In her latest detailed policy proposal, would-be 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren sets out a Green New Deal for the US military, whose own policy analysts have identified climate change and energy independence as serious risks to US security.
The Pentagon is America's leading energy consumer (unsurprising, given the size and scale of the US military, which dwarfs every other country's military in both absolute and per-capita terms). Warren reasons that any expense incurred to reduce the military's domestic and foreign carbon footprint will more than pay for itself in savings realized by not having to endure floods and other extreme weather events, and by averting the global conflicts generated by climate change and its force-multipliers (famine, disease, etc).
And I’ll invest billions of dollars into a new, ten-year research and development program at the Defense Department focused on microgrids and advanced energy storage. The Pentagon has been responsible for countless technological breakthroughs, working together with colleges and universities, our national labs, local governments, and private companies. Let’s put that effort toward new clean energy solutions that will improve our security by allowing military bases to remain operational when traditional power sources fail, and save taxpayers money through lower overall energy consumption.
Finally, I want the Pentagon to produce an annual report evaluating the climate vulnerability of every U.S. military base at home and abroad, using real scientific methodology, so that we can make more informed plans moving forward.
We don’t have to choose between a green military and an effective one. My energy and climate resiliency plan will improve our service members’ readiness and safety, all while achieving cost savings for American taxpayers. Our military understands that, and it’s time our elected leaders did as well. Together, we can work with our military to fight climate change — and win.
Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change [Elizabeth Warren/Medium]