Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano testifies Thursday before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on her agency’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget request. Perhaps a committee member might inquire about her remarks last December at a White House forum on “environmental justice,” in which Secretary Napolitano declared the infinitely malleable principles to be a guide for her agency.
Changes in climate really translate into huge environmental changes that have impacts on communities and also on national security, because they raise not only the issues of making sure that we are taking into account and caring for the most at-risk populations, but that we are also looking at and planning for the potentiality of mass migrations, demographic changes, patterns, concentrations of economic assets, population growth in different areas, deteriorating infrastructure. All of this gets knit together under this umbrella of climate change and environmental adaptation.
The 11-page budget summary makes no mention of spending on “environmental justice” programs, and indeed, we found no use of the term at all in the entire FY2012 budget document from OMB.
Still, it might be productive to delve into her view of the agency’s responsibilities with respect to global warming, “environmental justice,” demographic change and “at-risk populations.” A good question could be: Shouldn’t homeland security be your only priority?
Two Shopfloor blog posts from Dec. 18, 2010:
At the Environmental Justice Forum: Give Us Lawyers!
Environmental Justice Leaders Speak at White House Forum