The GOP War Against Climate Adaptation

Some people naively believe we can get DC politicians to support adaptation funding if only we stop talking about climate science.  They call themselves “climate pragmatists.”  The true realists among us call them hopelessly naïve.

The fact is that if you reject science, if you think climate science in particular is some sort of liberal plot, then the last thing you would do is spend money “planning” or “adapting” for climate change.

The anti-science extremists who now run the House, of course, are not merely climate science deniers. They believe slashing all forms of government spending is more important than, say, voting to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States — even during the midst of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

So other than faux pragmatists, the rest of us aren’t surprised in the least that the GOP-led House has been voting to gut climate adaptation efforts across the federal government — including even the most minimal planning efforts.  TP Green has a list:

NOAA CLIMATE SERVICE: In the Commerce, Justice, and Science committee report, “It is the Committee’s intention that no funds shall be used to create a Climate Service at NOAA.”

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS CLIMATE READINESS: Language in the Energy and Water appropriation committee report offered by Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) prohibits spending on response to climate change in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, with $4.9 million cut from their budget and transferred to the Spending Reduction Account. Approved by a House vote of 218-191.

AGRICULTURE CLIMATE READINESS: A rider in the Agriculture appropriation (Sec. 755) blocks the Agriculture Department (USDA) from carrying out its Policy Statement on Climate Adaptation. The rider by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) would prevent the USDA from even assessing what impacts climate change might have on farmers, foresters and other landholders. Approved by a House vote of 238-179.

HOMELAND SECURITY CLIMATE READINESS: A provision in the Homeland Security appropriation (H.R. 2017, Sec. 707) offered by Rep. John Carter (R-TX) prevents the Department of Homeland Security from running its Climate Change Adaptation Task Force. Approved by a House vote of 242-180.

Yes, that’s right the Army Corp can’t plan for climate change in its projects.

And the Department of Agriculture can’t either!  Here’s more on that from Greenwire:

The amendment, which passed 238-179 and was offered by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) to the fiscal 2012 Agriculture spending bill, would prohibit USDA from using funds to implement its June 3 departmental regulation calling for an assessment of how increased occurrence of severe weather events linked to climate change may affect the department’s operations — and the farmers it serves. A final assessment of USDA’s vulnerabilities to climate change is due to be completed by March 2012.

“Climate change adaptation is a critical complement to mitigation,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the June 3 policy statement. “Both are required to address the causes and consequences of climate change. Through adaptation planning, USDA will develop, prioritize, implement, and evaluate actions to minimize climate risks and exploit new opportunities that climate change may bring.”

So we know that  climate change makes certain extreme weather events that are particularly harmful to farmers — heat waves, droughts, floods — more likely and more severe.  But the House doesn’t want anyone planning for that.

And that’s not all.  If you think the deniers care that the richest countries —  who got rich releasing most of the greenhouse gases  responsible for climate change to date — feel  any responsibility whatsoever to help the poorest in other countries deal with the mess we created, well, you  must be a climate pragmatist:

A panel of the US Congress on Thursday moved to bar foreign assistance related to climate change, defying President Barack Obama’s calls to contribute as part of an international accord.On a party line vote, the Republican-led House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to ban funding in next year’s budget for Obama’s initiative to support poor nations in adapting to climate change or pursuing clean energy….

The funding would include assistance to the poorest nations including small islands feeling the brunt of climate change, as well as efforts to encourage clean energy and to reduce deforestation.

The fact is that while some people certainly don’t want to hear about climate science, the failure by progressive political leaders and others to talk clearly and repeatedly about the science over the past two years in a failed effort to sell the climate bill has not made it more likely we will adapt, but less likely.  If that’s pragmatism, please, please, give me some good-old-fashioned science-based idealism.

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Below are old comments from the previous Facebook commenting system:

Peter S. Mizla

My reply

“I know we do not need ‘Gub Ment’ aka Government to solve our problems. We do need the Oil and coal companies to safeguard the environmen­t on a finite planet for our children and grandchild­ren.

Guess what- your ideas make the likelihood for a disaster of planetary proportion­s in the near future.

Cuz guess what it will happen?- and you can kiss this country goodbye.”.

Sunday at 5:16pm

Raymond Strand

We have to stop the idea that compromise is acceptable. You don’t compromise with crazy.

Sunday at 5:26pm

Kevin Almeroth

Even if you meet crazy half way, that makes you half-crazy. With half-crazy as the new upper limit on sanity, that makes even the full crazy look not so crazy. Wow, that’s crazy.

Monday at 1:14pm

Peter S. Mizla

The President of the USA Thinks we have to compromise— with wing nuts.

Sunday at 5:37pm

Leif Erik Knutsen

It would seam like since the President is Commander in Chief and that the US Military has declared climatic disruption a national security issue some very big toes are being stepped upon by some buy some light weight egos. Surely someone should be getting a bit peeved.

Sunday at 6:27pm

Shaw Lacy

Shouldn’t that be “Army Corps” and not “Army Corp”?

Sunday at 9:20pm

Jeffrey Davis

Want change? Prove the bribes. Simple as that. Follow the money.

Sunday at 9:30pm

Paul Magnus


Monday at 1:15am

Paul Magnus

Canada overstating effect of greenhouse gas policies.
The Conservative government is overestimating the effectiveness of some of its environmental policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and is nowhere near being able to meet its 2020 emissions target, according to an analysis published last week.

Monday at 1:16am

Paul Magnus

Do they take this rebound effect in SL calculations?​m/article/mg21128235.300-a​ntarctica-rising-as-ice-ca​ps-melt.html

Monday at 1:17am

Paul Magnus

The world gone bananas….​011/07/26/the-breivik-mani​festo-and-the-monckton-con​nection/

Monday at 1:27am

Paul Magnus​2011/07/27/arkansas-commis​sion-votes-to-ban-wells/

Monday at 1:54am

Paul Magnus

Commissioners voted 6-0 to close a disposal well between Greenbrier and Enola in the Fayetteville Shale, an area rich in natural gas that stretches across the state. The commission also voted 7-0 to issue a moratorium on new disposal wells

Monday at 1:54am

Barry Saxifrage

Meanwhile, in California conservatives strongly support funding for green energy, stronger energy efficiency standards and the state’s greenhouse gas laws. And 79% of Californians support GHG laws…with majorities in favor of both cap-and-trade and a carbon tax.

Perhaps most telling is that the number of Republicans that think the effects of climate change are starting to show has risen ten percentage points in the last year. 40% of conservatives now think climate change is a very serious threat and another 22% think it is somewhat serious. Aka: majority of GOP. As we all know, that number is just going to grow and grow as the climate destabilizes further with increased fossil fuel pollution. The national GOP party’s messaging on climate change is starting to fail in California big time. As goes California, so goes the nation.


Monday at 1:57am

Dave Babler

Is it bribery or are these teajadists simply being small and petty, as usual?

Monday at 2:27am

Michael McMurtrey

Let’s face it: Climate science deniers are morons, plain and simple. Reasoning with them is like arguing with a fence post.

Monday at 7:36pm

Rakesh Malik

This is what happens when you combine abject stupidity and total corruption with power: everyone loses. And our children’s children will be living in an industrial wasteland.

Monday at 7:57pm

Nina Cierniak

read :( have you got any better news? ;) greets :))))

15 hours ago

Rakesh Malik

Not related to anything our government is doing… but I might have some better news in the near future if things go well ;)
How are you?

14 hours ago

Thomas Manaugh

At​/pg-Green-Chamber-Petition​ .html Dolphin Blue has displayed a petition to the US Chamber of Commerce, asking that organization to support environmental protections. Unfortunately, most politicians and businesses are staying mute instead of challenging the Chamber’s well-financed support for the agenda of climate-change deniers and the worst polluting industries.

Monday at 9:45pm

Rick Johnson

Where is our President who used to believe the planet is in peril? Actually, the planet is not in peril; the human and many non-human species are, however. As one wag once said, “Nature eventually settles all scores.”

Yesterday at 10:03am

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