Truman National Security Project Political Partner and Operation Free supporter, Zach Roberts, was interviewed by Public News Service about the connection between climate change and national security.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — National security experts say President Trump’s actions to roll back or eliminate programs to slow global climate change will put the country in danger.
According to retired Marine Corps General Stephen Cheney, CEO of the American Security Project, the impacts of climate change already are destabilizing volatile regions such as the Middle East and threatening U.S. military bases as sea levels rise.
“Military services have to plan for this and survive,” Cheney said. “It’s a daily, ongoing occurrence while others perhaps have the attitude of ‘Not in my backyard so I don’t have to worry about it.’ ”
Trump recently signed an executive order to nullify President Obama’s climate change efforts and revive the coal industry, claiming that climate regulations cost jobs and hinder growth. But Cheney said that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is among those who believe climate change is man-made and a threat to stability, and he is likely to include it in his national security plans.
Zach Roberts of Columbus works with the Truman National Security Project. He contends the country’s dependence on non-renewable sources of energy puts service men and women directly at risk.
As a member of the Ohio Air National Guard, Roberts served in Southeast Asia, where he saw soldiers killed in convoys transporting fuel. He said that threat is motivating the military to move away from fossil fuels.
“At Wright-Pat [Wright Patterson Airforce Base], they’re developing all sorts of fantastic technologies, whether it’s developing advanced biofuels or it’s expanding out our development of solar panels,” Roberts said. “These are all technologies that the United States military, the Department of Defense, have identified as critical.”
Roberts added that the president’s plans to roll back the Clean Power Plan also jeopardize the United States’ position as a global leader in fighting climate change. He said that without the regulations, the country will be unable to meet its emissions reductions agreed upon under the Paris Climate Treaty.
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