Congress is currently debating legislation that would finally begin
to address climate change and spark a paradigm shift toward clean
energy for our nation. There are lots of good reasons to pass this
bill: reducing global warming pollution, exerting international
leadership on the issue, boosting the economy with nearly million new
"green" jobs, breaking our addiction to oil and other dirty fossil
fuels. One of the most important reasons for acting now has to do with
bolstering our nation's security. This story by inside-the-Beltway
publication Politico makes the point:
"[F]or nearly two years, military and intelligence experts have been
issuing studies warning that climate change could put American military
personnel and national security at risk. Increasingly violent storms,
pandemics, drought and large-scale refugee problems, they say, will
destabilize regions and encourage terrorism. And American dependence
on foreign energy sources will only exacerbate the threats and increase
the likelihood of military action."
That's a big reason why Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Lindsey Graham
(R-SC), both military veterans, are working together to pass a climate
and clean energy bill in the Senate. (This development is a game-changer, notes my colleague Dan Lashof.)
This also explains why national security experts and military
veterans of all political stripes are banding together to ensure that
Congress follows through on the mission. Right now, in fact, a squad
of vets is on the road, traversing the country on a 21-state,
biodiesel-fueled bus tour -- they are stopping in cities and towns all
over America to explain to people how our national security is tied to
tackling the climate crisis.
Learn more about the Veterans for American Power Tour on this website, which tracks both buses as they roll through various states over the next two weeks.
The coalition behind this campaign, which includes Operation Free, the Truman National Security Project, and VoteVets,
is also promoting the cause through a radio ad blitz in several
states. The ads feature veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
calling for an "American clean energy policy" and urging Senators to be
"heroes" by supporting climate legislation. The tag-line: "It's not
just a question of American energy; it's a question of American power."