On Wednesday evening, appearing at CNN’s town hall for Democratic presidential candidates, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who served as an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve, did a grave disservice to the Americans who died fighting World War II, asserting that the fight against climate change was at least as hard as fighting World War II, and “perhaps even more challenging than that.”
We’ve been having this same conversation for years. I think in order for that to happen, we have to actually unify the country around this project, and that means bringing people to the table who haven’t felt that they’ve been part of the process. I mean, this is the hardest thing that we will have done, certainly in my lifetime, as a country. This is on par with winning World War II; perhaps even more challenging than that.
Does anybody really think we’re going to meet that goal if between now and 2050, we are still at each others’ throats? It’s not gonna happen. We’ve got to figure out a way to rally and that means everybody from cities to farms to the federal government to the international community. I’m prepared to lead us to get that done.
Over 400,000 Americans died in World War II.
According to military documents, Buttigieg served as a Navy intelligence officer in Afghanistan from late March to mid-September 2014. The Hill reported, “Buttigieg represented ATFC at ‘high level briefings,’ the documents say, and ‘coordinated intelligence sharing and targeting deconfliction’ methods with multiple organizations.” The Hill added, “The documents do not say anything about Buttigieg’s time outside the wire, but military officials who reviewed the documents for The Hill note that he likely did not engage in direct combat, which would have earned him a Navy combat ribbon.”
Buttigieg has released a policy proposal vis-à-vis climate change in which he stated breathlessly, “We’re running out of time. Experts tell us that we have 10 years to get on the right path, or global warming will reach catastrophic levels by 2050. For too long, Washington has chosen denial and obstruction.” He stated that certain natural disasters were caused by climate change, writing. “We are already feeling the effects of climate change, whether it’s farmers affected by floods and shorter planting seasons or communities managing storm surges or devastating forest fires.”
Buttigieg surmised that climate change was affecting the military: “Our ability to defend our nation from attack and protect our troops across the globe depends on reliable energy at our military bases. Increasingly extreme weather and sea level rise is already threatening our military’s ability to fight and win our nation’s wars and defend the homeland, with two-thirds of military installations already at increased risk from climate disruption.”
Predictably, he was eager to rejoin the Paris accord, writing, “We will take the steps necessary to rejoin the Paris Agreement on the first day in office and make clear to the world that we are ‘back in, and all in.'”