Obama: Climate Change is the Greatest Threat

By Terence P. Jeffrey | January 20, 2015 | 11:26 PM EST

President Obama delivers his State of the Union Address on Jan. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Not radical Muslim terrorism, not an unsecured border, not an ever-growing federal debt that now exceeds $18 trillion, not the fact that 109 million live in households on federal welfare programs. These are not the greatest threats facing us today.

"No challenge--no challenge--poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change," President Obama declared in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night.

Although he referred to it as "climate change" and not "global warming," the president immediately followed his declaration that this was the greatest threat to future generations by stating that fourteen of the hottest fifteen years "on record" have occured since 2000.

"2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record," said Obama. "Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does: 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century."

Obama said that he is not a scientist but that the "best scientists" are saying that human beings are "changing the climate" and that "we" need to "act forcefully" in response to this. 

"I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act," said Obama. "Well, I’m not a scientist, either.  But, you know what, I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe."

President Obama then said that the U.S. military is saying that "climate change" is causing immediate risks to our national security--although he did not explain exactly what this meant or how the "Pentagon" had arrived at this conclusion.

"The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security," said Obama. "We should act like it."

The president then pointed to things he has done to counter these vague "immediate risks."

"That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it," said Obama.

"That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history," he said. "And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. I am determined to make sure American leadership drives international action."

He then cited his work on the issue with the Communist government of the People's Republic of China.

"In Beijing, we made an historic announcement: the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions," said Obama. "And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got."

If global "climate change" caused by human action is indeed the greatest threat facing future generations and it therefore must be stopped, as President Obama argues, it will necessarily take a global authority with the power to stop human beings from engaging in the actions that cause "climate change" to avert that threat.