The budgets of both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense have landed themselves in the crosshairs of Republican budget slicers, but not for reasons you might expect: The GOP isn't happy with the money the two national security agencies are spending on climate-change research. "The Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency, two of the most important agencies in our national security apparatus, currently spend part of their budget studying climate change," the Republican budget proposal reads, under its section on "Eliminating Waste."
Denying climate science is both wrong and dangerous. But when conservative policymakers take steps to prevent others from considering the evidence the right prefers to ignore, it's a far more serious problem.
For example, officials at both the CIA and the Pentagon are concerned about the national security implications of the climate crisis. Congressional Republicans have a message for both agencies: stop.
Rebecca Leber added, "According to House Republicans, study of the climate's impact on national security fits under 'examples of areas where there should be room to cut waste, eliminate redundancies, and end the abuse or misuse of taxpayer dollars.' But this is hardly a misuse of funds, considering that the Pentagon warned as far back as the George W. Bush administration that climate change is a threat to national security. The GOP simply wants the Pentagon to ignore the problem."
It's not the first time. Last year, House Republicans -- including seven GOP House members who are now U.S. senators -- tried to force the Pentagon to stop working on the national security implications of the climate crisis.
And as problematic as willful ignorance is when it comes to global warming and national security, the more alarming issue is that GOP lawmakers seem to want everyone to ignore the problem.
Congressional Republicans want NASA to ignore the climate crisis.
Congressional Republicans want the EPA to stop considering scientific evidence the right doesn't like.
Congressional Republicans want the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to shift resources away from studying climate science.
In Florida, officials at the state Department of Environmental Protection are under the impression that Gov. Rick Scott (R) doesn't even want them mentioning the words "climate change" and "global warming."
In states like North Carolina, Virginia, and Nebraska, we've seen related efforts to curtail and/or restrict knowledge about climate science.
As we've discussed many times, the climate crisis is intensifying, without regard for politics or ideology. Standing in the way of information pointing to reality will not make the problem go away.