LETTER: Climate change affecting military readiness

Porter Hedge
Spring Garden Township
This March 17, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Air Force shows an aerial view of Offutt Air Force Base and the surrounding areas affected by flood waters in Neb. Surging unexpectedly strong and up to 7 feet high, the Missouri River floodwaters that poured on to much the Nebraska air base that houses the U.S. Strategic Command overwhelmed the frantic sandbagging by troops and their scramble to save sensitive equipment, munitions and aircraft. (Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake/The U.S. Air Force via AP)

Climate change isn’t waiting for Donald Trump or Scott Perry to take seriously the problem that burning fossil fuels is creating. Another “bomb-cyclone” rain storm dropped on the Midwest recently. The unprecedented flooding throughout the Missouri and Mississippi river basins reached historic levels.

At Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command and home to more than 10,000 personnel, floodwaters reached up to 7 feet deep and forced one-third of the base to relocate offices.

The military has repeatedly warned Congress about the threat that climate change poses to our national security. Apparently, Trump and Perry don’t respect military warnings.

According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “Extreme precipitation events have produced more rain and become more common since the 1950s in many regions of the world, including much of the United States. In the U.S., the Midwest and Northeast have seen the strongest increases in heavy precipitation events. Scientists expect these trends to continue as the planet continues to warm. Warmer air can hold more water vapor. For each degree of warming, the air’s capacity for water vapor goes up by about 7 percent. An atmosphere with more moisture can produce more intense precipitation events, which is exactly what has been observed.”

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I urge Reps. Perry and Lloyd Smucker to co-sponsor the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763). This effective policy will reduce America’s carbon pollution by 40% in the first 12 years. HR 763 will create 2.1 million new jobs in communities across the nation and the fees collected will be returned equally to households, making it revenue-neutral. HR 763 has bipartisan support in the House of Representatives because it’s a common-sense, free-market solution to the threat of climate change. Think of that: Bipartisan, free-market and common sense.