As terror rages worldwide, President Barack Obama concluded his tour last week with radical environmentalists from across the globe in Paris for the 21st United Nations climate change conference, while ignoring the most immediate threat to the free world: radical Islamic terrorism. The president used the recently attacked city as a backdrop to promote his environmental agenda on the global stage, claiming that climate change is the greatest danger to humanity and that its effects are comparable to the threats posed by ISIS. His attempt to use this particular city to gain support for his leftist strategies is offensive to those in Paris still recovering from last month's attacks, as well as those in San Bernardino, Calif.
Sweeping the immediate dangers of terrorism under the rug, President Obama plans to use the Paris climate change conference to encourage developing countries to commit a total of $100 billion to the Global Climate Change Fund by 2020, $3 billion of which comes from U.S. taxpayers. His support for wasteful, expensive strategies to address the manufactured, unsubstantiated problem of human-caused climate change neglects the very real, urgent and growing threat of terrorism at home and around the world. As chairman of Texas's energy agency, I am deeply concerned about the long-term consequences of his policy decisions.
Like Don Quixote swinging at windmills, President Obama charges forward with policies that his own experts and studies can't prove will have any future benefits - for consumers or for the climate at-large. His efforts empower unproven, unreliable, and costly alternative energy sources that are still decades away from maturation - like solar, wind and biomass. The only verifiable impact of his plan is economic: It's expensive. Restricting affordable, reliable electricity results in higher energy costs for businesses and individual consumers, which will trickle through every aspect of the economy.
President Obama claims that these green policies are "humanitarian" in nature and asks every day Americans to foot the bill for alternative energy in this increasingly weak economy. Whatever your stance may be on climate change and these policies, most American's do support humanitarian aid to those who suffer, whether from natural disasters or economic hardship. It's part of our identity and also a testament to our generous nature. We are the most compassionate country in the world. Unfortunately, what President Obama hasn't admitted is that United States foreign aid spending has steadily shifted from true humanitarian purposes to a more liberal ideological focus on climate change. Children in Third World countries are sick and starving, and American taxpayers are wasting money buying them solar panels.
Moreover, the president's focus on climate change not only costs American taxpayers their hard-earned dollars and draws attention away from global humanitarian efforts, but his plans are also costing lives, as fighting terrorism takes a back seat to enacting his green policies. This administration's focus on climate change in lieu of the global ISIS threat is resulting in geopolitical changes that are escalating tensions globally, and damaging everything from diplomatic relations, to the Syrian refugee crisis.
Obama's conference with world leaders should focus on humanity's greatest threat today: radical jihadists seeking to destroy our way of life. The tragedies in Paris and California show the real terror that impacts our world and should not be used as a backdrop to celebrate meaningless achievements driven by radical environmentalism.
Porter is chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission.