Timeless Principles & Priorities That Matter
Sustainability is not a simple word but instead is a very serious one. People talk about sustainable actions on a daily basis and yet at the same time we are reminded just as regularly how unsustainable some human actions have become. It is a fundamental topic to our national security and of particular importance to the military. This of course is nothing new.
During both World War I and World War II the nation had to act in more sustainable ways to conserve metals and other material to conduct the war effort. Today we have reason to give pause and once again ask ourselves what we as individuals should be doing to act in a more responsible manner and how the U.S. military might best protect and utilize resources here at home for the benefit of all citizens.
Farm to Table & Sustainability
We use a tremendous amount of resources bringing food to the tables of American households. According to The National Geographic’s Green Guide on average, domestically grown produce sold in conventional supermarkets has traveled some 1500 miles from farm/production site to table. That requires huge volumes of fuel and a large percentage is not domestic. What would it look like if everyone started supporting local cooperative farming and dairy operations? Food from farm/production site to table might not be more than 150 miles in the majority of places. Now we would have the fuel and resources domestically to truly support food to table operations in a sustainable and more secure global manner. There are indeed other consumption behaviors to analyze along the sustainability journey but food tops the list in my book.
The Military and Renewable Energy Infrastructure
Now let me turn to the military and look at bases here in the United States. The complex and challenging nature of threats today is at times daunting. We live in an age of tremendous complexity due to the speed of change itself. We have weather patterns changing as never before seen. We have technology changing at rates never before seen. We have change all around us coming from multiple directions. Our adversaries have and will continue to use change to their advantage. We should prepare and address this challenge in a sustainable manner.
I believe we should invest in clean geo-thermal, solar, and wind production facilities on military installations to prepare for unexpected changes to include potential attacks on our open civilian power infrastructure facilities. This would allow for immediate or near immediate backup of critical power to populated areas in times of natural or man-made disasters and would truly help add a layer of protection to protect citizens in the new threat equation of the next few decades.
These are just two examples of how both individuals and elements of the federal government could take steps to act in a more sustainable manner given the demands of our changing and complex world. The world is indeed challenging and complex but we all have the ability to make it not so scary for future generations.