Did you know that more than 30 U.S. military installations are at an elevated risk from rising sea levels ?
Surely, John Kline as a Member of the House Armed Services Committee has read the report …
The effects of climate change will adversely impact military readiness and DoD natural and built infrastructure unless these risks are considered in DoD decisions. Environmental factors are already affecting DoD installations; as the climate continues to change, the nature and severity of these stressors will change as well. Many of the problems caused by changing climate stressors are expected to affect facilities located on and near the coasts; other impacts may affect inland installations as well.
The effects of climate change are being experienced now and are expected to increase in the coming years.
Given this expectation of continued climate change in the 21st century, it is essential to pursue vulnerability and impact assessment and adaptation planning.
Heck, he didn’t even have to read the full report, he could have read the news stories …
Climate Change in Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review
“Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating,” the Pentagon said in its latest 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review.
The Pentagon released a long-term strategy that for the first time recognizes climate change as a direct threat that could put U.S. forces in harm’s way. “While climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world,” the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) states. The report, which forecasts threats to national security over a two-decade outlook, considers a security future where global warming will affect how the Defense Department will respond to global natural disasters, deal with climate-induced mass migration and prepare for operations with rising sea levels and an ice-free Arctic. “Although they produce distinct types of challenges, climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked,” the report states. The report notes that “extreme weather events may lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response both within the United States and overseas. In some nations, the military is the only institution with the capacity to respond to a large-scale natural disaster.”
Also, earlier this month, a group of 16 former US military generals and admirals said climate change will harm American national security and cause or exacerbate regional and ethnic conflicts over food and water throughout the globe, especially in the developing world.
“In Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, we are already seeing how the impacts of extreme weather, such as prolonged drought and flooding – and resulting food shortages, desertification, population dislocation and mass migration, and sea level rise – are posing security challenges to these regions’ governments. We see these trends growing and accelerating,” The Center for Naval Analyses (CAN) Military Advisory Board said in its report.
Surely, Representative Kline must have heard of that earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s premiere climate science body, released its authoritative reports on the state of climate science. The latest science shows that climate change is expected to exacerbate heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, and water- and vector-borne diseases, which will pose greater risks to human health and lives around the world. Wheat and corn yields are already experiencing negative impacts due to climate change. According to the IPCC, increasing global temperatures combined with an increase in food demand “poses large risks to food security globally and regionally.”
Earlier this month, the Third National Climate Assessment was issued … (fun fact, the assessment was ordered by Congress and passed by the Senate 100 to 0 and the House on a voice vote … of course that was in 1990). The National Climate Assessment which took three years to prepare and was written by over 240 scientists, confirmed that climate change is real, is caused by humans, and is already harming communities across America. The assessment explains that the scientific evidence is “unequivocal.”
Climate change has started causing problems for Americans in sectors ranging from construction and transportation to agriculture and forestry to health.
Extreme weather, more wildfires, decreased air quality, insect-borne diseases, and food- and waterborne diseases will take an increasing toll on human health, especially among children, the elderly, and the vulnerable.
Climate change is straining water supplies, especially in the West, Southwest, and Southeast. Warming and acidifying oceans are reducing fish stocks.
In addition, “many agricultural regions will experience declines in crop and livestock production from increased stress due to weeds, diseases, insect pests, and other climate change-induced stresses”.
So today, there was a simple yea-nah vote on an amendment offered by Representative David McKinley (R-WV-01) – Amendment No. 1 – “Prohibits funds for this Administration to conduct it’s anti-fossil fuel climate change agenda, which includes the National Climate Assessment, the IPCC report, the UN’s Agenda 21, and the Social Cost of Carbon.”
In short, the McKinley amendment tells the Defense Department to ignore these scientific findings and the impacts climate change will have on our national security.
Now, how do you think John “Coal Man” Kline voted ? Did he consult with his constituents … or just remember the campaign checks that he has already received from the Koch Brothers and Big Oil ?
John Kline voted to deny science.
That’s science denial at its worst and it fails our moral obligation to America’s children and grandchildren.
Remember John Kline’s vote next November.