While Obama pursues climate deal with China, ISIS expands into Egypt, Libya

The left is collectively wrong about a lot of things, but they are perhaps the most misguided in their belief that climate change is among the greatest threats to American national security.

An August Pew Research Center survey found that a whopping 68 percent of Democrats see the ever-changing environment as a “major threat” to American security while just 25 percent of Republicans agree.

32 percent of Republicans see climate change as a “minimal threat” while another 40 percent say it is no threat at all. A March Gallup poll showed that Republicans are more in line with the public’s thinking on the nature of the threat posed by environmental shifts. According to that survey, just 24 percent of overall respondents worry about climate change “a great deal.”

“Coupled with quality of the environment, climate change nearly scrapes the bottom of a 15-issue list the pollster asked respondents to rate for its annual March environment survey,” Real Clear Politics analyst Jose Gonzalez wrote.

This is perhaps why Democrats should be concerned if, as advertised on the left, President Barack Obama’s vaunted climate change deal with China is among his greatest foreign policy achievements.

“In an agreement variously described as “historic,” “a very big deal,” and a “game changer,” the U.S. and China have jointly agreed to pledges designed to aggressively curb carbon emissions growth,” The Week’s Neil Bhatiya wrote, linking to two liberal news outlets and on climate change advocacy organization. “Much of the hyperbole is merited, following a deal that represents an immense win-win for both countries.”

The left’s self-congratulatory posturing over a deal which will cut America’s 2005-level carbon emissions by up to 28 percent by 2025 and begin rolling back China’s emission by their estimated 2030 peak is rendered even more absurd when compared with self-evident national security threats.

The latest news from the front in the war against ISIS, a legacy achievement Barack Obama will almost certainly bequeath his successor, is enough to terrify the majority of Americans who are more disturbed by imminent threats to Western national security rather than the potential kind.

According to CNN, Islamic State militants have begun to export their brand of militarism out of Syria and Iraq and into Libya and Egypt.

CNN reporters expanded on the threat to Egypt:

ISIS has a new residency in Egypt, according to a YouTube message posted Sunday.

In the audio message, the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or ABM, allegedly announces its allegiance to ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State.

The roughly 10-minute clip blames tyrants and their “Jewish agents and their allies” for decades of Muslim suffering. The message also calls ISIS “the emergence of a new dawn.”

If verified, this would be a new, dangerous chapter for the deadliest group in Egypt. Since 2012, ABM’s attacks have grown more daring and sophisticated. The group has killed hundreds of Egyptian police officers and soldiers. The largest attack was last month in the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 31 soldiers. Analysts put the group’s numbers at from the hundreds to roughly a thousand.

Meanwhile, in Libya, where the Obama administration played a key role in toppling Muammar Gaddafi, an entire city has declared its allegiance to the Islamic State.

“On a chilly night, bearded militants gathered at a stage strung with colourful lights in Derna, a Mediterranean coastal city long notorious as Libya’s centre for jihadist radicals,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported. “With a roaring chant, they pledged their allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State group.”

The takeover of the city, some 1600 kilometres from the nearest territory controlled by the Islamic State group, offers a revealing look into how the radical group is able to exploit local conditions. A new Islamic State commander now leads the city, identified as Mohammed Abdullah, a little-known Yemeni militant sent from Syria and known as Abu al-Baraa al-Azdi, according to several local activists and a former militant from Derna.

A number of leading Islamic State militants came to the city from Iraq and Syria this year and over a few months united most of Derna’s multiple but long-divided extremist factions behind them. They paved the way by killing any rivals, including militants, according to local activists, former city council members and a former militant interviewed by The Associated Press. They all spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for their lives.

The mental gymnastics the left goes through in order to craft a national security threat from the phenomenon of climate change – envisioning a world in which nations are thrust into wars over the scarcity of potable water or arable land following catastrophic coastal flooding – is far less tangible than the prospect of Islamist militants executing low-tech or traditional terrorist attacks on Western targets.

The 2016 Democratic presidential debates will center on how the next Democratic president can build on Barack Obama’s successes in countering the threat of climate change while the Republican debates will focus on how the next commander-in-chief can prevent attacks like those executed by “lone wolf” attackers in Ottawa and New York City. Which do you think will resonate more with the American electorate?