Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Politifact has just claimed Paul Babeu, the Republican Sheriff of Pinal County, Ariz., who is at the front line of combatting Mexican Drug Cartels encroaching into North America, made a mostly false statement when he claimed President Obama thinks climate change is the number one security threat. A few minutes web search was all it took, to show that Paul Babeu’s interpretation of President Obama’s statements is entirely reasonable.
Paul Babeu, the Republican Sheriff of Pinal County, Ariz., near the U.S.-Mexico border, has repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for its lack of border security.
Babeu, who’s running for Congress this November against a Republican field that includes David Gowan, Ken Bennett and Wendy Rogers, warned of Mexican drug cartels in his county ahead of Memorial Day weekend on Fox News’ Hannity on May 26.
But he also used the interview to make a political jab, questioning Obama’s priorities.
“The president has said the national security threat facing America, the top one, is global warming,” Babeu said. “It’s not an unsecured border, it’s not the terrorists we should be fighting and defeating.”
This is not the first time we have heard a statement like this:
Babeu said, “The president has said the national security threat facing America, the top one, is global warming.”
Obama continues to cite climate change as a great threat to the world, but framing the issue as the country’s top national security threat is an exaggeration. Obama has said fighting terrorism is his most urgent priority.
The Arizona sheriff ignores important context, so we rate his claim as Mostly False.
The following is a video of President Obama saying “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”.
Or how about this Obama quote from The Atlantic;
“ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States. Climate Change is a potential existential threat to the entire world if we don’t do something about it”
Here is President Obama speaking to the United States Coast Guard Academy;
Here at the Academy, climate change — understanding the science and the consequences — is part of the curriculum, and rightly so, because it will affect everything that you do in your careers. Some of you have already served in Alaska and aboard icebreakers, and you know the effects. As America’s Maritime Guardian, you’ve pledged to remain always ready — Semper Paratus — ready for all threats. And climate change is one of those most severe threats.
And this is not just a problem for countries on the coasts, or for certain regions of the world. Climate change will impact every country on the planet. No nation is immune. So I’m here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security. And make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act — and we need to act now.
President Obama may have made other statements which contradict some of his statements on Climate Change – he is after all a politician. But Politifact’s assertion that it is a “mostly false” exaggeration, to say that President Obama thinks Climate Change is the greatest threat to national security, is clearly unreasonable – unless you think that suggesting Climate is the “greatest threat” to future generations, suggesting climate, unlike terrorism, might be an “existential threat” to the entire world, suggesting “we need to act now”, could not reasonably be interpreted as being a suggestion that climate is the nation’s number one priority.
Perhaps next time Politifact could try spending a few minutes searching the internet, before they issue a “fact check” which in my opinion unreasonably smears the integrity of a hero who puts his life on the line every day, to keep America safe from real security threats.