Climate Change Matter of 'National Security'

Retired four-star Army Gen. Wesley Clark told a Santa Barbara audience Nov. 28 that climate change is a “matter of national security” that won’t go away unless action is taken right away.

Clark spoke at the Granada Theater where a “Shared Mission – Solving the Climate Emergency” panel of experts discussed the hot topic, which the president-elect says is a “hoax.”

Clark said greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are behind rising sea levels and severe weather that in the coming decades definitely will affect the East Coast, but not so much Santa Barbara shores.

“Carbon is not something you can just turn off,” he said. Clark said technology is available to “reinvent” the world’s utility and transportation systems, but it’s not being used for that now.

He said the nation must increase a carbon emission tax over the years to slow greenhouse gases. When that is done, businesses will see the need to find more alternative fuels.

He called for unification against the president-elect’s anti-environmental stance to change his policies.

Clark spent 38 years in the Army and served as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. After he retired in 2000, he became an investment banker, businessman, commentator, author and teacher. Clark has chaired several public and private companies, and is a leader in pursuing energy solutions.

After Clark’s speech, panelists who discussed climate change Monday night included: Bill Shireman, Dr. Julio Friedman and Rev. Mitchell Hescox.