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Hear, Hear! Climate Security in the U.S. Congress Today

800px-United_States_Capitol_Building-_west_front_editThere are two hearings this morning in the U.S. Congress that are especially relevant to the climate and security discourse – one on preparedness for extreme weather events  – or a lack thereof – and the other on fisheries treaties (see below). These hearings are both relevant because climate change is all about the water, and both extreme weather events and fisheries are all about the water. Extreme rainfall variability, precipitated (pun intended) by climate change, will likely lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. A warming ocean (which is where most of the earth’s heat goes) is already influencing major fisheries across the world. And an increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts in some regions of the world will likely have an impact on freshwater fisheries as well. In short, climate change is likely to exacerbate water-based stresses on human societies. Or as CNA’s Military Advisory Board put it in 2007, climate change is a “threat multiplier.” We’ve listed the details of both hearings below.

First, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is holding a hearing at 10am Eastern titled “Extreme Weather Events: The Costs of Not Being Prepared.” UPDATE: A video of the hearing is now up. As listed on the Committee website, panelists will include:

Panel I

The Honorable David F. Heyman
Assistant Secretary for Policy
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Caitlin A. Durkovich
Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection
National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Mark E. Gaffigan
Managing Director, Natural Resources and Environment Issues
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Panel II

Collin P. O’Mara
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Paul Kirshen
Research Professor
Environmental Research Group, Civil Engineering Department & Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire

Lindene E. Patton
Chief Climate Product Officer
Zurich Insurance Group, Ltd.

Second, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is holding a hearing at 2:30pm Eastern titled “Fisheries Treaties and Port State Measures Agreements.” UPDATE: A video of the hearing is now up. Though it is not clear that climate issues will be raised during the hearing, the projected effects of climate change on the ocean (and freshswater), and on the security of fisheries, is certainly relevant – and likely quite relevant to the implementation of fisheries treaties. The panelists for the hearing include:

Panel One:

The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senate
Washington, DC

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
United States Senate
Washington, DC

Panel Two:

The Honorable David Balton
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC

Mr. Russell Smith
Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC

Rear Admiral Frederick J. Kenney
Judge Advocate General and Chief Counsel
United States Coast Guard
Washington, DC

Panel Three:

Mr. Mark Gleason
Executive Director
Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers
Seattle, WA

The Honorable Mark P. Lagon
Global Politics and Security Chair, Georgetown University
Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights, Council on Foreign Relations
Washington, DC

Mr. Raymond Kane
Outreach Coordinator
Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance
Chatham, MA

1 Comment

  1. Vlad Fomin says:

    Of course, it’s difficult – in advance – to determine the results of hearings in US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. However , the current climate change scenario – in the North Atlantic region – At a minimum , the implementation of two complex works : 1. Restoring life support systems and other infrastructure in the regions affected by the negative impacts of climate anomalies . 2 . Preparation for work on climate stabilization in the region. Job 1 is caused by necessity, since the onset of climatic anomalies does not depend on the desires of mankind in general and US Senate – in particular. Work 2 – climate stabilization – to produce positive results require at least one year is pretty hard work . For a start – need to develop a correct statement addressing climate stabilization . It should always ” keep in mind ” the existence of the factor of time and forget about the “right to make a mistake ” : climate destabilization may be irreversible at any time .

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