Letters to the Editor

Letter: Irresponsible vote

June 2, 2014

Advertisement

To the editor:

A rather depressing article appeared in the May 28 issue of the Journal-World with the title “Jenkins rejects spending Pentagon money to study climate change.” As the article reported, funds for the most recent National Climate Assessment (initiated in 1989 during the administration of George Bush Sr.) was rejected by the House Republicans, including Rep. Lynn Jenkins.

So, evidently, not only is scientific evidence for climate being ignored by almost the entire Republican party, they also think that no one in the government should be allowed to plan for its probable consequences, including its national security and defense implications. Planning for these consequences is indeed the responsibility of the Department of Defense. This vote by the House Republicans displayed a sad level of ignorance and irresponsibility.

Comments

Brock Masters 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It is not irresponsible to prevent government agencies from spending money unnecessarily. Their are agencies, institutions and other that can study climate change without the pentagon doing it too.

Jim Slade 11 months, 3 weeks ago

So you want the EPA or some other entity to decide how the military should handle problems to national security and defense?

Brilliant!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months, 3 weeks ago

And yet, they forced the military to buy tanks they did not need or want.

Richard Heckler 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Tanks and airplanes and keeping not necessary bases open etc etc etc.

Chris Golledge 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Sometimes there is overlap in purpose for research. For example, the research by which we came to understand how to make heat seeking missiles, and the research by which we came to understand the effects of more CO2 in our atmosphere are one and the same. Both are entirely dependent on how infrared light is affected by different densities and compositions of gases in the atmosphere.

I doubt very much that the military is primarily focused on the direct physical science, I suspect they are very interested in how the changing physical world impacts their mission to protect our country.

It is clear that the original author of the bill was motivated by an irrational desire to believe the world is other than the last 150 years of science tells us it is. In the absence of any evidence that the military intends to spend the money on research not related to our national defense, I suspect that this is just another facet of denial, much like my relative who refused to get tested to see if that lump was cancer.

Brock Masters 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I think we can agree that there is climate change. Where we disagree is you appear to trust the government and I don't.

I see a ploy from the Pentagon to increase its authority, increase its funding while proving corporate welfare to companies including those that employ former military members.

What does the pentagon really need to know besides how to deal with military activities in harsh environmental conditions - something it has done for centuries.

They don't need to study how the climate is changing as others are doing it. Focus on h.

Jim Slade 11 months, 3 weeks ago

"What does the pentagon really need to know besides how to deal with military activities in harsh environmental conditions - something it has done for centuries. "

This statement shows your level of ignorance on national defense and strategic planning.

Brock Masters 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Jim your insults and snarky remarks add nothing to the discussion. Why not tell me what I am missing instead of attacking me.

What does the military need to know about climate change that isn't available? As I said, they can figure out how to deal with it, but shouldn't be the ones studying climate change. Yes, let the EPA, universities and scientist study and report on climate change. The pentagon can use that information to ready our armed forces.

The military deals with harsh conditions today. Continue to develop better equipment and technology for operating in these conditions but leave the study of climate change to others already doing it.

I do think that is a brilliant and reasonable approach.

Jim Slade 11 months, 3 weeks ago

What you fail to realize is now they CAN'T do that very thing because the GOP blocked them from spending any money on how to plan for potential problems arising from climate change. They aren't studying whether or not it's man made, they are studying what impacts it will have on our operations. But the GOP just said "No!"

Climate change may have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to greater competition for more limited and critical life-sustaining resources like food and water. While the effects of climate change alone do not cause conflict, they may act as accelerants of instability or conflict in parts of the world. Climate change may also lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response, both within the United States and overseas.

Second, DoD will need to adjust to the impacts of climate change on its facilities, infrastructure, training and testing activities, and military capabilities. DoD’s operational readiness hinges on continued access to land, air, and sea training and test space, all of which are subject to the effects of climate change.

But again the GOP just said no to spending any money to study how this will impact the DOD and how we can plan ahead for any problems that may arise.

For example: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/in-norfolk-evidence-of-climate-change-is-in-the-streets-at-high-tide/2014/05/31/fe3ae860-e71f-11e3-8f90-73e071f3d637_story.html

But I guess the GOP doesn't care if Navy personnel can't access the Navy base for a few hours everyday. I'd like the Dept of Navy to spend a few backs looking at what can be done to avert this, but the GOP just says "Nah!"

Brock Masters 11 months, 3 weeks ago

We disagree on what is prohibited. From my research the Pentagon can plan, they just can't spend money on studying climate change. The data is out there already.

What new climate changes are likely to occur that will adversely affect its current facilities, infrastructures, etc?

I see this as ploy for more funding and for lining the pockets of contractors.

The military already has funding for research. Use the current climate models and develop a plan. They aren't prohibited from doing that.

Jim Slade 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Then you haven't read the amendment. It specifically states no NDAA funds can be used by the DOD to plan for, or implement any actions based off of climate change research.

Read it for yourself. http://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/MCCLIMATE51914080929929.pdf

You asked what climate changes are likely to occur that will adversely affect our current facilities? Go back and read the article I posted in regards to Norfolk NAS. And that's just one SMALL example.

Brock Masters 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I did read the amendment and your statement is not accurate. You stated it prohibits any actions based off of climate change research. Not true. It prohibits action to implement certain climate change assessments.

SEC. 318. PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS TO IMPLEMENT 2 CERTAIN CLIMATE CHANGE ASSESSMENTS 3 AND REPORTS. 4 None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or 5 otherwise made available by this Act may be used to imple- 6 ment the U.S. Global Change Research Program National 7 Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Cli- 8 mate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, the United Na- 9 tion’s Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, or the 10 May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon 11 for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12 12866.

Jim Slade 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Where do you think those assessments get their info from? From the climate change research that has been conducted.

Brock Masters 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Doesn't matter where they get the info. The amendment simple states that they can't implement those select assessments. It doesn't prevent the Pentagon from taking steps to prepare for climate change.

You're reading more into the amendment than is actually there.

After posting I realized you probably won't take my word for it so I did some more research. Here is one link that backs me up. I purposely cited a non-conservative blog.

http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2014/05/27/the-pentagon-sees-climate-change-as-a-national-security-threat-house-republicans-seek-to-thwart-it/

Chris Golledge 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Brock, the Pentagon isn't asking for more funding, they are being told how not to spend their funding. And whatever climate research they are interested in probably has little to do with harsh conditions; I suspect it has a lot more to do with: Will flooding in Bangledesh displace millions of people and potentially destabilize the border with India? How likely is it that a shift in monsoons will cause conflicts over water between India and Pakistan? How soon do they need to prepare to operate on a large scale in the Arctic? What impacts will a continuing drought in China have? How likely is it that Russia will experience another heat wave which crashes their wheat harvest like the one in 2010, and what impacts will that have on Middle Eastern countries, which get most of their wheat from Russia? (Do you remember the Arab Spring started with food riots in Tunisia, January 2011? And you are aware we have some "involvement' in the Middle East, correct?) How likely is it that 2 of the top 3 grain producers suffer a similar heat wave in the same year? Etc.

Maybe you don't see it, but the answers to these questions do affect military planning.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The Republican Party is unalterable opposed to ANYTHING that the black president proposes. The Koch Regime Kansas Government is in lockstep with this viral bigotry.

Richard Heckler 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The Navy see's climate change as a real concern therefore must move forward rather than procrastinate due to political nonsense on capitol hill.

Here is a link that offers some detail in the Navy's effort: http://www.julia-whitty.com/news/2013/3/4/full-green-ahead-links-love

Richard Heckler 11 months, 3 weeks ago

There are a variety of features surrounding Full Green Ahead the USA economy should be absorbing namely creating tons of new employment which ultimately translates into new economic growth …… of course.

http://www.altenergymag.com/emagazine/2010/12/full-green-ahead-in-the-ontario-job-market/1632

Richard Heckler 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Another reasonable link: Global Warming - Confronting The Realities of Climate Change from Union of Concerned Scientists

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/

A site with substance: http://www.ucsusa.org

Richard Heckler 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The streets of Norfolk, Virginia, regularly flood now at high tide, often trapping people in their homes and preventing them from getting to work.

Brock Masters 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The shipping trade has increased 1000-fold since 1972. Part of the flooding is attributed to the millions of large cargo carrying ships on the ocean displacing and thus causing the water levels to rise.

Chris Golledge 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You are not serious, are you?

Sea level has risen about 9 cm. There are 360 million square kilometers of sea surface. That's about 280,000 cubic kilometers of water volume.

The world fleet is about 1.5 billion tonnes, fully loaded. Boats float, usually, so, they only displace an equal weight of water. A tonne is 1,000 kilograms. Sea water is only slightly more dense than pure; so, we'll use 1 kg/liter.

Hold on, lot's of decimal places here... One cubic km weighs 1 000 000 000 tonnes. So, sea level rise represents about 280 000 billion tonnes of water.

The entire shipping fleet, if every ship in the world were fully loaded with cargo and fuel at the same time, would represent 15/28000 = 0.0005% of the observed rise in sea level, about 0.000045 centimeters.

A phone book page might be 0.01 centimeters. If you had a phone book 9 cm thick, your shipping fleet contribution to sea level rise would be less than 1/200 of a single page.

Thank you for that mind-bogglingly inept assertion.

Brock Masters 11 months, 3 weeks ago

No Chris, I wasn't serious but thanks for playing along.

Jim Phillips 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It's funny how the only "scientists" the left follows like puppy dogs are the ones who are getting paid to study 'global warming". The scientists who refute this sham are scoffed at. But, for the sake of argument, let us drink of the Kool-Aid and believe "global warming" is a reality. The answer is quite simple and uses the "accepted science".

In the 1970s and the 1980s, we were battling "global cooling"! Yes, it's true, and it was going to kill the planet! Well, we obviously solved the "global cooling" scare by removing chlorofluorocarbons from all of our aerosol cans and replacing inexpensive air conditioner freon with a more expensive variety, thus going in the opposite direction and getting us too warm. So, it stands to reason that if we infuse our atmosphere with a calculated dose of chlorofluorocarbons, we will solve "global warming"!

Ken Lassman 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Nice idea, other than the fact it has nothing to do with reality. There were real fears about a recurrence of an ice age back then simply because we didn't have enough understanding of atmospheric dynamics and the earth's energy balance back then to know what the data we'd been collecting meant. The congress then allocated monies to the scientific community not to line their pockets but to get a better handle on what is happening. The resulting data has been unambiguous ever since that the problem is not global cooling but global warming and the physics behind it has nothing to do with gases from air conditioners being used or not used.

Richard Heckler 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The Navy wants to move forward getting ahead of Climate Change. It's been in the news for about 3 years or more. Now the GOP brainless are wanting to cut Climate Change funding from the Pentagon budget = DUMB.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/02/navy-climate-change-great-green-fleet

Climate Change is here,the waters are rising and Norfolk,Virginia is losing the battle as we speak. People will be moving further inland through no choice of their own.

Climate Change is all powerful. The Navy deserves a standing ovation for having the substance driving their ability to understand the need to move forward in spite of the ignorance within congress.

Richard Heckler 11 months, 3 weeks ago

This report, “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine” documents roughly 40 climate denial and opposition organizations receiving Koch foundation grants in recent years, including: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/03/30/174616/koch-denial-machine/

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/fight-misinformation/

Human made pollution brings on global warming which brings on Climate Change. Makes sense and lots of it…. I'd say.

While global warming has been a concern for many many many many many many many decades some things are for certain:

  1. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions of humans polluting planet earth

  2. Never before has there been billions upon billions of gasoline burning vehicles spewing pollution into the atmosphere

  3. Never before has there been billions of homes demanding energy from polluting sources

  4. Never before has there been billions of buildings demanding energy from polluting sources

  5. Never before has there been billions of polluting energy generating sources

  6. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of humans supporting the clearing of the rainforest for food products not knowing the long term impact of removing massive numbers of trees and medicinal plants.

  7. Never before has planet earth been expected to absorb tons and tons and tons and tons of pollution with human beings having no idea what the impact might be.

  8. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of human beings believing THEIR pollution is having zero impact ....... can we say ignorance is bliss.

  9. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of humans applying millions of gallons and or pounds of toxic chemicals to the landscapes.

  10. Air and water pollution are man made driven by ignorance that nature is invincible. All of us have been ignorant of this until some decided to learn that there may be a connection to the human wasteful lifestyles.

YOU decide : http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/

Commenting has been disabled for this item.