Reports reveal that the White House blocked a report from the Department of State describing climate change’s effects as “possibly catastrophic.” The move is in line with President Donald Trump’s attitude toward the scientific consensus about climate change.
Blocked White House Testimony
The Washington Post reports of an incident this past week in the White House wherein Department of State staffer Rod Schoonover was prevented from issuing a written testimony about the implications of climate change on national security. Evidently, several White House offices had an issue with the report that was set to be delivered to the House Intelligence Committee.
The move, however, is simply in line with the president’s dismissive views on the threats of climate change, as well as the administration’s efforts to move away from the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In the end, Schoonover was allowed to go before the committee, but he was not allowed to submit the written testimony.
National Security And Climate Change
Schoonover’s report was mainly about the national security implications of climate change. In it, he states that climate change will have wide implications to the United States' national security in the next 20 years, specifically in terms of issues such as competing with other nations for resources, climate-related humanitarian crises, raising risks for political instability, and having possible negative effects on militaries.
Further, he notes that the consequences of climate change such as extreme weather and climate events do not just affect the United States but all the other nations and societies as well.
“The IC’s role is not to predict the future but rather to asses risk and provide strategic warning,” Schoonover — concluded. “Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant －possibly catastrophic — harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change.”