Sunday, May 25, 2014

US House of Representatives tries throttling the US military on climate change … by gimleteye

GOP strategists have been reading the polls: recent climate change science and news reports are finally shifting the issue from where it has languished into higher levels of public concern. That's a big shift, given the investment of Republicans in climate change denial.

That investment -- through conservative think tanks, fossil fuel industries, private donors like the Kochs, and the Fox News megaphone -- turned American voters into skeptics and made climate change denial a foundation of the GOP.

Now, the willingness of the US military's top brass to speak out on the real and clear national security threats of climate change is disrupting their plans. Americans have a much higher level of confidence in the integrity of their military than in Congress. So here is how GOP operatives have responded: with a mostly party-line vote last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) that seeks to prevent the Department of Defense from using funding to address the national security impacts of climate change.

The full text of McKinley’s amendment reads:

None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to implement the U.S. Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation’s Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, or the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order.

The website Think Progress comments, "In other words, the House just tried to write climate denial into the Defense Department’s budget. “The McKinley amendment would require the Defense Department to assume that the cost of carbon pollution is zero,” Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) said in a letter to their colleagues before the vote. “That’s science denial at its worst and it fails our moral obligation to our children and grandchildren.”

The amendment forces the Defense Department to ignore the findings and recommendations of the National Climate Assessment and the IPCC’s latest climate assessment, specifically with regard to the national security impacts of climate change. It would also do the same for the Social Cost of Carbon, which provides a framework for rulemakers to take into account the societal, security, and economic costs associated with emitting more carbon dioxide.

If the Pentagon cannot use its funding to implement the recommendations from the NCA and the IPCC reports, the specific impacts on DoD would be vague — and troublesome — because the reports are crystal clear.

Earlier this month with the release of the National Climate Assessment, 300 leading climate scientists and experts told Americans in no uncertain terms that time is running out to confront the dangerous impacts of climate change.

This week, 16 military experts agreed, telling Americans in a report that climate change is already threatening national security and the economy. The CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board authored the report, titled “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change.”


Cindy Lerner said...

How did the Florida delegation vote? Since Florida is ground zero for sea level rise vulnerability, storm surge and other flooding, it is high time we make this an election issue for every congressional representative and candidate this year. The Defense department has been out in front on this issue for years, and they must continue to do so. Especially when our state government consists of climate deniers as well.

CATO said...

Theres lots of reasons to be ashamed of both Democrats and Republicans. And I would also add partisan hacks