On Veterans Day, A Look At How Service Members and Veterans View Climate Change

The Conversation    Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ernest R. Scott, Wiki CC

As we recognize veterans and the military today for their service, we wondered what do they think about climate change, and did it impact who they voted for in the Presidential election?   A survey conducted last year of military service members and veterans found that 77% of them believed that military bases in coastal or island regions will be damaged by flooding or severe storms as a result of climate change and 61% believed that drought and famine-driven international military conflict over food and water resources fairly or very likely to occur.  Interestingly, a recent survey of service members and veterans mirrored the general public, in that those under 55 years old favored Biden,  while older veterans favored Trump.

Why This Matters:  Climate change is increasingly becoming a national security issue and members of the military and veterans can help to broaden public support in conservative communities for climate initiatives. President-elect Biden promised to “address our defense and intelligence leaders’ warnings about the threats climate change poses to global stability and security” and “elevate climate change as a national security priority,” as well as to make military bases more climate-resilient.  A Biden administration’s emphasis on climate change as central to national security may continue to expand support with this special group of “swing” voters.

To Go Deeper:  Read the full analysis in The Conversation here, and the Military Times poll here.

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