Climate Change & National Security

Of the many impacts of climate change, none may be more important than its effect on U.S. national security and defense. In President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, issued on January 27, the first section is titled “Putting the Climate Crisis at the Center of United States Foreign Policy and National Security.” The Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Department of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff have been directed to coordinate with the Administration to analyze the security implications of climate change.

On March 8, Green Energy Ohio explored these issues with Congresswoman Elaine Luria, U.S. Navy veteran and member of the Armed Services, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security Committees. Rep. Luria’s district includes Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world, and one situated in an area along the East Coast that has already begun to experience the effects of rising sea levels.

Joining Rep. Lauria were two distinguished guests. Dr. Robert McCollister, a climate and national security expert and a member of the GEO Board of Directors. Dr. McCollister was trained as a presenter for the Climate Reality Project in Chicago in 2013 and since then has given over 40 presentations to audiences across Ohio and in West Virginia.

Dr. Fred Schauer, a professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Air Force Institute of Technology located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Schauer has 30 years of research experience with the Department of Defense on propulsion, power, and energy. The U.S. Department of Defense is the single largest user of energy in the world.

You can watch a recording of the conversation here, as well as Dr. McCollister’s Climate Reality presentations.

Meet Our Speakers

Congresswoman Elaine Luria

U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s Second Congressional District. Prior to her election in 2018, Rep. Luria served two decades in the Navy, retiring at the rank of Commander. Rep. Luria served at sea on six ships as a nuclear-trained Surface Warfare Officer, deployed to the Middle East and Western Pacific, and culminated her Navy career by commanding a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors. Rep. Luria was one of the first women in the Navy’s nuclear power program and among the first women to serve the entirety of her career in combatant ships. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the committee’s Vice Chair; the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs; and the House Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Luria graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received a master’s in engineering management from Old Dominion University.

Dr. Bob McCollister

Dr. Robert McCollister was trained as a presenter for the Climate Reality Project in Chicago in 2013 and since then has given over 40 presentations to audiences across Ohio and in West Virginia. Professionally, he earned his Ph.D. in Political Science in 1992 from Ohio State with a major in International Relations, and a concentration in National Security Policy Studies, focusing on nuclear weapons and arms control. He has taught at The Ohio State University, Morehead State University, and Shawnee State University. Bob received his undergraduate degree in education from The Ohio State University and he has spent the majority of his career teaching high school social studies and coaching high school football. A resident of Ironton, Bob joined the Green Energy Ohio Board of Directors in 2020.

Dr. Fred Schauer

Dr. Fred Schauer is an Associate Professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), the Department of the Air Force’s graduate school of engineering and management.  His research on energy, propulsion, & power has focused on novel cycles including conventional fueled and bio/alternative powered systems ranging from the milliwatt to terawatt scale.  Prior to joining AFIT he worked with the Air Force Research Laboratory and its predecessor organizations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.