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Public Statements

The Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


* Mr. MARKEY. Madam Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act.

* The nexus between global warming and the national security of the United States is a crucial, yet long-ignored, issue. The adverse consequences of rising global temperatures present not only a potential environmental catastrophe but a national security emergency.

* The security-related consequences of global warming will range from hampering U.S. military operations to worsening the scarcity of essential resources in already unstable regions--which can lead to the failed states that are a central breeding ground for terrorism, But because the U.S. intelligence community has never analyzed the potential for global warming to harm our national security, we lack a thorough understanding of what these threats are. This means that the Department of Defense and other security agencies cannot comprehensively plan for the security consequences of global warming the way that they plan for countless other serious contingencies.

* Today, I am introducing the ``Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act.'' This bill is cosponsored by the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Bartlett) the gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Larson, the gentlelady from California, Ms. Eshoo, the gentlelady from California, Ms. Solis, the gentlelady from New York, Mr. Hall, the gentleman from Washington, Mr. McDermott, and the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Olver. This legislation will jump-start U.S. defense planning for the security consequences of global warming by authorizing a National Intelligence Estimate (NIB) to assess the implications of global warming to United States security and military operations. Our bill, the House companion to legislation already introduced by Senator Durbin and Senator Hagel, will provide a crucial planning and risk-assessment tool as the Congress seeks innovative solutions to global warming. Developed to assess the most serious threats to the United States, NIBs are the most authoritative intelligence judgments on national security issues. This legislation will also fund research by the Defense Department into the consequences for U.S. military operations posed by global warming.

* It seems clear that our geopolitical and national security posture will only grow worse if we do not act forcefully to curb our dangerous dependence on imported oil and reduce our emissions of global warming pollution. At the beginning of February, the world's top scientists, as part of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), provided a scientific smoking gun that human activities were unequivocally responsible for global warming. Two weeks ago, their second report told us what happens when the climatic bullet hits. The developing world will bear the brunt of the collateral damage from our historic global warming emissions, but the United States will experience its own self-inflicted wounds, including threats to our national security and military readiness.

* The United States must act now to understand the security implications of global warming. The Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act will allow us to do so.

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