David Swanson

The Democrats’ Disastrous, Militarist Climate Plan

The habitability of the Earth and the viability of lesser evilism are on the ropes, and incrementalism is thriving even in the current moment of increased activism for radical change.

By David Swanson / Reposted with permission from WorldBeyondWar.org

The habitability of the earth and the viability of lesser evilism are on the ropes, and incrementalism is thriving even in the current moment of increased activism for radical change.  Just take a look at the new “Climate Crisis Action Plan” from the Democratic Party’s Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

The big goal for the next decade is to — brace yourself, don’t be staggered by this — “Reduce net U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent below 2010 levels in 2030.” Ooooooooh! Aaaaaaaaah! We’re all going to die a bit more slowly!

Come to think of it, that is a better slogan idea for the Joe Biden campaign than “Shoot em in the Legs!”

But don’t believe for a minute that this plan even means what it says. Its solutions include disastrous scams like “biofuels” and nuclear energy. It proposes no fundamental change in lifestyle, no reduction in personal consumption, and no halt or reduction in eating meat (but renewable energy production on land used for livestock, so that the same land can mitigate the unacknowledged damage it is doing). It offers no proposed federal budget with any major moving of the money to where it’s needed, and no plan to extract any resources from billionaires and corporate giants.

It’s actually a plan built around hostile violence toward the world and the imperative to occupy the world with military forces.

This plan has been criticized for largely ignoring 96 percent of humanity in order to address a global problem as an isolated country. That’s not quite right. It’s actually a plan built around hostile violence toward the world and the imperative to occupy the world with military forces. Here’s a bit of it:

“The U.S. military is the world’s largest consumer of energy from fossil fuels. Among federal agencies, the Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for 77 percent of the federal government’s total energy use.”

This fun fact is followed by no remote hint at so much as “studying” the possibility of reduced militarism. In fact, it’s part of a section of the report called “Harness the Power of the Military for Net-Zero and Resilient Energy Installations.” The “power of the military,” as you read through it, appears to be the power to do incrementally less damage to the environment while steadily continuing to prepare for one of the most environmentally damaging activities ever devised: war. In fact, the crowning achievement of the “power of the military” turns out to be the ability to plan to attempt to achieve net-zero energy use on military bases in the year 2030. This will mean requiring military bases to include “renewable” energy production (including nuclear, biofuels, whatever). But a pass will be given to any bases anywhere on earth that are labeled “non-enduring,” by the Pentagon, including any of the non-enduring bases now littering the globe that are still non-enduring in 2030. There is no discussion of the fact that the military already gets 60 percent of federal discretionary spending, and that giving it even more in order to mitigate the damage it is doing runs contrary to the idea of creating a coherent efficient overall plan to reverse climate destruction.

This Democratic Crisis Action Report explains that “The military has a unique use case for fuels made from captured carbon, because generating fuels onsite at Forward Operating Bases could avoid vulnerabilities associated with physically delivering conventional fossil fuels, which requires protection from enemy attacks.” In other words, if you’re going to continue pushing hostile violence toward the world and installing military bases in other people’s countries where they will be resented and resisted, an important part of the climate strategy of the imperial homeland must be developing ways to produce fuels for the military on the sites of its wars. It’s true that the U.S. military has been a top source of funding for the Taliban in large part by paying for safe passage for its fossil fuels. But the possibility of ending the wars is never mentioned.

This is the pattern. “Captured carbon could be converted into precipitating sand for use as an alternative to coral reefs to nourish beaches in distant locations like the Kwajalein Atoll missile test site.” But the alternative of not destroying islands to test missiles is never considered.

“The Department of Defense (DOD) maintains approximately 585,000 facilities located on 4,775 sites worldwide. DOD real property is worth more than $1.2 trillion and is critical to U.S. national security.” Of course “critical” doesn’t specify a positive or a negative effect on people’s security. Otherwise, this statement is very clear, and it would seem clear what needs to be done: give people their land back. Instead, this statement in this report kicks off a long section on the threat of climate change to its real victims: war planners.

After all, climate change isn’t a threat so severe that the U.S. government should shift away from generating enemies through slaughtering people in order to devote resources instead to environmental protection. On the contrary, climate collapse is a military threat justifying the militarism that contributes to it and syphons resources away from addressing it. The report tells us:

“Developing countries are especially ill-prepared to face the impacts of climate change. The resulting humanitarian and refugee crises, if unchecked, have the potential to become national security threats.” The solution: “Require the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to Plan for Climate Risks.”

David Swanson
David Swanson

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is cofounder and executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio.He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize by the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Copyright 2020 David Swanson

One comment

  1. While the Green New Deal would offer much needed employment and potentially help somewhat in climate ‘control’, it won’t happen. Republicans and particularly Democrats are committed to More Forever Wars since that’s where their political donations come from, directly and indirectly; the Establishment MUST get things back on track, and that means stopping withdrawals from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and particularly increasing tensions in Ukraine and Venezuela.
    Climate activism is ignored because there’s so little violence (except on the wrong side at Standing Rock). The Floyd Protests were covered by MSM because of the somehow acceptable destruction of properties and 26 deaths (as of July 5). Protesters always stay away from the neighborhoods of those responsible for their misery; the Establishment control protests via provocateurs.
    For all the memes (buildings burning, statues coming down), the one that epitomizes America the best at the moment is Nancy Pelosi standing in front of her $24,000 refrigerator showing off her expensive ice cream, after giving every citizen $1200 to live on. The covid-19 disaster never happened in Asian countries due to their standard draconian travel bans from infected areas and their religious following of Public Health protocols. The US could not even stop internal spreading (seeding , NY Times May 7) of the virus from NYC throughout the nation. You hear of anecdotes (urban legends?) of someone getting a $million dollar bill from a hospital yet followed up by the government/insurance picking up “all but $60K” (the annual median income for a family of four is ~$64K).
    We are so f*cked.
    Yet our Establishment (politicians and MICIMATT) thinks things are perfect (or were in 2016, where we will soon be again, on steroids).

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