The Burden


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When: Oct 10 2020 - 10:00am until Oct 10 2020 - 12:00pm
Where: Zoom Webinar

The Burden - movie cover image
The Burden, award-winning documentary

Film screening, panel to highlight military's climate adaptation  

Retired senior military experts will discuss U.S. military preparedness in a changing climate during a free, online event organized by the Honolulu chapter of Citizens’ Climate Education, the East-West Center's Research Program, and the Center for Climate and Security. 

The event will begin with a screening of "The Burden," a 40-minute film that discusses how the military is confronting the national security threat presented by climate change by transitioning to renewable energy wherever it facilitates mission accomplishment, reduces risks to life and limb of our warfighters, or builds resilience to harms at bases and facilities. The film shows that when the military shifts away from fossil fuels, it can both save U.S. taxpayers money and increase military effectiveness and resilience.  

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, Roger Sorkin, and four distinguished national security experts:  

  • Honorable John Conger, Director of the Center for Climate and Security (moderator)  
  • Admiral Paul Zukunft, U.S. Coast Guard, retired  
  • Honorable Sharon Burke, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy  
  • Lieutenant General John Castellaw, U.S. Marine Corps, retired 

The four panelists were among 58 military and national security leaders who signed a March 2019 letter to the president warning of the threat that climate change poses to the U.S.  

"Climate change is real, it is happening now, it is driven by humans, and it is accelerating. The overwhelming majority of scientists agree: less than 0.2% of peer-reviewed climate science papers dispute these facts," the letter reads. "When extreme weather hits the United States, it degrades the fighting force … Around the world, climate change is a 'threat multiplier' — making other security threats worse."  

The issue is of particular importance to residents of Hawaii, which has a total of 11 bases and is one of the few states that is home to at least one base from each of the five branches of the military. In a 2019 report to Congress, the Department of Defense identified three bases in Hawaii that are vulnerable to recurrent flooding or drought from climate change. Two of the panelists, Admiral Zukunft and Lieutenant General Castellaw, served in Hawaii while on active duty, and Admiral Zukunft currently resides in the state.  

Event details:  

Saturday, Oct. 10, 4 p.m. EDT, 1 p.m. PDT, 10 a.m. HST

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Jaymen Laupola
Phone: (808) 944-7332