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Friday, May 30, 2014

Marine veteran "mad as hell": GOP climate-science deniers threaten national defense

by Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch, May 29, 2014

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — I’m mad as hell. The GOP used to be the party of national defense. No more. What happened? In 2003 Bush launched the Iraq War to “defend our freedom.” Flash forward: Last week 227 of 231 GOP members of the House voted to turn the Pentagon into climate-science deniers, a decision certain to weaken national security. That’s about as absurd as telling Silicon Valley they can’t use technology.

AFP/Getty Images. The Pentagon building in Washington.
Seriously, the Republicans just passed an amendment to the $607 billion National Defense Authorization Act funding the Pentagon in 2014. Yes, 227 members of the GOP-dominated House just voted to limit the Pentagon’s ability to defend America, by preventing military planners from using any strategic research the military’s been gathering for years about threats to national security. Listen:
“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.”
Get it? The Republican Party is now officially on record as the party of climate-science denialism. These research programs, ongoing and widely used by the Pentagon in strategic national defense planning for many years, could, if the Senate agrees, become illegal to use.
Yes, this Marine veteran is mad as hell. GOP science deniers have “crossed the line,” they’re now messing with national security. America is now under attack from an enemy within, irrational science denialism, a toxic mind-set, a spreading, self-destructive mental virus. Yes, this is a “War on America.” The military has been using climate-science research for decades. This vote is self-destructive. These research studies are essential in our national defense.
If you’re at all concerned about the safety of your family and our nation, you’ll be mad as hell, too, about this new “War on America.” All 227 Republicans are on record as science deniers, a real dumb message to send to our allies worldwide. Why? If the GOP regains the Senate in November, it may become the law of the land.
For the Democrats, this should be the last straw. These 227 GOP science deniers exposed a dangerous mind-set that’s more than just part of an attack sabotaging our national defense, but a deep attack on America’s moral conscience. This vote exposes a toxic virus spreading nationally. In fact, the GOP’s science denialism is now so self-destructive even the Koch Bros. should be embarrassed for no other reason than that the military is the world’s largest consumer of oil.

Pentagon’s historic use of climate-science research in defense planning

What if the GOP regains control of the Senate? Ask the CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board, a longtime Pentagon consultant that includes 16 retired generals and admirals. They just updated a report that earlier “described projected climate change as a threat multiplier.”
Get it? The Pentagon has seen climate change as a threat to our national defense for over seven years. Their updated report “drills down on the new vulnerabilities created and tensions amplified due to climate change, which it deems a catalyst for conflict.” No wonder the Dems warned GOP leaders before that radical amendment to the budget vote: “That’s science denial at its worst and it fails our moral obligation to our children and grandchildren.”
So here’s the likely scenario if the GOP takes back the Senate. The senator most likely to head the Senate Armed Services Committee is ranking GOP Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, “a vocal skeptic of the established science that greenhouse-gas emissions contribute to global warming.” Inhofe “scoffed at the idea that climate change is linked to national security threats.”
Inhofe dismissed the updated Pentagon report by personally attacking retired Air Force Gen. Charles Wald, one of the 16 contributors. “There is no one in more pursuit of publicity than a retired military officer,” said Inhofe. “I look back wistfully at the days of the Cold War. Now you have people who are mentally unbalanced, with the ability to deploy a nuclear weapon. For anyone to say that any type of global warming is anywhere close to the threat that we have with crazy people running around with nuclear weapons, it shows how desperate they are to get the public to buy this.”
When the report was first released, Secretary of State John Kerry said that for years climate-science research has alerted the U.S military to hot spots and increasing regional conflicts: “Tribes are killing each other over water today. Think of what happens if you have massive dislocation, or the drying up of the waters of the Nile, of the major rivers in China and India. The intelligence community takes it seriously, and it’s translated into action.”
Now imagine Inhofe chairing the Senate Armed Services Committee enforcing the GOP’s climate-science-denialism amendment, warning Pentagon generals never to use climate science in national defense planning.

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