The latest group of heavy-hitters to weigh in – supporting a strong climate agreement in Paris – are former US foreign policy leaders.
In a full-page Wall Street Journal ad, they urge lawmakers and business leaders to recognize that "US Security Demands Global Climate Action" and that the US must lead a global effort to tackle this urgent, complex problem.
The ad consists of about six paragraphs of text, that starts this way:
"For years, America’s intelligence community and armed forces have recognized climate change as a threat to US national security – shaping a world that is more unstable, resource-constrained, violent, and disaster-prone. This issue is critically important to the world’s most experienced security planners. The impacts are real, and the costs of inaction are unacceptable. America’s elected leaders and private sector must think past tomorrow to focus on this growing problem, and take action at home and abroad."
48 former secretaries of state and defense, national security advisers, diplomats, Republicans and Democratic lawmakers are behind the statement, including Secretaries of Defense, Chuck Hagel, William Cohen and Leon Panetta; Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and George Shultz; National Security Advisors, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Sandy Berger and Bud McFarlane; Senators Olympia Snowe and Richard Lugar; New Jersey Governor and Chair of the 9/11 Commission Thomas Kean; and Retired US Army Chief of Staff, General Gordon Sullivan.
The ad is another attempt to get Republican lawmakers on board with the US Clean Power Plan (they’re waiting for the final rule to be released this week so they can go to court) and to stop their efforts to block an agreement in Paris.
Republicans’ Iran Letter on Climate
In April, immediately after the US submitted our climate pledge, Republicans wrote an "Iran letter," this time warning the world they can undo anything Obama signs in an international agreement on climate change. Legislation has already been written that would nullify any such agreement.
Republicans insist that Obama can’t sign an agreement without Congressional approval, which would obviously be impossible with the current GOP majority.
They want to make Obama look bad in the eyes of the world, and make the US seem untrustworthy on its climate commitments, reports Politico. If they can block the Clean Power Plan, they can prove the US can’t meet Obama’s emissions targets. They also plan to block Obama’s pledge of $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund.
It’s like dealing with the devil. "The Republican Party seems to be crafting itself as the party of climate supervillains, hell-bent on destroying the world. It’s an extremely short-sighted position, because as astrophysicist Neal deGrasse Tyson puts it, The good thing about science is it’s true whether or not you believe in it.
Here’s the Ad: