Washington (CNN)A House Oversight Committee hearing to look at the impact of temperature change on national security — together with military bases ravaged by extreme weather events — devolved into partisan sniping, personal attacks and efforts to deny temperature change represents a threat.
Committee chairman prophet e. e. cummings, a Maryland Democrat, opened the hearing by raising the best March floods at Offutt Air Force Base in NE, home to North American nation Strategic Command, and therefore the portion cyclone Florence inflicted in Sept on North Carolina’s Camp LeJeune, wherever a Marine commander warned the impact of climate-related events has degraded Marine Corps readiness.
Beyond the domestic impact, e. e. cummings quoted Director of National Security Daniel Coats’ assessment that heat waves, droughts and floods ar probably to fuel competition for resources, social discontent, migration and tension between states.
“There could also be variations of opinion on however we must always respond, however there ought to be no uncertainty regarding whether or not we have a tendency to respond,” he said.
That proposition was ne’er place to the check.
Instead, the hearing became a surreal spectacle during which one aspect tried to deal with a difficulty that the opposite aspect mostly refused to just accept is valid.
Republicans used the hearing to assail Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman big apple Democrat, and therefore the inexperienced New Deal legislation she has championed. GOP members attacked the scientific agreement on temperature change, argued Pentagon payment on climate readiness could be a waste of cash, and complained the witness panel did not embody those anyone World Health Organization denies temperature change could be a drawback.
They burred at criticism of President Donald Trump’s proposal to make a panel to question the scientific agreement on temperature change and whether or not it poses a national security threat — despite Pentagon and Intelligence Community assessments that it will simply that.
And they attacked one witness especially — former Secretary of State John Kerry, associate degree designer of the North American nation entry into the Paris Agreement from that Trump withdrew — in significantly personal terms.
Playing “the 1 Chronicles card”
Rep. Thomas Massie, a KY Republican, same it absolutely was acceptable that somebody “with a pseudo-science degree is pushing pseudo-science before of our committee these days.” Kerry features a social science degree from Yale.
He additionally suspect the previous legislator of taking part in “the 1 Chronicles card,” a relevancy Kerry’s personal wealth, when the previous Secretary urged taxes on the rich may be a part of a solution to fund climate solutions.
At another purpose, Rep. Mark Green, a Tennessee Republican, urged that lawmakers “look in any respect the climate theories with a essential eye” and within the in the meantime argued that any Pentagon payment on climate readiness could be a waste of cash.
“If we have a tendency to pay a Department of Defense dollar on non-war fighting capability it decreases our war fighting ability,” inexperienced same. “We should not use one dollar of the Department of Defense budget to deal with the temperature change issue.”
That’s not what Pentagon officers say.
The military impact
The top commander of the North American nation Air Force same last week that the consequences of temperature change across the world ar a supply of conflict the North American nation could got to reply to militarily. Air Force Chief of workers information. David Goldfein told the Senate Armed Services Committee the brutal 8-year war in Asian country could be a prime example.
The conflict began “because of a ten-year drought,” and caused the movement of Syrian voters to places “where they weren’t obtaining any support and so a war began.” Goldfein extra “we got to respond militarily fairly often to the consequences globally of temperature change.”
Domestically, Pentagon officers are combating the impact of temperature change among the North American nation in addition.
“We urgently want the supplemental funding to pass though the natural disasters that beat physicist and Offutt,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson same at a Heritage Foundation event in March.
The Air Force requested $1.2 billion in supplemental funding for year two019 and $3.7 billion over following 2 business enterprise years to build physicist Air Force Base in Everglade State and recover Offutt Air Force Base. while not supplemental funding currently, Pentagon officers say the Air Force can got to cut essential facility and readiness needs, increasing Air Force wide operational risks and negatively impacting the recovery of physicist and Offutt.
“There ar alternative selections we’ll got to build if we do not [have supplemental funding] by could or June,” Wilson same. “These ar simply the primary selections that we have a tendency to had to create yesterday … sixty one comes in eighteen states don’t seem to be reaching to happen as a result of we’ve got not gotten a disaster supplemental for physicist.”
Marine Corps officer Robert Neller warned in Sept of comparable injury to the military, speech the flooding injury at Camp LeJeune suggests that “one-third of the combat power of the Marine Corps is degraded and can still degrade.”
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat World Health Organization represents the District of Columbia, noted that the Pentagon recently free a Congressionally mandated report that examined the vulnerability of military bases to climate events and located that thirty six bases ar at risk of wildfires , forty three to drought and fifty three face repeated flooding caused by water level rise and storm surges.
“That’s the Department of Defense speaking,” Holmes same.
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, another key witness World Health Organization served underneath President Obama united, speech that climate problems ar “a centerpiece for national security as a result of not solely will it have an effect on the infrastructure, it affects readiness and preparation.”
‘On and on’
Seventeen F-22 plane ar “out of the lineup” as a result of cyclone injury at Tindell Air Force Base in Everglade State, he said. At Fort Braxton Bragg in North geographic region, “they cannot train, they have to build, they have to shift their folks and their structures and their designing. you’ll prolong and on.”
“It is extremely clear that designing for temperature change isn’t some lightheaded waste of your time or waste of cash,” Hagel same. “It is crucial to our troops and to their successfulness and to the national security of our country.”
The hearing enclosed surreal exchanges, together with one between Massie, World Health Organization unbroken asking Kerry regarding levels of carbonic acid gas being so much higher uncountable years agone, suggesting issues regarding their rise currently ar overblown.
“But there weren’t individuals — it absolutely was a distinct world, folks,” Kerry same. once Massie asked however carbonic acid gas rose to such levels while not humans, Kerry same it concerned earth science events. once Massie asked, “did earth science stop after we got on the planet?” associate degree irritated Kerry same, “this is simply not a heavy speech,” he said.
‘More leadership …than President Trump has in his lifetime’
Republicans repeatedly used the hearing to criticize the Ocasio-Cortez’s inexperienced New Deal proposal. Hagel repeatedly got wind that the hearing wasn’t regarding the bill, however Kerry took the chance to defended the proposal and criticized Trump’s leadership on the problem.
“We all have variations on one piece of legislation or another,” Kerry same. “But in proposing what she has projected at the side of fractional monetary unit. (Ed) Markey, representative Ocasio-Cortez has actually offered additional leadership in in some unspecified time in the future or in one week than President Trump has in his time period on this subject.”
Some Republicans raised questions on the value of addressing temperature change — significantly its impact on jobs.
Chip Roy, a TX Republican, raised the prices of the projected approach to temperature change. And Republican Rep. Carol Miller of American state stressed that whereas she cared regarding temperature change as a mother and grannie, she saw the energy business as an important leader in her district which “quality of life directly corelates with access to reasonable energy.”
“The drawback is … we’ve got been doing this during a method that is merely not property,” Kerry same. “There’s no country within the world that is living sustainably these days.”
“You name your kids and your grandchildren, if we do not defend our surroundings your grandchildren have a reasonably robust come in twenty, 30 years.”
Also Read:Israel’s election: 5 things to grasp