted to whore after the new thing, and that includes new schemes and intrigues. Politician-turned environmentalist Al Gore made global warming a household term by lifting projections of catastrophe from his computer screen to splash across everybody’s TV screens. Barack Obama elevated climate change from tangential to essential, calling it an “urgent and growing threat to our national security.”
Arguably the nation’s most liberal chief executive ever, Mr. Obama won the hearts of environmental radicals by endorsing the premise that every burp and rude emission by human folk traps heat, endangering all living things on the planet. Mr. Obama signed the U.N.-sponsored Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, treating carbon dioxide as a pollutant and obligating the nation to drastically reduce its industrial emissions.
His Clean Power Plan, which Mr. Trump has since dispatched to deserved oblivion, would have accelerated the nation’s shift to renewable energy sources but adding $33 billion to the electric bills of Americans. In its determination to salute and serve the wishes of Mr. Obama, the military was soon buying jet fuel manufactured from algae at $150 a gallon. Paying 60 times the going rate for “green” fuel was neither principled nor realistic.
The rapid rise in temperatures predicted by mathematical models has not materialized, either, and forecasts of worsening weather, rising sea levels and climate-abused polar bears in Mr. Gore’s docudramas, have proved to be considerably underwhelming. Trendy fiction fades over time, and in November Gallup ranked the environment and pollution No. 18 out of 40 problems that Americans worry about.
Among the top dozen worries that Gallup finds actually to be of concern to Americans, are illegal immigration, terrorism and war whoops from North Korea. The president, this president and every other, must put paramount a national security strategy defending the homeland. “Our government’s first duty,” he says, “is to its people, to our citizens — to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.”
Mr. Trump’s predecessor urged Americans not be believe their own eyes, contending that waves of illegal immigrants drawn by his lax enforcement of border security posed no threat to their communities, that a gun massacre accompanied by shouts of “Allahu akbar” was merely “workplace violence,” and airlifting pallets of cold cash to the mullahs in Iran in the dead of night was respectable diplomacy.
The argument that stormy weather ranks with the threat of nuclear annihilation from North Korea or Iran persuaded Americans to turn to Donald Trump for a rational and sober leadership. The president’s national security strategy reinforces that hunch and belief.