Donald Trump has expressed time and time again that he does not believe in the threat of climate change. He has backed that claim so much that he decided to drop the United States from the Paris climate accord.
Thankfully there are other people in government that accept obvious facts and use common sense. Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis and many other defense experts want to do something about it.
Back in January Mattis described global warming as a “driver of instability” requiring a broader, “whole-of-government response.”
Mattis sees climate change as a threat to the U.S. military operations and bases around the world.
“Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” Mattis said in a written response to a question posed by a Democratic member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.”
Mattis and others are trying to defeat an amendment to national defense authorization legislation that would have blocked a detailed Department of Defense study into the 20-year impacts of climate change on national security and the military.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who offered the amendment to the national defense authorization, explained that climate change “should not be the priority” of the military, according to The Hill.
But that amendment was quickly rejected by the House. The final voting was 234 to 185, with 46 Republicans joining with 188 Democrats to preserve the study.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) argued that the effects of climate change “are drivers of geopolitical instability and degrade the security of the United States.”
“We would be remiss in our efforts to protect our national security to not fully account for the risk climate change poses to our bases, our readiness and to the fulfillment of our armed services mission,” she said.
Elizabeth Thompson, president of the EDF Action, an environmental advocacy group, said the House vote “shows that common sense can prevail in Congress on the issue of climate change.”
“Congress, and all Americans should support our military being well-informed about the risks caused by climate change and prepared to effectively address any global instability it causes,” she said in a statement.