The US Defense Secretary James Mattis has expressed opposing views to President Donald Trump about global warming.
Calling climate change a clear and present threat to national security, his views puts him at odds with many high-ranking officials within the Trump administration.
“Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” Mattis said in a written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
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Press TV reports:
According to his congressional testimony quoted in ProPublica, Mattis said he believed that global warming and climate change were posing a clear and present threat to US national security.
“It is appropriate for the [US military] Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas [affected by global warming such as the new water routes opening in the thawing Arctic] into their planning,” he warned.
The Pentagon chief’s concerns go in stark contrast with the beliefs of President Trump who does not think climate change is a big problem worth any attention.
“I don’t think [climate change] in any major fashion exists … So I am not a believer, and I will, unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down, and it goes up again… but I am not a believer [in global warming], and we have much bigger problems,” he said in one interview.
On other occasions, Trump has not only denied climate change, but also referred to it as a plot targeting the US economy.
The president has argued that global warming was “created by and for the Chinese” to attack American industries.