The Trump administration is exploring the idea of forming a special committee to look at climate change and security risks, with the effort being coordinated by a 79-year-old physicist who rejects mainstream climate science.A “discussion paper” obtained by The Associated Press asks federal officials from an array of government agencies to weigh in on a proposed executive order that President Donald Trump would sign establishing the “Presidential Committee on Climate Security.”A memo to those federal officials asks them to direct any questions to William Happer, a member of Trump’s National Security Council and a well-known critic of mainstream climate science findings.“Happer would be a fringe figure even for climate skeptics,” said retired US Navy Rear Adm. David Titley, now a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.Several climate scientists agreed with Titley, including Georgia Tech’s Kim Cobb, who said Happer’s “false, unscientific notions about climate change represent a danger to the American people.”Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes, who wrote the book “Merchants of Doubt” on climate denial, pointed to instances when Happer has claimed that carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas from the burning of coal, oil and gas, is good for humans and that carbon emissions have been demonized like “the poor Jews under Hitler.”Happer’s bio at Princeton University, where he previously taught, describes him as a pioneer in the field of optically polarized atoms. It notes that he served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as the director of energy research at the Department of Energy, where he oversaw a basic research budget of roughly $3 billion.The National Security Council advises the president on security and foreign policy issues. According to the discussion paper, the council would fund and oversee the committee. Among the committee’s responsibilities would be to “address existing United States Government reports on climate for scientific accuracy and advise on the national security implications of climate change.” The committee would be composed of 12 members, according to a draft of the executive order. Members would include experts in national security and climate science. The panel would advise the president on how climate “might change in the future under natural and human influences.”A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment.The Washington Post first reported on the proposed executive order establishing the climate security committee.Published in Daily Times, February 22nd 2019.