Michael Breen, CEO and President of Truman National Security Project and Truman Center for National Policy, and Sherri Goodman, member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security, co-authored a piece on the national security implications of leaving the Paris Agreement.
“In the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the historic Paris Climate Agreement, governors, mayors, businesses, and people across the country have declared that they still support the agreement. They know that this decision not only represents a fundamental abdication of U.S. leadership on the global stage, but also generates concrete consequences for generations to come in terms of national security, economic prosperity, and diplomatic credibility.
Choosing not to take action against climate change will put our troops in harm’s way more often in the not-so-distant future. Here’s why: The Pentagon has long acknowledged climate change as a “threat multiplier” because its effects make the work of our men and women in uniform around the world even more difficult than it already is. More frequent and severe storms and droughts—and their consequences, including resource shortages and mass migration—mean the U.S. military will be asked take on more humanitarian relief missions, there will be stronger extremist groups on the battlefield, and possibly worse. These aren’t fringe views. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made the argument himself in his confirmation hearing testimony.
Fighting climate change isn’t about declaring war on the weather; it means taking steps to use clean energy and shoring up societies already under the threat of constant disaster. For this reason—operational realities rather than political preferences—climate change mitigation policies have been a priority of the U.S.military for years.
Looking backwards to old sources of energy and letting opportunities for innovation pass us by will hurt our economy, too. As Trump remains fixated on the shrinking number of coal jobs in Appalachia—a product of market forces, not over-regulation—clean energy jobs continue to surge at home and around the world. Growth in the solar industry is outpacing broader job growth in the United States (with a large number of veterans in particular entering the field), and Forbes described ‘wind turbine technician’ as one of the fastest growing jobs in the country…”
Continue reading the full article here.