Countdown to Republican brains exploding in 3… 2… 1.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis may not be a Republican favorite much longer taking into consideration what he thinks is actually a threat to national security. Back in January during his confirmation hearing, he actually agreed with the sensible and intelligent folks of America that climate change was not imaginary and actually poses a for real risk.
In his written testimony, he wrote:
‘Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today. It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.’
Mattis provided the answers to questions asked by Democratic members in written testimony as Democratic senators asked for further information.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) asked Mattis:
‘I understand that while you were commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command you signed off on a document called the Joint Operating Environment, which listed climate change as one of the security threats the military will face in the next quarter-century. Do you believe climate change is a security threat?’
Mattis answered writing, “Climate change can be a driver of instability and the Department of Defense must pay attention to potential adverse impacts generated by this phenomenon.”
Shaheen followed up by asking, “…how should the military prepare to address this threat?”
‘As I noted above, climate change is a challenge that requires a broader, whole-of government response. If confirmed, I will ensure that the Department of Defense plays its appropriate role within such a response by addressing national security aspects.’
He also wrote in his testimony:
‘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.’
That’s in direct conflict with just about every other facet of the Trump administration. For instance, the actual Environmental Protection Agency administrator doesn’t believe carbon dioxide is one of the main causes of global warming. That’s the HEAD of the EPA… the agency that’s in CHARGE of protecting the environment. Plus, Trump’s also considering cutting the budget to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
This is not the first time Mattis has suggested climate change is actually real. Propublica reported:
‘Mattis has long espoused the position that the armed forces, for a host of reasons, need to cut dependence on fossil fuels and explore renewable energy where it makes sense. He had also, as commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command in 2010, signed off on the Joint Operating Environment, which lists climate change as one of the security threats that military expected to confront over the next 25 years.’
So, the only hope for preventing the earth from becoming Water World is our Secretary of Defense… not the head of the EPA. Great. We are truly in the Upside Down.
You can read the testimony from Mattis’ hearing here.
Featured image via Getty Images / Johannes Simon.