Could Climate Change Be Weaponized?

Here are two certainties: anthropogenic climate change exists and Donald Trump doesn’t believe in it. But what if the latter is not quite true? Firstly, Trump is stoking a revival in coal mining — a policy that has proven popular with the right people in the right states. Acknowledging anthropogenic climate change means doing something — in fact many things — about it. Some of those measures would cost money, and paying for something that doesn’t produce immediately tangible benefits is often unpopular within the chamber and without. (Doing nothing about it also means paying for it — but that’s for another day). The general environment of fossil fuel lobbying and campaign finance is also in the mix. There are a whole host of bad reasons to be an official climate change denier. Arresting climate change will almost certainly involve more than merely convincing Trump that it exists.

Time on ‘A Trump Presidency And The Future Of Climate Change’

Now, there’s something new in the fusion (brace yourself!). Incoming Republican California State Assemblyman Randy Voepel has stated that climate change is in fact good because the US’s “enemies are on the equator […] most of the Muslim nations are in the hot areas of the world”. Let that sink in — there’s a lot to unpack in that statement.

Perhaps it’s difficult to avoid the charge of alarmism, but the following question must be worth asking. Will we witness weaponization of climate change? Passively at least, if not actively? Though it’s hard to say where the line of demarcation lies between active and passive…

It may not be such an outlandish thought as it seems at first. It is difficult to believe anybody would advocate for such policies. While it seems California Assemblyman Randy Voepel isn’t quite advocating that, it’s not a big leap. Voepel has a history of saying outlandish things, but so does Trump and that didn’t halt his march. Such indiscriminate callousness would be close to a zero-sum game; the US itself would suffer terribly. Is empathy in such short supply in this age that the nose would be so aggressively cut off to spite the face? Yet, climate change has already been allowed to proceed largely unchecked. Similarly, apathy has been the hallmark response to the disproportionate climate change burden being borne by developing countries. It gives one pause…

NASA on ‘Earth’s Long-Term Warming Trend, 1880–2015': “This visualization illustrates Earth’s long-term warming trend, showing temperature changes from 1880 to 2015 as a rolling five-year average. Orange colors represent temperatures that are warmer than the 1951–80 baseline average, and blues represent temperatures cooler than the baseline.”
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