Could Chuck Hagel Turn Out To Be a Climate Hawk?

The likely defense secretary nominee has been confused about climate change… but concerned about it, too.

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy/Flickr

Chuck Hagel, who’s expected to be nominated as secretary of defense this week, has long been confused about climate change … and yet concerned about it too. He has a history of obstructing climate action, but also a record of elevating climate as a national security issue. If he’s confirmed to head the Department of Defense, he might ultimately show himself to be a climate hawk — though not one who hews to green orthodoxy or any party line.

Confused Chuck

On the one hand, Hagel — a Republican senator from Nebraska from 1997 to 2008 and now co-chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board — has professed many views you might associate with a climate denier.

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The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.