Rye Barcott, Truman National Security Project Defense Council member and OpFree supporter, contributed to an article about the effects of climate change on NC military bases.
The devastating flooding wreaked by Hurricane Matthew took the lives of at least 25 North Carolinians and caused an estimated $1.5 billion in damage over the past weeks. It is a reminder that climate change is a serious threat, a threat that, according to the U.S. military, creates new risks for North Carolina’s bases and our men and women deployed overseas.
North Carolina is home to more service personnel than any other state except California and Texas, and our bases face unique risk. The Department of Defense’s Quadrennial Defense Reviews have warned that climate change may undermine the capacity of our domestic installations to support training activities, and that “more than 30 U.S. military installations were already facing elevated levels of risk from rising sea levels.”
The Department of Defense identified coastal North Carolina as “one of the nation’s most vulnerable regions to climate change.” This region includes Camp Lejeune and four other coastal military bases, while other large inland bases such as Fort Bragg and Seymour Johnson may become more susceptible to flooding and other extreme weather.
Our military bases are vital parts of America’s national security and our state’s economy. According to the N.C. Department of Commerce, our state’s military installations generate $66 billion annually for our economy. North Carolina’s bases are also disproportionately important to the military’s preparedness, training, and force projection capabilities.
From Sherri Goodman, is the former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security, and Founder of the CNA Military Advisory Board on Climate Change and National Security; Rear Admiral (ret.) David Oliver is the director of the American Superconductor Corporation; and Rye Barcott, a clean energy entrepreneur in North Carolina.