Moms Clean Air Force Ohio super mom, Jen Leach, is a proud military wife. Her husband has served several tours in the Middle East with the US Army. While Jen is always concerned for his safety, she recently voiced new fears for her husband,
“Sending your loved one off to protect other families is always a frightening experience, but now, with the added complexity of climate change, the struggle for resources often leads to civil strife, and therefore events like the Syrian crisis draws on our military resources. Our men and women who give their lives to protect ours should be protected themselves – infrastructure of bases and natural barriers should be strengthened to withstand the elements. And they should be given proper training and education about how climate change will impact their future public work.”
In 2016, the US military will send thousands of Americans across the world on assignments that range from active patrol to rescue missions. Families left behind, at home, worry about safety. Like Jen, their concerns now include the reality of climate change. Changes in our climate impacts the regions our troops are deployed to – making their jobs both dangerous and hazardous to health.
Climate change is accelerated by chemicals like methane and benzene that leak from oil and gas operations. This chemical pollution traps 80 times more heat around the earth than other pollutants. Just like putting on a wool sweater in the middle of July, there’s a lot of sweat – all the trapped heat around our earth increases the moisture and creates more extreme weather events.
Our military is often called in to help during and after gas leaks and extreme weather events. With gas leaks on the rise and while the Earth’s climate continues to be so disruptive, the increase of military involvement will heighten.
President Obama remarked to United States Coast Guard Academy,
“Climate change poses a threat to the readiness of our forces,” “Many of our military installations are on the coast, including, of course, our Coast Guard stations. Around Norfolk high tides and storms increasingly flood parts of our Navy base and an air base. In Alaska, thawing permafrost is damaging military facilities. Out west deeper droughts and longer wildfires can threaten training areas our troops depend on.”
Whether our troops are deployed to Mumbai or Minneapolis, we all share the air. (Tweet this) Climate change now ranks among the top issues of national security. One of the best ways we can support our military and their families is by protecting their health. Please take a strong stand against methane pollution.