Clean Energy Is Patriotic

Former Sen. John Warner brings a military perspective to global climate change

Scientists and military experts may seem on the surface to be unlikely allies, but there is a critical connection between the two: our national security is tied directly to energy consumption and global climate change.

In 2009, former U.S. Sen. John W. Warner (Va.)—a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, a former secretary of the Navy and the longest-serving Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee—joined the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate to communicate an important message: that developing clean energy is our patriotic duty.

Climate change affects the sons and the daughters who are currently stepping up to wear the uniform of our country.Former Sen. John W. Warner

U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy is a serious threat to national security, and climate change could compound the problem by causing more intense storms and droughts, more frequent flooding and altering agricultural patterns. As dramatic weather events occur, they stoke instability in volatile regions of the world, threatening international and domestic security. In stark terms, as noted by Senator Warner, “climate change affects the sons and the daughters who are currently stepping up to wear the uniform of our country.”

Today, Senator Warner is one of the military's staunchest advocates for a clean energy economy. Breaking our dependence on foreign oil and fighting global warming are two crucial ways to protect our country and ourselves well into the 21st century.

Climate Patriots: A Military Perspective on Energy, Climate Change and American National Security

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.

Agenda for America

Resources for federal, state, and local decision-makers

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest.