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On Eve of 9/11 Anniversary, Veterans Lobby to Stop Global Warming

On Eve of 9/11 Anniversary, Veterans Lobby to Stop Global Warming

More than 150 veterans converged on Washington DC on Thursday to make the case that the United States should fight terrorism and increase security by capping carbon emissions. A coalition of veterans and national security organizations has identified U.S. dependence on fossil fuels, especially oil, and looming effects of climate change as major threats to the security of the nation and the lives of American servicemen and women. Capping carbon emission, as legislation recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would do, would cut global warming and oil dependence.

According Operation FREE, the coalition sponsoring today’s events and lobby day, the United States sends $500,000 every minute to foreign, sometimes hostile, regimes to feed our addiction to oil. Dependence on oil gets the United States embroiled in conflicts overseas and sets us up to unintentionally fund both sides. For example, U.S. Diplomat Richard Holebrooke confirmed last month that Persian Gulf oil is a bigger source of revenue for the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan than either opium or heroin exports.

Droughts, storms, flooding, and other impacts of global warming has the potential to displace millions of people and destabilize nations around the world. The U.S. military takes this threat so seriously that the Pentagon is running simulations on climate change. They are planning for scenarios like hundreds of thousand of refuges from low-lying Bangladesh “streaming into neighboring India, touching off religious conflict, the spread of contagious diseases and vast damage to infrastructure,” according to the New York Times. The Pentagon is concerned that water or food shortages caused by shifting climate could touch off conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia.

“Climate change injects a major new source of chaos, tension, and human insecurity into an already volatile world,” said Senator John Kerry in a speech to the group today. The senator is a Vietnam War veteran and long time advocate of stopping global warming.

The group spent the afternoon meeting with members of the U.S. Senate, which is expected to take up energy and climate legislation this month. Operation FREE wants to see any energy legislation achieve the following goals:

  • Allow America to cut down on carbon consumption and carbon emissions.
  • Create clean energy incentives that will help accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology, such as electric vehicles, wind power, and solar power, creating green jobs in the process.
  • Promote energy efficiency by helping consumers and businesses develop and acquire energy-efficient appliances and buildings.

“We want to see these principles become law so America can call its own shots in the world, combat climate change, and protect our nation’s safety and security,” said Truman National Security Project COO Jonathan Powers in a statement Wednesday.

Sign this Care2 petition to send your own message to the Senate on why America needs a strong climate bill.

Read more Care2 perspectives on the anniversary of that traumatic day:

Hijacked Civil Liberties: The Legacy of 9/11 

Have the Military Responses to 9/11 Been Equal to Their Cost? 

The Impact of Terrorism on the Environment   

Watch your Back, I’m a Terrorist    

The Heroic Dogs of 9/11    

9/11, the DOMA Effect, at Victim 0001 

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Moon rise over wind farm by Flickr user caveman_92223 / CC BY-ND 2.0

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8 comments

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9:37PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Thank you Veterans.

9:36PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Thank you Veterans.

9:35PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Thank you Veterans.

2:55PM PDT on Sep 11, 2009

High market demand for meat products results in increased livestock ranching, which contributes to increased greenhouse gases in two ways: not only do increased numbers of livestock mean increased emissions of methane gas, but they require increased grazing land at the expense of wooded habitat. Trees take up more carbon dioxide during photosynthesis than does grass; therefore, the clearing of land results in fewer trees that can use up the excess carbon dioxide in the air. Destruction of natural areas for urbanization also constitutes a two-pronged attack: trees and plants are cleared in favor of areas that can shelter enormous concentrations of humans who consume energy in tremendous amounts. Increased human population results also in higher demand for goods that are produced in factories that burn fossil fuels. How will a mere 150 Veterans ever be able to Have an Impact on Energy Policy? It will take ALL OF US to do it!

12:58PM PDT on Sep 11, 2009

It seems too easy to just drill for natural gas in our own country to get all of the energy necessary to run our whole country and not depend on foreign oil. If the environmentalist would allow any drilling or if they did not make every attempt at innovation of new energy so high because the wind operated generators might kill a wayward bird or Teddy Kennedy didn't want to be able to see them from his front porch we might be able to reduce the carbon foot print of our country. Really look at the different issues on this very site and you have to see that for every proposal for new innovation there is someone writing a blog to stop whatever it is. Don't kill a snail to get water to grow food to feed the nation. Save the polar bears kill the humans. Don't do anything, lie there and starve to death and when all of the humans are gone the animals can have the planet.

11:52AM PDT on Sep 11, 2009

Thanks Vets! This makes it an american issue instead of a left/right issue. Thanks for showing up and turning out for America's future!

8:11AM PDT on Sep 11, 2009

Yes. It is necessary to undertake actions in the decision of this transnational problem.
It is important for all of us.

6:43AM PDT on Sep 11, 2009

We veterans spent years using science to conquer all sorts of problems - that's what strategy, preparedness and effective operations depend on, not "values" or "spirit." It's time our elected reps start listening to those who CAN do the math. You cannot win any conflict unless you start with a realistic appraisal of the situation, and we have known about global warning for a long time- I learned about it 30 years ago at the Univ. of Chicago, and all the predictions I heard then have come true. Remember the military is supposed to defend YOUR physical well-being, not corporate interests, and certainly not any religion. The military was created to defend the US against external attack, nothing else, so learning how to conduct disaster relief operations is going to take some time. We also need a greener military - how much fossil fuel do you think our vehicles, planes, and ships consume?

Putting a sticker on your car only helps the Chinese manufacturer- support the troops by demanding renewable energy, by recycling, and by fighting waste and pollution - just like your parents grew victory gardens and conserved resources. This fight is more important than WW II, because our basic survival is at risk.

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