Saturday, July 30, 2016

Republicans Block Military's Effort to Plan For Rising Sea Levels

USS Harry S. Truman docking in Norfolk

Donald Trump may be the most hideous and frightening aspect of the Republican Party at the moment, but the sickness that has taken over the party is so widespread that it is at times almost unfathomable.  Take the issue of rising sea levels, something that is objectively occurring.  Here in Hampton Roads, the region is full of critical military bases ranging from the Norfolk Naval Base - the world's largest naval base, to Langley Air Base in Hampton, to Ft. Eustis in York County.  All, along with lesser bases, are threatened by rising sea levels.  Military leaders, being responsible and recognizing the need to be prepared for the future seek to make plans on how the bases will be protected as sea levels rise.  There's one problem: Congressional Republicans are blocking funding for the plans?  Why?  Because denying the reality of climate change and rising sea levels is a litmus test among the ignorance embracing Christofascists who no wield so much power within the GOP.   Rather than offend the knuckle draggers of the party base, these Republicans - who claim to support a strong military - would rather cripple critical bases in the future.  A piece in the Virginian Pilot looks at the idiocy (the Daily Press carried a similar piece that looked at the threats to Langley and ft. Eustis).  Here are highlights: 
The latest scientific conclusion echoes others: It’s likely that sea level rise will eventually swallow huge swaths of Hampton Roads’ military installations, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists in a report scheduled for release today.
But if congressional Republicans have their way, the military will be blocked from doing anything about it.
Tacked on to defense spending bills passed by the House of Representatives: amendments forbidding the Pentagon from using federal dollars to study climate change or plan for its impacts.
Supporters say they want the military focused on enemies such as the Islamic State group, not rising seas.  Critics say flooding is a formidable foe as well.
“It’s kind of hard to attack the enemy when your base is underwater,” said Rep. Bobby Scott, a Southeast Virginia Democrat who voted against the ban.
[T]he Union of Concerned Scientists looked at 18 East and Gulf coast bases, concluding that the high tide line will creep inland in the decades ahead, stealing training and testing grounds, infrastructure and housing. Storms will intensify the troubles.
“By 2050, most of these sites will see more than 10 times the number of floods they experience today,” said Kristy Dahl, a co-author of the report. “In 2070, all but a few are projected to see flooding once or twice every day.”
Subsidence – a sinking-land phenomenon occurring in Hampton Roads – will speed things up around at least two local bases: The Dam Neck Annex to Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach and Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton could lose up to 95 percent of their land this century.
Norfolk Naval Station will flood roughly 280 times a year by 2050 instead of the current 10, if sea level rise reaches the midrange of predictions.
[T]he Defense Department created its own climate change adaption plan. Dam Neck built a one-mile rock-core dune to protect the main part of the installation from storm surge. Langley Air Force Base built a shoreline seawall and door dams, and installed a pump system.
Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck sponsored one of the amendments that would put a halt to such preparations.  Scott hopes the amendments will die in the Senate.

Christofascists and their political whores in the GOP are a clear and present danger to America.

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