Will Republicans Attack Climate Preparedness Even at the Cost of National Security?

Mon, 2011-06-06 07:38Chris Mooney
Chris Mooney's picture

Will Republicans Attack Climate Preparedness Even at the Cost of National Security?

Recently, House Republicans—constantly trying to frustrate all manner of climate change measures by the administration—took a clear step too far. Here’s the June 2 story, from E&E News:

The House voted today to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from participating in the Obama administration’s Interagency Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation.

The amendment by Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) was added to the House’s fiscal 2012 Department of Homeland Security spending bill. The vote was 242-180.

The Carter amendment would likely prohibit DHS staff from coordinating with staff from other agencies to assess the risks climate change poses to domestic security and to find ways to adapt to it, an administration aide said.

The alleged justification for this measure is to save a few bucks. But honestly, if climate change is a potential threat to our homeland security, do Republicans really want to prevent the department of Homeland Security from assessing that risk?

Let’s go to the debate on the House floor over this amendment. Here’s Rep. Norman Dicks, (D-WA), explaining why hobbling the DHS is such a bad idea:

This is a national security issue.

The Navy is now looking at the coastal areas. As the seas rise, it’s going to affect Navy installations all over this country. I brought in the Park Service when I was chairman of the Interior. I brought in the Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service. They all see the effects. We have a longer fire season.

This is something you can’t ignore. This is a national issue that is significant, so to have a Department of Homeland Security that isn’t going to look at the consequences of climate change after what we’ve seen this year is just ridiculous on the face of it.

Ridiculous–and very contrary to Republican values. Still, this hobbling of DHS is not the only such case. Recently, the CIA opened a Center on Climate Change and National Security. Yet it, too, is threatened by indiscriminate budget cutters. 

I cannot believe that Republicans will continue to be successful if they go down this road. For in doing so, they are putting two of their core values into opposition to one another.

Republicans believe strongly in “national security,” and thus are chief supporters of the military and intelligence agencies, and their big federal budgets. At the same time, the party also supports “individualism”—keeping the government from interfering with the free market, which is the lens through which Republicans generally justify their resistance to climate action.

On the national security implications of climate change, however, these values are in obvious conflict–and not in a way that will look good to average Americans who are wondering about the role of global warming in various weather-related disasters.

Previous Comments

House Republicans are merely puppets on a string controlled by the likes of the Koch brothers, Roger Ailes, and the fossil fuel industry.

Yeah, much better to be controlled by George Soros.

Oh yeah, one guy vs hundreds of fossil fuel funders. Even comparing Koch Vs Soros directly, the Koch still come out in front in the spending stakes.

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/09/opensecrets-battle—koch-brothers.html

Then take into account Exxon.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aPuYDoceYMe0

And Chevron:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Chevron

And Conoco Phillips:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ConocoPhillips

And Marathon Oil:
http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000000244&year=2010

Give up yet?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_petroleum_companies
http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/companies/coal/

I’m sure you get the picture.

You do of course realize that ALL the companies that you just listed support cap and trade legislation dont you?

I wonder why they would want to SUPPORT cap and trade?

http://www.conocophillips.com/en/susdev/environment/Pages/index.aspx

http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/safety.aspx

http://www.chevron.com/globalissues/climatechange/

Give up yet? I wonder why these companies would spend money on politicians who want to implement cap and trade legislation thus driving up prices and making it harder for independent oil companies to get started?

If they’re so much for C&T, why do they continue to lobby for it’s removal (see for example, the Rep demands in CA to stop EPA regulators doing, well, anything).

The drug companies were against single payer (and spend hugely to lobby against it, see “Get Government Hands Off My Medicare” poster for how deluded the tea baggers are) but *stated publicly* they were for fair drug use and wouldn’t raise prices (which they then did).

It’s called “playing both sides”.

And it doesn’t prove anything one way or the other about AGW.

“You do of course realize that ALL the companies that you just listed support cap and trade legislation don’t you?”

Adding a couple of lines on their website which cost them all of about $50 in labour for their web developer to add in, is hardly comparable to the tens on millions each one of these companies outlay in lobbying fees & donations to republican politicians.

If they wanted to have a cap & trade implemented they would spend their lobbying dollars trying to convince the republicans to support the cap & trade instead of opposing the democrats at every opportunity. The republicans also want oil subsidies extended & increased, as well as clean energy funding cancelled & the powers of the EPA watered down.

If they actually wanted a cap & trade implemented, then why have their various oil funded front groups & lobbying firms like Cato, or Fraser, or Heritage or Marshall, or Americans for tax reform or AEI, or Heartland send the message out to the public that conservatives are against cap & trade & we need to oppose any pro AGW theories?

http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=639

http://www.cato.org/search_results.php?q=cap+and+trade&btnG.x=0&btnG.y=0&site=cato_all&client=cato-org&filter=p&lr=lang_en&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=cato-org&proxyreload=1&getfields=summary

http://www.aei.org/googleSearch?query=cap+and+trade&start=0&sortBy=relevance

http://www.freedomworks.org/search/results/cap%20and%20trade

http://www.heritage.org/search?query=cap+and+trade

Please supply evidence that that have backed a cap & trade/carbon tax or ETS with actual funding, lobbying dollars, marches or events. Instead of a cheap few words on a website.

In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s called “greenwash”.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/24/conoco-phillips-us-climate-bill

There are just too many Exxon & Chevron greenwashing links to post here.

“I wonder why these companies would spend money on politicians who want to implement cap and trade”

Certainly next to no conservatives have advocated or fought for a cap & trade & considering the majority of oil funding’s go to conservatives, just who are you talking about?

The GOPers have established an immovable party plank that says there is no such thing as anthropogenic climate change. If it doesn’t exist (in their minds), there’s no need to do anything about it.

I keep waiting for them to choke on the sand they have their heads buried in. Will this be the thing they choke on? Probably not. But if the pace of “natural” disasters keeps up or increases, that might be the thing that does it.

The fact that GOP congressmen want to stop agencies even examining the national security implications of climate change shows clearly that they are insecure in their conclusions. After all, if those agencies came back with a report saying climate change posed no national security threat, their skeptic position would be greatly strengthened. What they are afraid of is exactly the opposite conclusion, of course.

Chris, your first link at the top goes to a login page.

By the way, I like this report on national security as well:

http://securityandclimate.cna.org/report/National%20Security%20and%20the%20Threat%20of%20Climate%20Change.pdf

To quote one of the army guys in relation to climate change & 100% proof:

“ We never have 100 percent certainty. We
never have it. If you wait until you have
100 percent certainty, something bad is
going to happen on the battlefield.”

Spare me. This is a slam dunk. $14 trillion in debt and you want the government to waste money on the security implications of Global Warming? Seven tenths of a degree climb in temps in the last 160 years and they think it will affect our safety? Pathetic. It’s the most annoying thing about your hypothesis. It’s all-encompassing. EVERYTHING is affected by co2. There isn’t an aspect of society you fascists wouldn’t want to control in the end.

So congratulations to another Texas hero in John Carter. Here’s to a Republican sweep in 2012 and a chainsaw to the budget in 2013. We’re in a Cold Civil War and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.

But that money goes to the rich, so it is MEANT to be theirs, so you don’t complain.

And, again, doesn’t prove anything one way or the other about AGW.

Just your greed.

Asking people to study an issue costs very little money indeed: probably less than the cost of a single tank, and certainly less than a single warplane. As for the US deficit, the two biggest items of spending this century have been social security and defense, something you do not see in other western countries. There may be good reasons for all that defense outlay, but waste is guaranteed if you do not have the clearest possible picture of what you need to defend against, and with what.
The US Navy, the CIA, and committees of former joint chiefs have all reported that climate change, if unchecked, poses a real threat to US national security. It is not just the location of Navy bases, and the de-icing of the Arctic Sea: there is food security to worry about (impacts already felt, sooner than expected) and increased instability in regions affected by drought. Hikes in food prices and competition for water lie behind many of the regional conflicts afflicting the world today.
Our current level of emissions puts us on the business-as-usual path - at the worst-case end of IPCC scenarios. That implies a global temperature rise of 7 degrees (F)/ 4 degrees (C) above pre-industrial levels between 2070 and 2100. In a recent report, the Royal Society spelled out what that would mean, concluding: “In such a 4°C world, the limits for human adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world, while the limits for adaptation for natural systems would largely be exceeded throughout the world.”
That is science-speak for “a lot of people will die.”
The time delay between upward changes in C02 concentration and surface temperature is about 40 years. Once the changes are made, nature will take 1000 years to reverse them (sadly), assuming C02 levels then fall. So however hostile the climate gets, that is how it will stay. We are not merely in the process of blindly destabilizing our weather; we are blindly destabilizing the foundations of the natural world and the civilization we have built on it.
Wanting to limit the damage does not make you a fascist, green or otherwise. Nor does it make you a socialist. It just means you are reluctant to inflict untold misery on generations to come.

“Spare me. This is a slam dunk. $14 trillion in debt and you want the government to waste money on the security implications of Global Warming?”

Some quotes for you to ponder Mike.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

And

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Talk about projection. Your global warming religion has been rejected by all important nations and you think that by continuing to point at the same old group of Soros bought “climate scientists” someday everyone will change their minds. Good luck with that.

What are you talking about? The GOP side of the US legislature is just about the only place where climate change is “rejected”. And then there is the government in Canada, I suppose, though is does not reject the climate change issue outright. Otherwise the UK, Germany, France, the rest of the European Union, Japan, China, Indonesia and even Russia (for whom gas and oil exports are critical) have accepted the need for drastic reductions in fossil fuel use, and have initiated policies to achieve just that. Outside North America there are NO important nations that do not accept the need to tackle climate change - for the simple reason that to ignore the problem is not something any responsible government could contemplate.

“Your global warming religion has been rejected by all important nations”

You just keep on coming out with baseless comments at every turn. You might get some gullible fools that might be willing to reject facts and agree with you on WUWT, but here, we will ask you to provide more than your opinion. Because outside of the USA, Canada & Australia , most western countries either have a carbon tax already in place, in some cases for many years, while the rest have literally moved on & accepted the science. You have completely lied.

“continuing to point at the same old group of Soros bought “climate scientists” ”

You are obviously a Glenn Beck Fox news fan to invoke Soro’s name like this. But I don’t even think Glenn Beck has drawn the deluded conclusions you draw here. Provide evidence that Soros funds pro AGW scientists.

You need to adjust your tin foil hat.

Like most climate deniers, Muike Mangan is blinded to reality by his political ideology.uYiNM

I agree. He should be open-minded like us climate activists and stop listening to Faux News (LOL!) and tea-bagging racist denieralists! Only commpassionate progressives like us know all the answers and are smart enough to raise the conciousness of the dumb prole masses, and re-educate them correctly.

Heh. I’m pretty sure your’e not a progressive. Next time, add something about “creationism” and “tobacco companies.”

The forces of nature do not give a tinker’s damn about political ideology.