House GOP Tells DHS to Stop Worrying About Climate Change

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Readers of this blog are well-versed in Republican attempts to axe any and all government programs that include the word “climate” in the title. Among their attempts so far this year: axing NOAA’s climate service, taking a chainsaw to the EPA, and attempting to defund NASA’s climate work, to name a few. The latest? On Thursday, the House GOP passed a measure barring the Department of Homeland Security from working on a government-wide plan to prepare for climate change.

Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.) tacked an amendment onto the DHS budget bill for fiscal year 2012 that bars DHS from working with the Interagency Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation. The task force, created by the Obama administration, is charged with making recommendations about how to prepare for climate change. From Energy & Environment Daily ($ub. req’d):

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.

In his statement supporting the amendment, Carter said that it is unnecessary for DHS to use any of its resources to address climate change, because US EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also have climate mitigation and monitoring programs.

Well, yes, other agencies do have climate programs (though I would note that the House GOP has defunded some of the very same climate work at those agencies that Carter now touts). But that doesn’t mean that the national security community has no role to play in preparing for the impacts of climate change. Carter’s not the first to go after the task force, as Senate Republicans also targeted it earlier this year. This latest effort, though, goes the extra step of actively telling national security experts to stop caring about an issue that they have flagged as a concern.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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