Following controversy surrounding the White House including climate change in its national security strategy released last week, Press Secretary Josh Earnest stood by its decision, saying that climate change directly effects Americans more than terrorism does.
“Climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water,” the 35-page strategy report said.
“The point that the president is making is that there are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the direct impact on their lives of climate change or on the spread of a disease than on terrorism,” Earnest said.
President Obama raised eyebrows after a recent interview with Vox.com in which he claimed that the media “absolutely” overstates the level of concern Americans should have over terrorism compared to global warming. Earnest pointed to Pentagon reports about climate change’s effect on national security to back up the White House’s stance on the issue.
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“When you talk about the direct daily impact, on the daily lives of Americans, particularly Americans living in this country … more people are directly affected by those things than by terrorism,” he said.