Washington, DC -- I don't typically testify on Congressional panels with a former CIA Director, the head of the Council on Foreign Relations, Admirals and four star Generals. So this week's appearance before the first hearing of the House Selection Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence was a first for me. What was stunning to me was that, despite our very different backgrounds, the testimony the five of us delivered was, in all but the smallest details, identical. I doubt most Sierra Club members could have told which comments were mine and which belonged to Admiral McGinn, so strong has the consensus on this issue become.
The hearing followed by one day a meeting of the UN Security Council on the same topic, and by two days the release of a new blue ribbon military report on how global warming threatens our national security.
The Ranking Minority member, Wisconsin's James Sensenbrenner, took on the Committee Chair, Representative Ed Markey at the beginning, lamenting that some of the solutions advocated by "extremists" would be devastating. But after the panel finished, and Sensenbrenner tried to force us into yes and no answers on nuclear energy and coal, he retreated with the comment that, "well, at least you all admit that this is complicated." Overall there were very few fireworks, perhaps a sign that the national agreement on global warming is finally seeping into Washington.