Obama Calls Climate Change, Not Terrorism, Our Greatest Threat

December 1, 2015

A new SuperCut video contrasts doomsday rhetoric from the Obama administration about climate change with news clips of terrorist attacks, plane bombings and beheadings by the Islamic State.

President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State John Kerry offer the following words in the video about climate change.

"Today, there is no greater threat to our planet than climate change."

"No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change."

"It is indeed one of the biggest threats facing our planet today."

"Climate change is the threat multiplier."

"If another country threatened to wipe out an American town, we'd do everything in our power to protect ourselves. Climate change poses the same threat right now."

"And years from now, I want to be able to look our children and grandchildren in the eye and tell them we did everything we could to protect them."

On Tuesday, Obama appeared to equate the threats of climate change and terrorism, saying they required similar responses. The Hill reports:

"In some ways, [climate change] is akin to the problem of terrorism and ISIL," Obama said, using an alternate acronym for the terror group.

Both threats, Obama said, require a long, sustained effort by the United States to assess and neutralize them.

The administration has long maintained that the effects of climate change -- like rising sea levels, extreme weather, drought and crop problems -- could create more harm and unrest than terrorism, and require a similar response.

Republicans have overwhelmingly dismissed the idea and excoriated Obama for understating the threat of terrorism and not taking it seriously.

Obama’s comments came weeks after the ISIS killed 130 people in a series of coordinated gun and bomb attacks in Paris in one of the deadliest attacks perpetrated by the extremist group.

At a news conference on Monday, White House national security adviser Ben Rhodes refused to directly answer which issue, climate change or terrorism, is a bigger threat to the U.S.

"The leaders who have looked at the danger of climate change, they see even the instability we’re faced today significantly magnified by the effects of climate change over time given the disruptions that extreme weather will have on certain countries, given, again, the lives that will be put at stake and the economic disruptions that will take place with the continued effects of climate change," he said.