If you are interested in participating in a climate chaos demonstration at the Pentagon on August 9,
Sunday 13 June 2010
As oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, just one of many manifestations of perilous ecological degradation across the planet, the need to challenge war and militarism - especially in terms of the
The costs of
The costs that one rarely hears about - at least here in the
In March, the Center for American Progress, for instance, reported on the Pentagon building's "big green renovation." When completed in 2011, "The Pentagon's 25,000 military and civilian personnel will not only work in one of the biggest office buildings in the world," the article gushed, "but one of the most energy efficient and environmentally sustainable." (2)
Beyond the Pentagon building itself, the
Such "greenwashing" helps to mask the fact that the Pentagon devours about 330,000 barrels of oil per day (a barrel has 42 gallons), more than the vast majority of the world's countries. If the
And although much of the military's technology has become far more fuel-efficient over the last few decades, the amount of oil consumed per soldier per day in wartime has increased by 175 percent since
The worst offender is the Air Force, which consumes 2.5 billion gallons of aviation fuel a year, and accounts for more than half of the Pentagon's energy use. Under normal flight conditions, a F-16 fighter jet burns up to 2,000 gallons of fuel per flight hour. The resulting detrimental impact on the Earth's climate system is much greater per mile traveled than motorized ground transport due to the height at which planes fly combined with the mixture of gases and particles they emit. (6)
Among the ironies of all this, given that a central goal of U.S. military strategy is to ensure the smooth flow of oil to the United States, is that the Pentagon's voracious appetite for energy helps to justify its very existence and seemingly never-ending growth.
In a direct sense, war and militarism produce landscapes and ecosystems of violence - and violated bodies. In Laos, unexploded ordnance from Washington's illegal and covert bombing litters the countryside, and has killed and maimed thousands since the war's end, and continues to do so at the rate of almost one person per day. In
Beyond locations directly targeted by war, the ill effects of military consumption of environmental resources do not respect territorial boundaries. They exacerbate a growing environmental crisis on a global scale. From the degradation of the world's oceans, to a steep decline in biodiversity and intensifying climate destabilization, war and militarism threaten humanity and life more broadly in unprecedented ways.
Such ecological "costs" are certainly not limited to the activities of the
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs