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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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