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Renewable Energy Key to National Security

On Wednesday, March 14 at 7 pm, in Peacock Hall, Sustainable Rossmoor and Informed Rossmoor Voices of will cosponsor two short documentaries which show how national security and military preparedness are redefining the meaning of energy independence, and how our military is responding to climate change and is at the forefront of innovation and providing leadership to our government. The films have been screened at the White House, the Pentagon, the US War College, NATO Headquarters in Belgium, and are in the Annapolis Naval Academy curriculum. The special discussant, U.S. Marine Major Jonathan Morgenstein, will respond to your questions. This event is free of charge and open to invited quests.

TIDEWATER won the 1st juried prize as the best environmental film at last year’s San Francisco Green Film Festival. It’s a personal story of a community accustomed to hardship and sacrifice through its military service. Hampton Roads, Virginia, a region relatively unknown nationwide, is especially vulnerable to sea level rise and its effects on military readiness and our overall national security. With 14 military installations spread across 17 local jurisdictions, it has our highest concentration of military assets in the country, where 1 in 6 residents are connected to the military. Their homes, schools, hospitals, and families are increasingly struggling to keep up with the effects of rising waters, and the military and all the surrounding municipalities are working toward solutions.  They are coming together to create a new approach to building a resilient America, ready for the environmental realities of the 21st century. If Hampton Roads succeeds, it will strengthen national security, enhance economic prosperity, and create a powerful template for success — a model other regions can use to prepare for the inevitable.
U.S. Marine Reserves Major Jonathan Morgenstein will speak and answer questions. He is a specialist in national security policy and conflict-resolution training and has focused on Security Sector Reform, Clean Energy, and Human Rights — particularly in the developing world including the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America. He has appeared on ABC, Al Jazeera, BBC Arabic, CNN, MSNBC, and PBS. He has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Politico, The Hill, and other publications.
Major Morgenstein has served over 25 years in the Marine Reserves, including two tours in Iraq and one in Bosnia. He served as the senior policy adviser for Veterans, Intelligence, Foreign, Armed Services, Homeland Security and Foreign Policy for Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). He helped to establish the first Office of Global Strategic Engagement and then the Office of Rule of Law and International Humanitarian Policy. He served as a human rights advocate for Refugees International in Darfur, and as a High School Social Studies Teacher in San Francisco and New Hampshire.
Major Morgenstein is the founding President and CEO of Empowerment Solar. Over the past three years, his company has designed and installed distributed, commercial-scale solar electric systems for Palestinian businesses on the West Bank.
Major Morgenstein has been a fellow with the Truman National Security Project since 2006, and served from 2011-2014 as co-Director of Truman’s Middle East/North Africa Experts Group. The Truman National Security Project is a nationwide organization of frontline civilians, veterans, political professionals, and policy experts who conduct education and advocacy work on national security and foreign policy issues in the United States. It’s in this education and advocacy role that he comes to Rossmoor. He welcomes your questions, including those about the impact of rising tides or fossil fuel dependence on national security, and the leadership the military is taking in conflict resolution, climate mitigation, and innovation.