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house Bill H.R. 4737

Should DHS Produce a Report on Climate Change’s Impact on Homeland Security?

Argument in favor

In order to mitigate climate change’s impact on national security, it’s first necessary to understand what this impact might be. The report that this bill would require the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to produce would be an important means of identifying climate change’s potential security implications.

jimK's Opinion
···
02/10/2020
These studies are extremely important to do, but the results need to be meaningful. Given trump’s dismantlement of agency missions through appointment of woefully unqualified Agency Chief’s beholden to enforce trump’s whims, trump’s banning of all executive branches from even using the phrase ‘science based’, his banning of EPA climate scientist’s studies publication, dissolution of environmental science groups and refusal to pay for independent climate research- the only thing that will come out of this will be more justifications for his white nationalism policies. It would be better to wait until trump leaves office next year to do these studies. All that would be accomplished now, would be a position statement that could be used by climate crisis deniers as a justification to keep their heads buried in the sand. Of course, if trump lasts for more than a year, it will be time to migrate to higher ground in north country because it will be too late to do otherwise.
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burrkitty's Opinion
···
02/10/2020
The US military and property insurance companies have ALREADY acknowledged that it is the greatest risk and started planning for it. You are already late. GET GOING ALREADY!
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Leslie's Opinion
···
02/10/2020
Whether there is agreement on what causes climate change its impact is so important we should take every opportunity to better understand the risks & how they should be mitigated! @BurrKitty: Thanks for the info on insurance & military risk models. Have been reading through the literature on these (links below). @Nancy: DHS & DOD have different remits so different risks to plan for & mitigate with DHS being primarily domestic & DOD primarily Ex-US. DHS should be involved as it may be driving immigration along with violence. On a recent visit to Central America the weather forecast was smoke. It looked like fog but the meteorological forecasts said clear & sunny so the clouds & fog were really smoke. There were several medical emergencies due to the smoke as people with existing medical conditions are highly effected. Made me wonder how much immigration is due to violence and how much is already due to climate change? It’s winter, temperatures are in the high 90s and there is only smoke to breathe? That cloud of smoke won’t stay just over Central America! https://www.wsj.com/graphics/climate-change-forcing-insurance-industry-recalculate/ https://fortune.com/longform/insurance-industry-climate-change-swiss-re-reinsurance/ https://www.cfr.org/blog/climate-change-threat-military-security https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-18/in-dire-report-pentagon-warns-bases-imperiled-by-climate-change
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Argument opposed

The military is already studying and preparing strategies to address climate change as a security challenge. Given these existing efforts, this legislation is unnecessary.

JTJ's Opinion
···
02/10/2020
DHS should do this right after they finish the report on the impact of unicorns.
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Robert 's Opinion
···
02/10/2020
It would be a waste of time and money with the current anti-science pro-pollution corrupt group of climate change deniers in power. Wait until this band of grifters is thrown out in November.
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Ronald's Opinion
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02/10/2020
We Must not borrows money for this. Climate does change, but "Man Made" is a hoax. We can't change Our climate. We must adjust to it.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedOctober 18th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 4737?

This bill would direct the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to assess and potentially expand upon existing federal research projects that examine ways to mitigate climate change’s effects on homeland security programs. The Under Secretary for Science and Technology would be required to produce a report to Congress on these findings no more than a year after this bill’s passage.

The research would examine:

  • The connection between climate change and homeland security, including how the resultant competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent can contribute to acts of terrorism and other outcomes;
  • The degree to which climate change is reflected in terrorism preparedness and emergency planning and policies, including preparedness for, response to, and recovery from natural disasters; and
  • The degree to which the federal funding structure for responding to major disaster declarations and emergency declarations is appropriately structured to meet the demands of responding to, and recovering from, climate change-triggered acts of terrorism and natural disasters.

For the purposes of this bill, the term “climate change” refers to detectable changes in one or more climate system components which are attributed — both directly and indirectly — human activity and altering the composition of the global atmosphere.

Impact

Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS); homeland security; climate change; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4737

The CBO estimates that there wouldn’t be a significant cost to implement this bill because DHS is already undertaking similar activities.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) introduced this legislation to require the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct research on, and take action to address, climate change’s effects on U.S. national security:

“We must recognize the multi-faceted nature of the climate crisis, and that includes taking action to address its geopolitical implications. The national security impacts of climate change are extremely difficult to overstate, yet our lack of research in this area leaves America vulnerable to a wide range of threats–China and Russia are exploiting melting Arctic sea lanes to their advantage, increased droughts and food insecurity are creating ideal conditions for extremism to flourish and our coastal critical infrastructure is under siege by rising seas. My legislation, the Homeland Security Climate Change Research Act, takes important action to address America’s national security concerns in the face of climate change.”

This bill passed the House with the support of two Democratic House cosponsors


Of NoteThe planet has warmed about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century. It is predicted that it will warm an additional 2.7 degrees by 2030. In 2018, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (a federal program responsible for coordinating federal climate research) reported that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially greenhouse gas emissions, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.

According to the Dept. of Defense (DOD), there are national security implications associated with climate change. In a 2015 report, “National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate,” the DOD observed: 

“A changing climate increases the risk of instability and conflict overseas . . . The Department of Defense sees climate change as a present security threat, not strictly a long-term risk. We are already observing the impacts of climate change in shocks and stressors to vulnerable nations and communities, including in the United States, and in the Arctic, Middle East, Africa, and South America. Case studies indicate that in addition to exacerbating existing risks from other factors (e.g. social, economic, and political fault lines), climate induced stress can generate new vulnerabilities (e.g.) water scarcity and thus contribute to instability and conflict even in a situation not previously considered at risk.”

The security challenges associated with climate change were also discussed in the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which stated that “[a]s global temperatures rise, droughts and famines can lead to more failed states, which are breeding grounds of extremist and terrorist organizations.” 

According to a University of California-Berkeley study, droughts, famines, floods, wildfires, and other climate change-related events “lead to instability that extremist groups can take advantage of to create conflict.” This has already borne out in some parts of the world. For example, in Iraq, ISIS targeted farmers whose crops were lost to drought and other events for recruitment. In 2018, U.S. officials observing this expressed concern that both ISIS and al-Qaeda recruitment in the Sahel region were bolstered by increased water instability in the region due to climate change.

In a 2017 article, National Geographic detailed the boost that famine and drought — which are related to climate change — gave to terrorist recruiters in the Sahel in 2009. The article described how a terrorist recruiter targeted “the most shabbily dressed farmers,” promising them easy riches and help feeding their families in return for joining the terrorist organization. Then, in the following years, the jihadists would reappear “with every flood or bout of extreme heat or cold,” and the farmers, “in no state to navigate the extra challenges of climate change,” were recruited. Due to this cycle, some of the most environmentally-challenged Sunni Arab villages became some of the foremost recruiting grounds for jihadists.

The U.S. military is already working to prepare for climate change. It is working with allies, studying potential threats, ensuring resilience to extreme weather and preparing to deploy armed forces when needed. The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) outlined priorities within the framework of “great power competition,” particularly focusing on China and Russia, in addition to threats from North Korea, Iran, and terrorists. The 2018 NDS noted the challenges of an “increasingly complex security environment,” including climate change.

More recently, in 2019, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued a new threat assessment report highlighting climate change’s destabilizing effects. The ODNI report predicted that the “negative effects of environmental degradation and climate change will impact human security challenges, threaten public health, and lead to historic levels of human displacement.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Scharfsinn86)

AKA

Department of Homeland Security Climate Change Research Act

Official Title

Department of Homeland Security Climate Change Research Act, as amended

    These studies are extremely important to do, but the results need to be meaningful. Given trump’s dismantlement of agency missions through appointment of woefully unqualified Agency Chief’s beholden to enforce trump’s whims, trump’s banning of all executive branches from even using the phrase ‘science based’, his banning of EPA climate scientist’s studies publication, dissolution of environmental science groups and refusal to pay for independent climate research- the only thing that will come out of this will be more justifications for his white nationalism policies. It would be better to wait until trump leaves office next year to do these studies. All that would be accomplished now, would be a position statement that could be used by climate crisis deniers as a justification to keep their heads buried in the sand. Of course, if trump lasts for more than a year, it will be time to migrate to higher ground in north country because it will be too late to do otherwise.
    Like (118)
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    No, waste of money.
    Like (19)
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    The US military and property insurance companies have ALREADY acknowledged that it is the greatest risk and started planning for it. You are already late. GET GOING ALREADY!
    Like (50)
    Follow
    Share
    Whether there is agreement on what causes climate change its impact is so important we should take every opportunity to better understand the risks & how they should be mitigated! @BurrKitty: Thanks for the info on insurance & military risk models. Have been reading through the literature on these (links below). @Nancy: DHS & DOD have different remits so different risks to plan for & mitigate with DHS being primarily domestic & DOD primarily Ex-US. DHS should be involved as it may be driving immigration along with violence. On a recent visit to Central America the weather forecast was smoke. It looked like fog but the meteorological forecasts said clear & sunny so the clouds & fog were really smoke. There were several medical emergencies due to the smoke as people with existing medical conditions are highly effected. Made me wonder how much immigration is due to violence and how much is already due to climate change? It’s winter, temperatures are in the high 90s and there is only smoke to breathe? That cloud of smoke won’t stay just over Central America! https://www.wsj.com/graphics/climate-change-forcing-insurance-industry-recalculate/ https://fortune.com/longform/insurance-industry-climate-change-swiss-re-reinsurance/ https://www.cfr.org/blog/climate-change-threat-military-security https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-18/in-dire-report-pentagon-warns-bases-imperiled-by-climate-change
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    But this administration will lie. If tRump is re-elected, they will continue to tell lies.
    Like (26)
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    DHS should do this right after they finish the report on the impact of unicorns.
    Like (18)
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    It would be a waste of time and money with the current anti-science pro-pollution corrupt group of climate change deniers in power. Wait until this band of grifters is thrown out in November.
    Like (17)
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    Even if you do not believe in climate change the damage we are doing to our planetary ecosystems will affect their job. Be it heatwaves, blizzards, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornados, lack of drinkable water, edible food or breathable air. It could be a over abundance on our country’s part thus enticing other countries, organizations, businesses, groups, families or individuals to cause security issues for us.
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    We Must not borrows money for this. Climate does change, but "Man Made" is a hoax. We can't change Our climate. We must adjust to it.
    Like (15)
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    Rofl-not during this administration It would be flat out lies Lies Liars No pc Let’s call it what it is
    Like (14)
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    Libtards: "Oh my god the spending deficit is out of control! But yeah, let's spend more money on this!" Me: "Shut up, libtard." The earth has always gone through periods of heating and cooling. Always has, always will, and even if our entire budget was devoted to control nature, we still couldn't do so. We've found a vent of the coast of the Philippines that is leaking CO2, so even if we stop it (which this nation under Trump is leading the world in CO2 emmision reduction despite Trump's actions) the planet itself can't be stopped, so it's a pointless waste of money. Not to mention the idiocy of have DHS look into climate change. Let's put the money to good use and build walls! ADDENDUM: @Jill: I saw a video from the 70's where Leonard Nimoy was talking about the ice age that was quickly approaching. What ever happened with that? Did we stop the ice age ourselves with CO2?
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    Hey jimk and your ignorance club... climate’s been changing for 4 billion years mr. genius!! And proof that man has sped up these changes, is shady at best! Your spewing of co2... that’s another story! I can’t wait until 2020!!! TRUMP RULES!!!!
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    We know that there are growing numbers of migrants who are relocating due to climate change. We also know that fires, floods, and hurricanes are going to continue to affect national security and infrastructure. We should fully study and plan for how to mitigate these concerns, and that should be part of Homeland Security's operations. Ignoring or denying climate change isn't going to make it go away, and would be both irresponsible and would leave us open to bigger problems in the future.
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    Quit wasting our tax dollars on fake science! The sky is Blue! It is not falling! It’s cold and snowy in the upper Midwest right now! New Your City is still above water and New Orleans will survive! Every July is a Heat Wave! Quit wasting our tax dollars!
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    Not only YES, but HELL YES!! Trump is so stupid. All his rollbacks are adding to this situation. Apparently he not the republicans care about what he’s doing and the proof is right in front of their faces. Weather that has never happened before, North Pole & Antarctica melting which has allowed the PermaFrost to melt releasing all kinds of bacteria & diseases we’ve never seen to be released; Superstorms, more earthquakes than we’ve ever seen and wildfires - who would need more. APPARENTLY THE REPUBLICAN CULT IS MORE INTERESTED IN MONEH & CONTROLLING THEIR MAJORITY IN THD SENATE THAN WHAT IS GOOX FOR THE COUNTRY. AT least their control will end soon when the earth is destroyed because of them.
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    No. The government has spent enough money on climate change. It’s an invented problem. The science proves it.
    Like (9)
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    What a tragic WASTE of taxpayer dollars‼️. Liberals think that pouring more and more $$$$ into what amounts to a COMPUTER MODEL will stop the normal fluctuations in climate since time began.
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    Yes. Climate change is going to have a huge impact all across the country. It will affect potable water, food production, energy production.... There will literally be no aspect of life that will not be effected. Migration of animals (including human), plants and insects to better climates will increase. Extinction of animal, plants and insects will increase. Sea level will rise feet, along with rivers and the water table. Industry and populations along these bodies of water will be forced to move. Ports, some nuclear power plants will be abandoned. Storms will be more sever and frequent, weather will be more eradicate and the resulting costs will be higher. Before these issues can be dealt with we must first recognize that climate change is real. Neither Trump, the Republican Party or their supporters believe. As result of climate change resources will be limited and expensive. Who do you think will be able to pay and who do the Republicans represent, the super rich and powerful. Certainly not the average citizens. Do I think it should be studied, Yes. It does matter though unless those in power believe.
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    The climate is always changing. The way the Democrats and New World Order is distorting the facts related to climate change is a farce - basically, fake news.
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    Nooooooooooo absolutely not. Waste of TAXPAYERS money
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