Obama: Worried more about climate change than ISIS – Admin may pursue “climate change deniers”

Of course he is.

Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch comments on the essay at The Atlantic on the “Obama Doctrine” by Jeffrey Goldberg.

Get this…

isis is not an existential threat to the United States,” he told me in one of these conversations. “Climate change is a potential existential threat to the entire world if we don’t do something about it.” Obama explained that climate change worries him in particular because “it is a political problem perfectly designed to repel government intervention. It involves every single country, and it is a comparatively slow-moving emergency, so there is always something seemingly more urgent on the agenda.”

Go to The Atlantic piece and read the whole thing.   Yes, I know that some of you leap in to comment without doing the reading.  DON’T.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is looking into prosecuting “climate change deniers”. HERE

AG Lynch: DOJ Has Discussed Whether to Pursue Civil Action Against Climate Change Deniers

Attorney General Loretta Lynch acknowledged Wednesday that there have been discussions within the Department of Justice about possibly pursuing civil action against so-called climate change deniers.

This matter has been discussed. We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on,” Lynch said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Justice Department operations.

So-called climate change deniers.

Think about that language: “deniers”.  Whom else do we tar with the well-deserved brush of denial: Holocaust deniers.  If you deny that climate change is caused by man, then you are a “climate change denier”.  That’s like denying that the Holocaust took place.

I can hear you libs now, with your whiny, judging voices, “But Father, but Father! You are a very bad person.  You are evil.  You … you … like Latin!  You want the Holocaust to happen again!  You HATE VATICAN II!”

This is really creepy stuff coming from the Obama Administration.  This is creepy stuff coming from POTUS himself.  Climate change is a bigger threat than ISIS?


I’d be interested in hearing what you think about this, if you think about this.  Note the italics.

Do the reading.  Think.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in The Drill, You must be joking! and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Manducat in the hat says:

    I find it ironic that the anti-religious who criticize the Catholic Church for allegedly “excommunicating Galileo for stating that the earth revolved around the sun,” are committing the very thing they condemn by punishing those who oppose their position in scientific debate.

    AGW/climate change is not about the climate, but about central planning/government control of our lives. After 40+ years of failing to convince the public to embrace such control, the government has stopped asking and is now interested in imposing by force.

  2. Absit invidia says:

    I recall Obama chastising Christians at a National Prayer Breakfast for their “past atrocities.” Like the typical hypocrites that democrats are, now the Inquisition has returned under new management.

  3. Andy Lucy says:

    What do I think? Meh. As to the first article, it is no more than I have come to expect from our current POTUS and CinC. The “logic” gives me a migraine. Displacement on int Indian subcontinent and coastal Africa? As someone trained as an archaeologist, we see evidence of cyclical diaspora across the world. It happens. IMHO, we are so arrogant, as a race, we expect the earth to stop changing, just because we might have to relocate our beachfront property. Do humans contribute to climate change? What evidence there is (that hasn’t been tainted by “scientists” cooking their data) is equivocal. So, sorry, Mr President, but is see ISIS (and radical Islam, as a whole) as a much more serious existential threat to this country.

    As to the second…. pursuing civil remedy against climate change “deniers,” I will be incredibly surprised if the FBI actually violates their oaths by enforcing this attack on the first amendment rights of those who refuse to drink the Koolaid. Say what you will about POTUS and DOJ, the FBI agents I know take their oath to the Constitution VERY seriously. Will they violate their oaths if push comes to shove? My money is “No,” but I could be wrong. But that doesn’t make this any less an attack on the first amendment of speech.

  4. LarryW2LJ says:

    Can someone please tell me when, since the time of Creation, that there hasn’t been climate change? The climate has changed, is changing, will always change. I think that’s how God planned it.

    What baffles me is how those on the Left are so eager to embrace the “junk science” of anthropomorphic climate change, which has never been proven; while at the same time, are so stubborn in refusing to admit that human life begins at conception.

    If a microbe was found on Mars, the headlines would be screaming of “Non-terrestrial life discovered!”, while at the same time denying the existence of life in the womb.

  5. Facta Non Verba says:

    The authors of the Powerlineblog, I thought, summed it up nicely. They said: “Until now, has any American administration ever tried to make it a crime to take one side of an ongoing scientific debate? No. The Soviets did that, in order to shore up the hopeless but government-favored theories of Lysenko. Until now, such conduct would have been unthinkable in an American administration. But Barack Obama, to his everlasting shame, is willing to emulate Josef Stalin by threatening criminal prosecution of those who disagree with the equally hopeless theories of Michael Mann et al. American history has come to a very sad pass.”

    In addition, I think the true “deniers” are the ones who refuse to acknowledge the irrefutable science that the pre-born are human lives.

  6. Tiber Swimmer 2012 says:

    St. Thomas More….pray for us.

  7. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I have scruples (overly -scrupulous scruples?: I’m not sure) about “Go[ing] to The Atlantic” in any case, so I won’t (yet?) and won’t comment on that part of the post.

    I had already read various reports (with more of less extensive hearing-transcription selections) about Loretta Lynch and the DoJ and the FBI.

    ‘Deniers’ seems a promisingly capacious and flexible rhetorical tool – what of, for instance ‘gender-fluidity deniers’ (and/or, ‘born-that-way deniers’, as momentarily most convenient?), or ‘”terroristic XYZ are clearly not really Muslims however they emphatically self -identify” deniers’? (Naturally, in some snappier form beyond my prolixity.)

    Perhaps ‘denier’ is the new ‘-phobe’, or even the ‘-phobe’ replacer as I have seen complaints that ‘-phobe’ might have too many diagnostic associations which might suggest one cannot blame the person so described as fully as his ‘obvious conscious viciousness’ deserves.

  8. Ferde Rombola says:

    All of the accurate criticisms of Obama notwithstanding, if we parse the question, we may find some logic in what we oppose. The question of who or what is responsible for climate change is as yet unanswered. Comparing the current state of the atmosphere with that which existed 1000 or 10,000 years ago is aximoronic. (Is that a word?) The massive burning of fossil fuels was not a factor until the 20th century; less than a blink of time has passed between then and now. It is the burning of fossil fuels that is said to have worn away the ozone layer, not the heat of volcanos, etc.

    IF the burning of fossil fuels, which occurs constantly, is responsible for the rapid and accelerating pace of global warming, then that is a far, far more dangerous factor to our survival than ISIS, which is currently located in a relatively small sector of the earth and is subject to opposition and control. The temperature of the atmosphere is now beyond our control. Do the math.

  9. Ellen says:

    Facta Non Verba got there before me. The minute I saw the article, I thought of the Soviets and Lysenko. Scientific dissent from his theories was formally outlawed in the Soviet Union, but after the death of Stalin, scientists were able to criticize him without the fear that the government would jail them. I want to think we will get past this, but there are times I fear things will get worse before they get better.

  10. PostCatholic says:

    I guess I’d like to understand how ISIS is an “existential threat.”
    * An existential threat is one which threatens our continued existence.

    * Climate change, if you accept the current scientific consensus, does threaten the long-term existence of societies by imperiling food and shelter. If you do not accept the current scientific consensus than perhaps you believe climate change being experienced now is temporary or cyclical or not occurring, and you therefore believe not an existential threat. I understand that viewpoint even if I don’t agree.

    * US statute defines terrorism as “Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.” [42 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)]. Terrorism is an asymmetric attack by weak actors without the military power to engage directly. Terrorists resort to dramatic war crime to provoke a reaction and influence an outcome. That they do pose a proximate and serious threat is understood; that’s why we take our shoes off when we fly, after all, and certainly it’s a threat we should confront. But ISIS as an existential threat (such as the Soviet Union and its nuclear arsenal was)? How?

    So returning to Jeffrey Goldberg and the Atlantic:

    “isis is not an existential threat to the United States,” he told me in one of these conversations. “Climate change is a potential existential threat to the entire world if we don’t do something about it.” Obama explained that climate change worries him in particular because “it is a political problem perfectly designed to repel government intervention. It involves every single country, and it is a comparatively slow-moving emergency, so there is always something seemingly more urgent on the agenda.”

    At the moment, of course, the most urgent of the “seemingly more urgent” issues is Syria…

    Correct, unless you either believe that (1) climate change is not real and/or not serious and/or not permanent; or (2) isis is somehow a larger, more capable belligerent which could rival and destroy the most powerful military force on Earth; or (3) both. And if you do allow one of those options, I’d find it reassuring if you at least believe God is on our side.

  11. oldconvert says:

    thoughtcrime? That’s the reality of the North Koreans and ISIS. Have a different opinion on a matter of opinion and we will crush you with the law. I thought you Americans had an Amendment to your Constitution to protect you from such totaltarian measures on the part of your governments.

  12. Kerry says:

    The ‘climate change’ to be “worried about” is, as was spoken in Master & Commander, the Far Side of the World, the trip “straight down to the ‘ot place”.

    [For the reference…]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  13. Jarrod says:

    ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States. If you disagree, I’d appreciate it if you would provide some means by which the organization can feasibly, as PostCatholic put it, threaten the continued existence of the country – a tall order, frankly, for even our rival countries. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t good reasons to completely destroy the organization (there are), it just means that this isn’t one of them. Let’s react according to reality, not hysteria.

    As for climate change, I find that I’m able to reserve judgment on the issue because there are already good reasons to do many of the things that I would do if climate change were true. Air pollution is a bad thing and ought to be minimized. Excessive energy use is a bad thing and ought to be avoided. I am better served, in health and in finances, by walking or biking more and driving less. Insofar as there are ill effects on the community that arise from polluting and waste, there is a role for the state to play, as a minister of justice, in seeing that the costs associated with those effects are borne as a general rule by the beneficiaries of the actions rather than by the community. So you see that I am already inclined, in principle, to accept some of the types of policies (though likely to a lesser degree) that a climate change believer might propose, even if I should conclude that it’s all nonsense.

  14. frjim4321 says:

    Climate change is integrally related to geopolitical realities. Food, water and natural resources are all effected by climate and all of these drive issues of war, peace, terrorism and the like. If the obamaphobic would set aside their hatred long enough to consider the facts they would see that in truth the President is entirely correct with regard to this matter.

  15. DeGaulle says:

    Mr Ferde Rombola, you speak of logic, but this is useless if your premises are mistaken. You appear to accept the existence of “…rapid and accelerating pace of global warming”, whereas the statistics confirm that global temperatures have not increased in any of the last twenty years. This is the reason that the term “global warming” has been replaced by the more ubiquitous “climate change”.

    As for danger, this is a very long-term game. Current CO2 levels are quite narrowly above that below which plants cease to grow and temperatures not drastically above those of an Ice Age. Geological evidence confirms that the planet has had levels of CO2 ten-fold greater than the present. This didn’t kill the planet but supported a density and complexity of life-forms far greater than the present. Mankind’s ignorant meddling with systems largely unknown is as likely to trigger an Ice Age vastly more catastrophic than the worse case global warming scenario as anything otherwise.

    A quick glance at the enthusiasts driving this scam (remember it was global cooling in the seventies) should be enough to confirm this is all about consolidating power and further continuing the expropriation that has already seen less than seventy individuals possess as much as half the world’s population.

  16. iamlucky13 says:

    The simplest retort is that ISIS is deliberately killing people in the thousands *right now* (severe, but also not an existential threat), where as climate change makes preventing deaths in natural disasters more difficult over time. The distinctions between active and passive involvement and acute vs. chronic issues are extremely basic even in secular moral philosophy, making the comparison awkward at best. However, there’s an even bigger problem here than the president’s inability to discuss the difference between terrorism and climate change well enough to pass a 200 level philosophy class:

    “Climate change is a potential existential threat to the entire world if we don’t do something about it.”

    He’s not the first person to make such a statement. Comments along the lines of “take action before all life is extinct” are common in this debate. Ironically, this statement is far more anti-science than any denial of climate change I’ve seen.

    I regretfully concur with the president that climate change is real and at least partially human-caused. The heat transfer models predict it should happen, and the trend so far mostly matches the models.

    However, while those who deny the effect can be understood by those of us not too arrogant to recognize that the limited human ability to digest all of the information science makes available makes it hard for them to accept we’re causing harm we can’t really see by doing activities we’ve been doing for generations, often argued by people harm their own credibility by demanding the sacrifice of unborn children as one of the responses, the evidence also leaves absolutely no reason to believe climate change is an existential threat to the world.

    By making this statement, Obama subtly confesses that his environmental platform is based upon a massive delusion that contradicts the scientific consensus. The fact that scientists don’t criticize people like Obama for making such outrageously false claims further hurts their credibility among deniers and people on the fence about the matter who many heap their scorn upon instead. That’s hardly an ecumenical approach.

    Regarding Fr. Jim’s and PostCatholic’s comments that view his statement as regarding social stability, I respond that would be a reasonable point if it were actually compatible with what the president said. It’s not: “Existential threat to the entire world.” I challenge the accusation that criticisms of the president on this matter are merely “obamaphobic” and I should “consider the facts” by…well…considering the facts exegetically:

    I certainly accept interpreting “the entire world” not in the physical sense, but in the abstract sense of society. That’s high school level reading comprehension at the worst. I could also accept that had he used a phrase even as severe as “destroy the world” that he could mean “ruin much of the progress civilization has made so far,” or as REM put it, “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”

    But the phrase “existential threat” is not so flexible. It’s a linguistically boring phrase that simply means the object (society) could cease to be – not that it is set back, damaged, suffers the death of some members, or is transformed into a lesser state like stone age society. It means human society ceases to be.

    Nor does it make sense to think he meant for an uncommon word like “existential” be understood colloquially – as a figure of speech like TEOTWAWKI – especially since he emphasizes that word over and over again. More concretely, Mr. Obama himself disproved that interpretation by contrasting the societal harm with the existential threat, making it clear he thinks of climate change both in terms of its threat to society and its threat to our existence:

    “…the continuing problems of scarcity, refugees, poverty, disease—this makes every other problem we’ve got worse. That’s above and beyond just the existential issues of a planet that starts getting into a bad feedback loop.”

  17. exNOAAman says:

    For something to be an existential threat, it must actually exist.
    You who still fall for the CAGW hoax; please…give it up already. You’re driving us crazy.
    I doubt even BHO believes himself. His enemy is the 1st amendment, not the weather.


    (Yes, I read the (lousy) Atlantic article)

  18. TheDude05 says:

    Climate change is happening, it has been happening since the Earth was formed, it is cyclical. I have seen enough evidence from both sides of the debate to say at best evidence of human disruption in these cycles is inconclusive at best. That being said, to civilally litigate against someone for their speech, when it is not causing unjust injury to someone, is the most egregious violation of our Constitution. This would be a good test case for the DOJ, because if they can litigate against this, it would be much easier to go after religious institutions, protestors, patriots, Father Z, etc. Be vigilant and prepared.

  19. q7swallows says:

    I wonder what family and friends of those who perished in the Towers on 9/11 would say to POTUS’ claim that isis is not the existential threat and that it’s the environment.

    Personally, I think POTUS is throwing us all a giant red herring and perhaps laying the groundwork for the litigation scenario as a grand silencing technique that Dude05 mentions above. Shifting the limelight from isis to the religion of environmentalism really forwards the agendas of both religions and — for the triple play — assists in the methodical destruction of the fabric of American culture which is, I think, the ultimate goal here. If the potential victims can be lulled out of productive defensive mode by redirecting their thought, discussion, and action to the ‘set'(!), their hands will be idle. This leaves them ripe for attack by the real threat (the already sworn enemies on stage). It is just another snake-like tactic for ambush in the swelling, bilious toolbox of US de-constructionism. Hypnotize & immobilize them with the eyes (using global warming, etc.) so the fangs can go to work. Unhindered.

  20. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I’m not sure “existential threat” can only properly be used as iamlucky13 suggests, but in the passage quoted Mr. Obama contrast “an existential threat” with “a potential existential threat”. PostCatholic identifies “the Soviet Union and its nuclear arsenal” as an existential threat that existed in the past. Ought we to put the Nazis in a different category, in that it turned out their atomic weapons program was much less advanced than we feared? But what category? – they were working on an atom bomb, and, as I recall, testing a long-range bomber by flying it to South Africa, in the aspiration to be able to bomb New York, Washington, D.C. etc. Were they, then, “a potential existential threat”?

    And how threatening are the Islamic State aspirations for at least ‘dirty bomb’ capacity, in the short term? And what are the possibilities of their working together with Iran (as al-Qaeda seems to have done in the past) – on something more ambitious?

  21. Jarrod says:


    No single nuclear bomb is an existential threat to this country. [So you think.] The targeted city might be utterly destroyed, but the rest of the country would move on. I’m skeptical that even ten bombs would meet the threshold. We’re too big a population spread out over too much area – annihilating the top ten cities would kill about 25.2 million people out of a nation of 319 million – about 8%. Some of these cities – San Diego is the most prominent – are major military centers, but you wouldn’t get enough to avoid a healthy military response.

    Looking back on history, 9/11 is by far the worst terrorist strike on the US to date. But with about 3,000 dead, it would have to recur about 2,800 times before just New York City would be destroyed. Terrorism is not even close to being in the league of “existential threat,” at least for the United States. 9/11 certainly reshaped our country, not entirely for the better – but there was never a chance that it would destroy us on its own.

    [The economy being what it is, and the soft infrastructure, a nuclear device / EMP …]

  22. Jarrod says:

    I am aware of those issues, Father. What I have written, I have written.

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    Jarrod: Your assumptions are not supported by credible publicly available data.

    Note the EMP simulator at EMPCover. One need not agree fully with their software to acknowledge they are on to something here.

    Note Jerry Emanuelson’s article on Super-EMP weapons at Futurescience. The E1, E2, and E3 components of the pulse, and the resulting volts per meter, can be varied by modifying the bomb design.

    Note the Senate statement of Dr. Peter Vincent Pry of the EMP Commission Staff of March 8, 2005. See particularly page 5.

    Now let’s take a look at Kosta Tsipis’ book Arsenal, particularly:
    Ch. 2 The Physics of a Nuclear Explosion. This ties in with the Super-EMP article above.

    Ch. 3 The Physical Effects of a Nuclear Explosion, particularly pp. 58-61. Also see pp. 269-70.

    Ch. 4. The Physical Effects of a Nuclear War.

    Note that ten non-EMP nuclear detonations, air-burst or even worse ground-burst, will have many consequences far beyond the initial casualty figures. There are far too many to list here. Note for example Strontium-90 at above 2 microcuries/m2 and its effect on farmland p. 97. And there is the complicating factor of nuclear material at nuclear power plants p. 98.

    Considering all this, and other public studies on continuity of government, societal breakdown, psychological effects, exposure to the elements, disease, starvation etc., the data indeed supports Fr. Z’s comments in red, to say the least. Hope this helps.

Comments are closed.