I was confronted with the climate crisis during my time in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A roadside bomb went off during a routine patrol and struck my HUMVEE. We checked our limbs after the dust settled and caught the assailant trying to flee. We were fortunate that the military-age man wasn’t well trained and most of the blast missed the vehicle.
After securing the area we began our investigation. We quickly discovered that he was a farmer who had never used explosives. His crops were destroyed by a drought that had broken records, and was caused by climate change. He was a terrorist and was now vulnerable.
Water scarcity and crops failing are directly linked to the ever-increasing droughts across the globe, and if we fail to address the climate crisis, this will only continue to drive conflict and instability.
Millions of people worldwide, including Maineans, are facing the dangers of climate change every day. From rising temperatures to extreme weather events linked to human-made climate changeThis crisis threatens our security at home and abroad.
As president of Elected Officials to Protect America — a network of elected officials who care deeply about protecting our planet and creating solutions to the climate crisis — I firmly believe our nation needs bold solutions to address climate change and the pollution that is driving it.
The climate crisis is a national security risk that poses a threat to national security. Department of Defense and other national security experts have also recognized. Over 100 veterans and frontline leaders from across the country attended a White House summit about the climate crisis. They urged for a reopening of the summit. National Climate Plan and Emergency Declaration Order to address the climate emergency.
However, Congress also has a crucial role to play in delivering climate action. The recently introduced Build Back Better Act is an important first step in delivering on President Joe Biden’s stated goal of a 50-52% reduction in carbon pollution by 2030. Scientists already agree that this goal will be necessary to address the growing climate crisis.
From Maine’s forests to coasts, climate change is harming our state. Northern MaineThe state is currently in the midst of a drought that has been devastating for many industries. If we fail to act on climate, our state’s iconic lobster industry will be devastated due to rapid warming in the Gulf of Maine. In the meantime, coastal cities like Portland will only continue to experience increasingly frequent and severe flooding, harming families and businesses.
The BBBA is a great place to find solutions to climate change. Maine is already working to expand its energy infrastructure. thriving offshore wind industry, companies are already investing in clean solar energy. Bold climate investments will only support our state’s transition to clean energy, creating the infrastructure needed to support wind and solar energy. The BBBA would also encourage sustainable agriculture practices, such as aquaponic farming, helping to preserve our state’s resources.
Passing the BBBA Bill is not only essential but also a popular thing. In fact, a poll of Maine’s 2nd congressional district found that voters supported passing bold investments to tackle climate change and create energy jobs by a whopping 60-40% margin.
It is critical that our state’s leaders, including my own Congressman Jared Golden, continue to push for solutions that will fight climate change and support Maine’s growing clean energy sector. As a Marine veteran myself, I know that Congressman Golden is well aware of the dangers to our national security and economic growth if we don’t take immediate action.
The BBBA is critical to addressing the scale of the climate crisis, and Maine’s members of Congress must deliver on its passage.
Alex Cornell du Houx, a Marine combat veteran, is a former Maine state legislator and president of Elected Officials to Protect America. This network of former and current elected officials is committed to climate action. He lives in Solon.