opinion | Mark Pothier

Obama weathers criticism over climate ‘threat’

President Obama.
Getty Images
President Obama.

Ever since his administration released a 2010 report on national security strategy that declared “the danger from climate change is real, urgent, and severe,” President Obama has taken heat from critics who say he should spend more time sweating over terrorism than global warming. In Paris, where this week’s climate talks took place in the shadow of the Nov. 13 terror attacks, Obama didn’t hesitate to connect the two issues. “In some ways,” he said on Tuesday, climate change “is akin to the problem of terrorism and ISIL.”

Republican presidential candidates, to put it mildly, disagree.



“President Obama and John Kerry have both said that they think, essentially, your SUV in the driveway is a greater threat to our security than is ISIS, than is a nuclear Iran. And it makes no sense whatsoever.”

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Ted Cruz

“It is delusional for President Obama and Hillary Clinton and anyone else to say that climate change is our near-term most severe security threat. It is ISIS, period.”

Carly Fiorina

“The climate has been changing forever and it will always change and man will always contribute to it. It’s not a crisis.”


Chris Christie

“We have a president over there [in Paris] worried about climate change instead of worrying about nuclear weapons coming into the middle of our cities. We are being run by stupid people.”

Donald Trump

“Perhaps the most ludicrous comment I’ve ever heard, that climate change is a bigger threat to our country than radical Islamic terrorism. It’s baffling to me that the leader of the free world . . . would state that.”

Jeb Bush