Military arms with clean energy for climate battle

Last year, 33 generals and admirals supported strong action on climate and clean energy, asserting “Climate change is making the world a more dangerous place” and “threatening America’s security.” The Pentagon itself has made the climate/security link explicit in its Quadrennial Defense Review.

But, as Brad Johnson points out, while the U.S. Senate is preparing to vote on a series of amendments “to cripple the federal response to climate pollution” the “military brass are working intensely to do their job of defending our nation from the very real threats of dependence on fossil fuels and their world-altering pollution.” This week the military is discussing how to use clean energy innovation to address the climate security crisis:

Tuesday at 6 pm, the Clean Energy Network, DC will host a panel discussion on military energy issues. Entitled Clean Energy Priorities of the Military, the panel’s invitation provides this focus: “the trends, challenges, and opportunities surrounding Clean Tech and the Department of Defense.”

Tuesday and Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University’s Advanced Physics Laboratory and the Center for Naval Analyses is, for the second year in a row, running a two-day conference focused on the Department of Navy (U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps) and energy and climate issues: Adapting to Climate and Energy Challenges: Options for U.S. Maritime Forces. This includes the heads of Task Force Energy, Rear Admiral Philip Cullom, and Task Force Climate Change, Rear Admiral Dave Titley.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Association of Climate Change Officers is hosting a two-day conference on Defense, National Security and Climate Change: Mitigating Risks and Seizing Opportunities in a Rapidly Changing Global Environment. Speakers include former senators John Warner and Gary Hart, Senator John Warner, Assistant Secretary of Defense Sharon E. Burke, and Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack.

On Thursday, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is hosting an event where the title explicitly points to the military’s opportunity through focusing on energy challenges: Operation Energy Innovation: A Stronger, Smarter Fighting Force. Speakers include Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) and Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA). Forbes has been a nearly party-line voter for climate denial.

Brad notes, “it is heartening to know that there are people who have taken oaths to serve and defend our nation who are actually living up to that pledge.”


Here is a Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock of the Week video from last week on the connection between national security and climate:

For what the world will look like if we don’t take strong action to accelerate clean energy deployment and restrict greenhouse gas emissions, see “Veterans Day, 2030.”