The Collaborative Institute

Building Connections

December 1, 2010
by The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)

Climate Change Denial: GOP Members Speak Out

Recently, we reported on how recent elections potentially signify a further shift away from climate change legislation, in favor of profit-maximizing practices that jeopardize health and safety. However, Dot Earth’s Andrew Revkin brings our attention to the "Rational Discussion of Climate Change" hosted by the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology on November 17, 2010. Revkin expresses some hope that this "(relatively) civil hearing on basic questions related to climate science and policy options" by the lame-duck congressional members is indicative of future work by incoming members. It’s possible at least two Republicans may help push their party in a different direction.

Ranking Member of the Environment Subcommittee, Bob Inglis (R-SC), had some harsh words for his fellow GOPers who are stridently disputing the truth and scientific proof of global warming: "They slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and they’re experts on climate change. They substitute their judgment for people who have Ph.D.s and work tirelessly [on climate change]." He points out the cogent science being presented, as well as the economic benefits of acting now.

Inglis isn’t the only Republican calling out the GOP. In the November 19, 2010, edition of the Washington Post, Sherwood Boehlert, a former Republication representative of New York’s 24th District in Congress (1983-2007), calls on "fellow Republicans to open their minds to rethinking what has largely become [their] party’s line: denying that climate change and global warming are occurring and that they are largely due to human activities." He points out that he understands "there is a natural aversion to more government regulation. But that should be included in the debate about how to respond to climate change, not as an excuse to deny the problem’s existence." As he makes clear, the science presented from experts around the globe is sound. The science should not be questioned; the questions lie in how to respond to climate change legislatively.

Will these voices be heard over the din of climate change denial? Can partisan politics take a backseat to human and national security, as well as economic competition, in order to address climate change?

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November 10, 2010
by The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)

Increasing Concern Over Climate Change as National Security Threat

With the recent elections, Congress appears poised for an even further shift away from climate change legislation. Republican strategist Karl Rove, for one, is rejoicing that "climate is gone," in favor of profit-seeking practices that jeopardize health and security.

However, as depicted in Bruce Lieberman’s posting "Continuing Concerns Over Implications Of Climate Change for National Security," climate change is increasingly being recognized for its potential threat to human and national security:

"At a recent briefing on Capitol Hill, far from the alert attention of mainstream news organizations, retired General Anthony Zinni warned that the global loss of forests, freshwater, fish and arable land is driving political instability and threatening global security.

‘Whether it be climate change, whether it is the disruption of the environment in other ways … we’re going to see more failed and incapable states,’ said Zinni, a former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Central Command.

The briefing, hosted by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Center for a New American Security, marked one of a number of recent discussions across the nation’s capital, across the nation, and overseas about how policy thinkers and military planners are viewing continued climate change as a national security issue." 

Where is the disconnect between government and military thought-leaders? What can the armed services do to counteract increased security threats from climate change when national policies do not reflect a sense of urgency?

Also be sure to check out "Climate Change A Growing Concern for U.S. Navy."

To get more info on events and other news, sign up for the CIOCS listserv by emailing


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