Global warming has been off the energy-news radar as high gas prices have usurped the spotlight—however Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has brought it back. “Defense Secretary?” you might ask. “Not Energy Secretary Steven Chu or EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson?”
No. It was Leon Panetta, who, at an Environmental Defense Fund reception on Thursday May 3, declared “The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security.” (Are we going to declare war on countries like Canada for backing out of the Kyoto climate change commitments, or China and India for never supporting them in the first place?)
Panetta’s comments tell us two things. First, as I’ve stated in a previous column, the environmental community is important to the president’s re-election efforts, and, second, global warming will be part of the debate in the coming months leading up to November.
President Obama campaigned with the promise that he would slow the rise of the oceans and enact cap-and-trade legislation. Talk of manmade climate change was central to his election efforts. Now we know it will still be a part of the re-election rhetoric.