A new coalition of U.S. Representatives, Faith and Military Leaders
unveiled a new push to secure strong global warming policy and ensure
that the most vulnerable throughout the world are supported in efforts
to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This effort was launched
with the support of U.S. Representatives Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Tom
The group launched a major new advertising and email campaign to push for action to address global warming (listen to the ad here and see the press release),
bolstered by new polling that shows a strong majority of American's,
Catholics, and Evangelicals support action on global warming pollution
(see poll results here).
This campaign also focused on the need to ensure that sufficient
international adaptation funding is included in the final legislation
to ensure that "the most vulnerable populations in developing countries
have the resources they need to proactively adapt to climate change".
When I told some "non-climate" people about the make-up of this
coalition -- not normally aligned groups -- their eyebrows rose a bit.
It seemed a curious collection -- military, religious, and Members of
Congress -- why are they working together to address global warming?
Well it actually makes more sense than you would think.
A growing collection of religious organizations have recognized that addressing global warming is:
"a moral duty to care for God's creation and to care for the needs
of those who are contributing the least to climate change but bearing
the brunt of its burden", as Congressman Tom Perriello put it.
And a number of powerful voices in the military and security community have begun to stress that the impacts of global warming will increase "threat multipliers" around the world. As Rear Admiral Stuart Franklin Platt, USN Ret, a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran stated:
"Global climate change is one of the greatest threats to our
national security both because it literally threatens the very planet
we inhabit and because the droughts, famine, and floods it creates
threaten to destabilize regions around the world."
And of importance to the international global warming negotiations occurring as we speak,
this group has recognized that one of the key elements to address these
"moral" and "security" challenges is to support the most vulnerable
countries and populations around the world in adapting to impacts of
As I discussed here and as an NRDC alum discussed here,
the discussion draft released by Chairmen Waxman and Markey included
some key provisions to support international adaptation efforts. What
wasn't spelled out was the source of the funding for these efforts and
the amount of money provided to address the international adaptation
challenge. And a lot of groups, including NRDC, are working to ensure significant funding for international adaptation. This is a critical piece of the puzzle that needs strong support as US legislation moves towards becoming law and as the US
climate negotiators go into Copenhagen with as many tools as they can
get to secure a strong international global warming agreement.
This group of religious, military, and Congressmen are calling for
just such international adaptation funding to be provided in the global
warming bill. This is a very helpful push at a critical juncture.
So let's go forth and faithfully secure our future, by addressing
climate change and supporting international adaptation efforts!