Senator Tammy Duckworth

Last week, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) became one of 10 members of the newly formed Senate Democrat Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. As a former Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and a Purple Heart recipient, Senator Duckworth brings an important perspective to this committee: that climate change is a direct threat to our national security and to our troops serving around the world. Her staff was kind enough to share a transcript of her remarks during the press conference announcing the new committee. Thank you, Senator Duckworth, for your service and for your dedication to climate issues–you’re a true hero.

“Even from the perspective of someone who’s come under enemy fire, it’s clear to me that not all the biggest threats we’ll face over the next 30 years will take the shape of a weapons attack.

The truth is that climate change is real, and climate change is here.

We can’t ignore it any longer:

The Midwest is flooding and the West Coast is burning.

Coastlines are sinking while temperatures are soaring.

And worldwide, instability is rising as farmland keeps dying.

This isn’t just some partisan squabble. It’s a national and global security threat—something that military leaders and Trump’s own intelligence officials admit, as terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram use droughts to solidify their power in Syria and Nigeria. As storms ravage our military bases and rising sea levels threaten to swallow 100 more.

Tell me that won’t impact troop readiness. Tell me that that won’t make it harder for our servicemembers to do their job, or to get the training they need to protect the people we love.

Look, I know that Donald Trump never deigned to put on the uniform, but bone spurs didn’t stop me from serving.

So let me clear something up for him:

He and the GOP shouldn’t keep claiming to care about our national security, or our military, if they keep ignoring the crises that are sapping its strength and putting Americans at risk.

Enough. Our troops deserve better… and American families deserve to know that their leaders are doing everything they can to keep their loved ones safe and their nation strong. That’s one reason why this work is so important, and why I was so glad to join my colleagues on Wednesday to announce the Senate Democrats’ new Special Committee on the Climate Crisis.”