Letter: Don’t militarize climate change

(Carolyn Kaster | AP file photo) President-elect Joe Biden's climate envoy nominee and former Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.

With John Kerry appointed as our new climate envoy, it is time to discuss his national security framing of climate change. After his appointment, Kerry tweeted, “America will have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is.” The AP news story on his appointment quotes a Pentagon report that notes increases in border insecurity that will come with a warming planet.

By framing climate change as a national security threat, Kerry, and liberals generally, are trying to get more Americans to care; however, the call-to-action this framing creates does not address the causes of climate change. When we are scared about national security it is the Department of Defense that is funded to solve the problem. With a budget already surpassing an extreme proportion of the U.S. discretionary spending, we can not afford to funnel more money to the DoD under the guise of climate change fueled national security issues.

Their solution may “green the military” some, but it will not lead to the massive changes we need in our energy systems. We are financially handicapping our ability to seriously act on the climate issue by framing it primarily as a national security issue.

I may be wrong about Kerry’s plans, but we should be weary of speech that does not frame climate change as a planetary emergency. In these next few months and years we should be aware of increased funding for the DoD, packaged as part of the climate movement.

Frank De Jong, Salt Lake City

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