Responding to a 2010 request by The Richmond Times-Dispatch to explain his position on climate change, Congressman Goodlatte wrote:
There is no doubt that the earth’s climate is changing. The earth and its climate are dynamic, and have changed throughout history even without human activity. We have reached a point where some experts concur that the earth is once again warming. Regardless of the reason, the debate over climate change should remind us that we should be good stewards of our planet. America has made great strides towards preserving our environment and has arguably the most comprehensive and protective environmental standards in the world, but more must be done.
Not exactly a full grasp of the enormous dangers posed by increasing global temperatures, rising sea levels and changing weather patterns, but at least an acknowledgement that (whatever the cause) something worthy of attention may be happening to the climate.
So it’s worth noting that when Goodlatte had a chance to act this week on what he claims to believe– he didn’t.
Goodlatte voted for an unsuccessful amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have blocked a study into the 20-year impacts of climate change on the military and would have removed language from the law that recognizes climate change as a “direct threat” to the national security of the United States.
Forty-six other House Republicans, including almost all of the GOP members of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, joined Democrats to defeat the amendment.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, spoke out against her fellow Republican’s amendment. “We would be remiss in our efforts to protect our national security to not fully account for the risk climate change poses to our bases, our readiness, and to the fulfillment of our armed forces’ mission,” Stefanik said on the House floor.
In her remarks, Stefanik was echoing the statements made by Richard Spencer, Trump’s Navy secretary nominee, to a Senate committee on Tuesday. Spencer said climate change represents a real threat to the military, Politico reported. “The Navy, from my briefings to date, is totally aware of rising water issues, storm issues, etc.,” he said.
Regardless of what he actually believes, it’s unfortunate that Goodlatte put his support for the politics of climate change denial ahead our nation’s military preparedness.