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GOP Wants Military Mugged About Climate Dangers

By James Donahue

It was a split vote but the Republican dominated House last week passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill that if allowed to stand, will block the Department of Defense from using the money to consider the implications of climate change on national security.

The amendment, introduced by West Virginia Republican David McKinley, would prohibit the military from using defense money 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.

In his presentation before Congress, McKinley argued: “With all the unrest around the world, why should Congress divert funds from the mission of our military and national security to support a political ideology?”

It is no surprise that nearly all of the House Republicans and even a few Democratic representatives voted to support the amendment, which is designed to help keep the fossil fuel industry out of military planning. How much money did the oil, coal and gas lobbyists slip into the pockets of key House members to get such a malicious amendment slipped into that important military spending bill? Did they think nobody would notice?

As the world is now being racked by some of the most extreme weather patterns in known history, as droughts threaten crops in once productive nations, and as extreme winter storms and extreme summer heat, melting ice caps and melting glaciers threaten life as we once knew it there should be no question about potential military concerns.

A recent Pentagon report noted that the extreme weather events are “threat multipliers” in such matters as poverty, environmental destruction, social tensions and political instability.
 
And even during the years that climate change denier George W. Bush remained in office, a National Intelligence Assessment dared to conclude that “climate change poses a significant threat to national security.”

The human assault on the world’s environment, the problems of overpopulation, pollution and crop failures, the rising sea levels brought on by melting ice caps, and the civil unrest caused by excessive heat, world hunger and disease, are bound to generate civil unrest, war and general chaos.
 
How dare we shackle our military and prevent the Pentagon from planning how to deal with issues that are sure to affect us all? Climate change and the environmental breakdown is the most important issue facing humanity today. We have waited too long to stop what looms just around the corner.