This week’s must read: Republicans Break Ranks with Pledge to Fight Climate Change (Bloomberg)
This week’s must watch: Rep. Elise Stefanik takes to the House floor.
This week, amid concerns that President Donald Trump’s proposed budget framework obliterates funding for climate change programs and climate science, 17 GOP House members re-introduced a climate change resolution originally spearheaded by former Rep. Chris Gibson. After his retirement, the climate mantle has been picked up by lead sponsors Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Elise Stefanik, and Ryan Costello. While the measure is mostly symbolic, it demonstrates the growing interest from the ecoright in embracing climate action.
“This issue was regrettably politicized some 20 or so years ago, and we are in the process of taking some of the politics out, reducing the noise, and focusing on the challenge and on the potential solutions,” Curbelo said. He is also a co-founder of the House Climate Solutions Caucus. Other cosponsors of the resolution include: Reps. John Faso, John Katko and Tom Reed from New York; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Brian Mast from Florida; Don Bacon of Nebraska; Mark Amodei of Nevada; Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey; Pat Meehan and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania; Mark Sanford of South Carolina; Mia Love of Utah; Barbara Comstock of Virginia; and Dave Reichert of Washington.
In other news, in written response to questions for the record posed during his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that climate change is “impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.” Questions for the record are often submitted when senators are seeking more detailed information on a candidate’s position.
“I agree that the effects of a changing climate such as increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, desertification, among others impact our security situation. I will ensure that the department continues to be prepared to conduct operations today and in the future, and that we are prepared to address the effects of a changing climate on our threat assessments, resources, and readiness,” he wrote. He added “it is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning,” and in response to one question, said “the Department of Defense must pay attention to potential adverse impacts generated by this phenomenon.” In contrast, President Donald Trump has mocked climate change as a security threat.
Speaking of mocking, we have started something new: climate jester of the week will come out on Friday mornings and represent the most absurd comment or climate action of the week. This morning, it was a tie between Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe. Mulvaney, in defending President Donald Trump’s budget proposal framework, said of climate change, “we’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money, to go out and do that.” Likewise, Inhofe, a long-time climate denier who has provided a personnel pipeline to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as it staffs up, asserted the agency is “brainwashing our kids” with its “propaganda.”
That’s it for us. May the luck of the Irish be with you, your NCAA bracket, and the planet.