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Examiner Editorial: Dealing with 'climate change' should not be a military concern

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Opinion,Editorial,Climate Change,Defense Spending,Global Warming,Washington Examiner,Greenhouse Gases

The United Nations' International Committee on climate change issued a new report Monday that includes dire warnings of civil wars and international conflicts in countries where people are displaced by coastal flooding and resource shortages caused by extreme weather.

As usual, the ICCC called for quick action to stem the emission of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases.” It's the standard alarum of global-warming alarmists.

Man-made global warming is still a theory, not established science or fact. From the facts we do know, carbon emissions (according to the EPA) have been rising almost steadily since 1900 (at least through 2008). But the evidence shows that global warming stopped in 1996. From the beginning of 1997 through 2012 there has been no discernible global temperature increase. That means the cessation in the temperature rise has lasted longer than the period in which global temperatures supposedly rose, from 1980-1996. This despite the continued refusal of nations such as China to do anything to reduce the amount of carbon they emit every day.

The facts always seem to contradict the dire observations of global-warming alarmists. The report says, “Impacts from recent extreme climatic events, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, and wildfires, show significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to climate variability." After last year's hurricane season, in which there were zero major storms, that seems out the window as well.

And it gets worse: U.S. leaders have swallowed the report's conclusions whole, and have already directed scarce defense spending toward implementing its recommendations.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in a February speech, said climate change was perhaps the "world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

In early March, the Pentagon released its Quadrennial Defense Review, which described the effects of climate change as "threat multipliers" that will force the military to rethink how it engages in training, missions and humanitarian aid around the world. The review recommended the Defense Department focus on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

"The department’s operational readiness hinges on unimpeded access to land, air, and sea training and test space," the review said. "Consequently, we will complete a comprehensive assessment of all installations to assess the potential impacts of climate change on our missions and operational resiliency, and develop and implement plans to adapt as required."

Some of that leads to pretty silly results. As part of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's effort to protect the Arctic, the Pentagon is sending more people, ships and aircraft to the region to train and familiarize themselves with operating there. But doesn't that mean a lot of heat and -- shudder -- “greenhouse gases” will arrive in the process?

Congress needs to step in and inform the administration -- and the U.N. -- that the U.S. treasury isn't the common heritage of mankind. Spending more money on "climate change" -- especially badly needed defense dollars -- should be stopped, er, cold.

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