Want To Save The Environment? De-Fund The Pentagon. — Caitlin Johnstone


Caitlin Johnstone

Surely with all this talk about the huge, sweeping changes that are required to avert climate catastrophe we’re not going to overlook the world’s single worst polluter


Millions of people are uniting in demonstrations worldwide against our civilization’s ecocidal march toward extinction, which makes me so happy to see. It’s really encouraging to see so many young people burning with love for their planet and a hunger to reverse the damage that has been done to our ecosystem by the refusal of previous generations to turn away from our path of devastation. This must continue if we are to survive as a species.


Luckily for us, there’s a very clear demand we can add into the mix in this new push for environmentalist reforms which runs directly counter to the interests of the empire that is trying to manipulate our healthy impulses: de-fund the Pentagon.

There is no single, unified entity that is a larger polluter than America’s dishonestly labeled “Department of Defense”. Its yearly carbon output alone dwarfs that of entire first-world nations like Sweden and Portugal; if the US military were its own country it would rank 47th among emitters of greenhouse gasses, meaning it’s a worse polluter than over 140 entire nations. That’s completely separate from the pollution already produced by the US itself. None of the sociopathic corporations whose environmental impact is being rightly criticized today come anywhere remotely close to that of the Pentagon. They are going under the radar.


And that’s just greenhouse gas emissions, which the Pentagon’s poisonous effects on our environment are in no way limited to. As journalist Whitney Webb highlighted in an excellent article for Mintpress News about the wildly neglected subject of the US military’s ecological toxicity: “Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined, the US Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among others.”

Webb documents how the US “has conducted more nuclear weapons tests than all other nations combined”, how US military interventionism in Iraq “has resulted in the desertification of 90 percent of Iraqi territory, crippling the country’s agricultural industry and forcing it to import more than 80 percent of its food,” and how “US military bases, both domestic and foreign, consistently rank among some of the most polluted places in the world.”

“While the US military’s past environmental record suggests that its current policies are not sustainable, this has by no means dissuaded the US military from openly planning future contamination of the environment through misguided waste disposal efforts,” Webb writes. “Last November, the US Navy announced its plan to release 20,000 tons of environmental ‘stressors,’ including heavy metals and explosives, into the coastal waters of the US Pacific Northwest over the course of this year.”

This is all a massive environmental burden to take on for a branch of the government which provides no other service to anyone beyond bullying the rest of the world into obedience, wouldn’t you agree? So get rid of it.

Surely with all this talk about the huge, sweeping changes that are required to avert climate catastrophe we’re not going to overlook the world’s single worst polluter just because a few think tankers and their plutocratic sponsors believe it’s important for the US-centralized power alliance to retain total global hegemony? If we’re making huge, sweeping changes, the completely needless globe-spanning US war machine would be the obvious place to start.

That’s something we can inject into the mainstream dialogue as this environmental movement grows, and the cool thing about it is that the establishment manipulators can’t reject it or they’ll expose themselves. It’s something we can demand that they can’t legitimately say no to. We can surf this clear, concrete, exciting and utterly indisputable idea on the surging momentum of these climate demonstrations, and the same healthy impulse to save our planet that these budding activists are now embodying will lift it right up and carry it to the top of mainstream awareness. No sane person will reject this, so if anyone pushes back against it to say “No, not that,” they’ll immediately spotlight the insane agendas they serve.

The US does not need any more military power than what other normal nations have: enough to defend its own easily defended shores from unprovoked attack. Anything beyond that, and certainly the hundreds of environmentally toxic military bases circling our planet, exists solely for the benefit of murderous dominating imperialists and sociopathic war profiteers. Demanding a reversal of US military expansionism as a part of the environmental movement is sane on its face and will benefit everyone, and it will also help highlight all unwholesome elements of empire loyalism.

via Want To Save The Environment? De-Fund The Pentagon. — Caitlin Johnstone

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