A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the United Nations, warns once again that time is growing short to avert global climate and environmental disaster.
As we mark the 20th anniversary of the start of the second Gulf War it seems to me that not enough is being said about the relationship of our wars to climate change.
We are now well into the second year of the war in Ukraine, the Russian invasion and the U.S. and NATO response of billions of dollars in military supplies.
It is discouraging that the simple mention of peace talks and negotiations gets a hostile reaction from even those who I would think would know better.
It sounds to me at least like the latest version of “better dead than Red.”
In the short term, however, the dead may appear limited to Ukrainians and Russians.
Longer term we are all threatened and not only by the danger of a regional war turning global and nuclear.
The war is a climate disaster.
As countries worldwide give more money to their militaries, fossil fuel use rise.
The US and allied forces, for example, have fired more than 337,000 bombs and missiles on other countries over the past 20 years. The jets carrying those weapons can burn through 4.28 gallons of gasoline per mile, with each detonation releasing additional greenhouse gas emissions, and destroying natural carbon sinks like soil, vegetation, and trees.
The United States’ “War on Terror” has released 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to the Watson Institute at Brown University, which has more of a warming effect on the planet than the annual emissions of 257 million cars.
If the US military were itself a country, it would have the 47th highest emissions total worldwide, greater than the countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Portugal put together.
A poster from the anti-war movement of the 70s.
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