Sue Ann Martinson

Ignoring How Militarism Fuels Climate Change Will Be the Death of Us

It’s time to acknowledge how the failure to connect the dots between U.S. imperialism and the growing climate crisis threatens all life on this planet in more ways than one.
‘A Just Transition to a Regenerative Economy’ must end wars, military culture, and the violence of militarized forces and police in our communities and across the world. [Sha Merirei Ongelungel / Indigenous Peoples’ Network]

By Sue Ann Martinson

Editor’s Note: Sections of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of the Women Against Military Madness newsletter.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has over 800 bases and over 4,775 defense sites in the world. DOD owns 8.8 million acres in the U.S. alone with at least one base in each state. (1)

For decades the U.S. military has contaminated the air, soil, and water worldwide, including in the United States, by burning or burying contaminants on land or dumping them in the ocean and then hiding or simply not reporting major pollution. Aside from fossil fuels, some of the toxins the Pentagon is spreading are: bacteria, pathogens, metals such as lead and mercury, and per-and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances in foams used in firefighting. 

Killing for Oil

Actively polluting the environment isn’t the only way our military is killing the planet. As the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies points out in the section on Killing for Oil in their primer about militarism, fueling climate change, the United States has a well-known history of fighting bloody wars for oil.

An estimated one-quarter to one-half of all interstate wars since 1973 have been linked to oil. The U.S. military spends an estimated $81 billion a year to protect the world’s oil supplies. The fossil fuel industry relies on militarized state violence to uphold its operations around the globe. The activists who fight to protect their lands and infrastructures from industries that extract their resources are often branded as ‘eco-terrorists’ and met with violence from state or paramilitary forces. Indigenous peoples disproportionately subject to this violence make up about 5% of the world’s population yet they are about a quarter of those murdered for defending land and the environment.”

A recent example is the cold-blooded murders of British journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous affairs expert Bruno Pereira in Brazil on June 9, 2022. Worldwide and in the U.S. their lands, their cultures, their way of life, and their lives are threatened. And as the IPS points so succinctly points out, with climate change we all may experience increased military response such as people of color have already experienced. 

“In the United States, militarized local police departments have acquired surplus military equipment from federal agencies. With a bloated military budget that leaves climate change action underfunded, we face increasingly militarized responses to the climate crisis nationwide and also worldwide.”

No Reporting = No Accountability

Colonization End Yes Mag.jpg
[Yes Magazine]

Some examples of polluted areas are:

Marinara Islands: In 2016, after Pacific war games near the Marinara Islands, “the military left behind tons of toxic waste — dumped into the ocean — including heavy metals, motor gasoline and chemicals harmful to humans and marine life.” This dumping practice by the U.S. military has been going on there for decades. 

Pacifica, Asian Islands, Palau, Marshall Islands Micronesia: The colonial legacy and neo-colonization does exist. Compacts of Free Association are treaties with the United States that subject people to practices from the Department of Defense and armed forces: pollution and failure to report emissions. 

Red Hill Naval Base, Hawaii: As I reported previously on ScheerPost, 

“on November 28, 2021 approximately 19,000 gallons of jet fuel and water leaked from underground fuel storage tanks at Red Hill [Navy Base] and contaminated two wells providing drinking water for over 93,000 persons… The tank complex sits only 100 feet above Honolulu’s main aquifer. Many persons … went to emergency rooms with rashes, vomiting and diarrhea.”  

In addition, the U.S. military dumped 630,000 toxic nitrate compounds (chemicals used in waste-water treatment and explosives) into the water in 2019. They had federal permits to do so.

Okinawa, Japan: Extensive water contamination comes from chemicals contained in firefighting foams (PFAS) used on military bases. Oil contamination comes from shuttling of fuel near Defense Department facilities on Okinawa, farmers’ fields and rivers that are polluted and have contaminated the drinking water sources of 450,000 residents.  On Okinawa there is no official push for accountability, and active citizen groups in Okinawa are met with many barriers created by the U.S. military.

Okinawa PFAS Contamination  World Beyond War Nov. 12, 2019.jpg
Pollution from PFAS, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa  [World Beyond War]

RIMPAC WAR GAMES

As Col. Ann Wright (Ret.) reports for Popular Resistance: 

“The US military’s Indo-Pacific command headquartered in Honolulu, Hawai’i, Rim of the Pacific or RIMPAC 2022, military war games, will have 38 ships from 26 countries, 4 submarines, 170 aircraft and 25,000 military personnel practicing naval war maneuvers in the Hawaiian waters from June 29-August 4, 2022.  Additionally, ground units from 9 countries will come ashore on the islands of Hawai’i in amphibious landings.

The Pacific Peace Network, with members from countries/islands across the Pacific,…demand that RIMPAC be cancelled, calling the naval armada “’dangerous, provocative and destructive.’  

… The Hawaii-based Women’s Voices, Women Speak [has] declared that ‘RIMPAC causes ecological devastation, colonial violence and gun worship.  RIMPAC’s ship sinking, missile testing, and torpedo blasting have destroyed island ecosystems and disturbed sea creatures’ wellbeing. This convening of military personnel promotes toxic masculinity; sex trafficking and violence against local populations.”

These U.S. military war games are practiced often in different parts of the world, leaving a trail of pollution from their dumping at the end of the “games” as well as causing harm to the ocean’s ecosystem and creatures. Although the U.S. is the main offender, other countries partake in similarly damaging exercises. The International Army Games, initiated by the Russian Defense Ministry, is a competition that is sometimes called the War Olympics. This year they will be held in August with Venezuela as the host; 37 countries are registered. Similar disruption to ecosystems as in U.S. military war exercises occurs in these “let’s pretend war is a game” maneuvers as well.

Note that most of the bases previously mentioned are not U.S. bases in Europe where this sort of contamination would impact largely white populations. Much of the pollution that is not reported takes place in the Pacific area. All bases worldwide have some pollution with burn pits and PFAS for firefighting and CO2 from jet fuel. But these Pacific bases are on Indigenous lands where the Indigenous populations are treated shabbily, to say the least, by the U.S., with long histories of colonization that continues to this day in new forms.

[Enbridge 2022]

Native American communities and reservations are treated similarly in the U.S., for example uranium mining in the southwest and pipeline projects like Standing Rock, which was shut down after massive protests, and Enbridge’s Line 3 that has pipelines that send fossil fuel down the continent to the Gulf of Mexico and east to the international port of Montreal. 

This latest form of neo-colonization takes place in Africa as well where the U.S. military protects the interests of multinational corporations that virtually steal the resources of African countries. The people who live in these areas are already among the most affected by the climate crisis and have the most yet to lose. 

Some other examples of military contamination include:

United States: “The DOD suspects or acknowledges contamination by military munitions of an estimated 15 million acres of U.S land. Cost of cleanup is estimated from $8 to $35 billion.” Many of these are Superfund sites requiring cleanup. A number of these properties are now Formerly Used Defense sites (FUDS), and the lands originally used for manufacture of munitions have been transferred to other Federal or Non-Federal uses. 

A Minnesota example is:

The New Brighton/Arden Hills/TCAAP superfund site [which] consists of the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) and parts of surrounding communities affected by contaminants from the plant. Waste dumped at 14 locations within TCAAP between 1941 and 1981 led to soil, sediment and groundwater contamination. The site’s total area… is about 25 square miles.” 

Site cleanup and monitoring are ongoing. An extensive water filtering system has been constructed to purify the water and soil contamination addressed.

PFAS as foam used especially in firefighting was found in toxic levels in the water at Minnesota’s Camp Ripley and at most other military bases in the U.S. and worldwide. 

PFAS Contamination in America.jpg
As of July 2019, EWG and Northeastern University mapped out 712 PFAS contamination sites across 49 states in the U.S.   [Screen shot / CNBC | Kyle Walsh]
Note the amber dots that represent military bases and installations are spread out while the blue aqua dots are mostly in clusters that represent high population areas.

Depleted Uranium (DU) is “a radioactive by-product of uranium enrichment … used to coat ammunition such as tank shells and ‘bunker busting’ missiles because its density makes it ideal for piercing [armor].” DU was used extensively in wars in Iraq and was found to contaminate the water and soil and cause birth defects. It is also thought by some to be a cause of Gulf War Syndrome, affecting many Iraq veterans. 

Burn Pits are “the most common means of toxic exposure[;] they have been used extensively since 1990 to protect privacy and leave as little footprint behind as possible. Service members use jet fuel to burn waste including chemicals, paint, medical and human waste, metal/aluminum cans, munitions and other unexploded ordnance, petroleum and lubricant products, plastics, rubber, wood, and discarded food.”      

Agent Orange is an herbicide and defoliant used extensively during the Vietnam War to remove the tree leaves and tropical foliage, affecting thousands of Vietnamese and veterans. Exposure can cause multiple cancers and other serious health problems. It is now affecting the grandchildren of those exposed.  While the evidence is before their eyes, the U.S. government has refused to acknowledge the effects of Agent Orange on the children and grandchildren of the Vietnamese people and veterans, possibly because of the costs involved. Action continues to hold them accountable through legislation. 

Other contaminants include Radiation Exposure and Embedded Fragments.

The Eco-Cost of the Ukraine War: As in any war, military activities involve solvents, fuels, methane, uranium, and other toxic chemicals that leach into the soil and water and air. Heavy military equipment causes further damage to agricultural soils and infrastructures such as community roads and bridges. Bombs and drone strikes add to the pollution of land and air as well. 

As Chris Hedges writes in a piece for ScheerPost:

“The proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Ukraine alone gets more than double that amount. Pandemics and the climate emergency are afterthoughts. War is all that matters. This is a recipe for collective suicide.”          

Nuclear Weapons Manufacture and Testing:      

The production of nuclear weapons has polluted vast amounts of soil and water at hundreds of nuclear weapons facilities all over the world. Many substances released, including plutonium, uranium, strontium, cesium, benzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury and cyanide, are carcinogenic and/or mutagenic and remain hazardous for thousands or hundreds of thousands years. Contaminants from nuclear weapons production and testing have often traveled far downwind and downstream. Radioactivity released from atmospheric nuclear testing has dispersed widely throughout the world; underground tests have contaminated soil and groundwater. A 1991 U.S. government report called the soil contamination from underground testing at the Nevada Test Site ‘a threat to human health and the environment.’”

COP Conferences, the Paris Agreement, and Net Zero

In order to understand the role of the military it is necessary to look at the background of the United Nations COP conferences attended by nations worldwide and industrialists every year.

What is COP? COP stands for Conference of the Parties. “In diplomatic [language] ‘the parties’ refers to the 197 nations that agreed to a new environmental pact, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at a meeting in 1992.” These are the meetings where representatives from the nations of the world and the industrialists make decisions. The 26th COP meeting was held in November 2021.

What is Net Zero?To ’go net zero’ is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or to ensure that any ongoing emissions are balanced by removals” from the atmosphere so global warming stops.  COP21 in 2015 is best known for the Paris Agreement, which asked countries to go net zero to achieve this balance and also asked wealthy countries to give money to developing countries to help them reach net zero goals.  When Donald Trump was chosen as president he delayed participation and finally turned his back on the whole Agreement. 

The military is the elephant in the room at all COP gatherings. For example, at COP26, independent reporter Abby Martin of The Empire Files  confronted Nancy Pelosi for overseeing massive budget increases for the Pentagon—a greater polluter than 140 countries combined—while touting “historic” leadership on climate change and skirting around the issue of U.S. imperialism, stating clearly that “security” (military control) was most important, all the disastrous effects of the climate crisis being nothing but a big etcetera. 

Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, at the Opening Ceremony of COP26, November 1, 2021 sounded an alarm: 

“CODE RED. Code Red to the G7 countries. Code Red to the G20. Earth to COP — that’s what it said. Earth to COP. For those who have eyes to see, for those who have ears to listen, and for those who have a heart to feel, 1.5 is what we need to survive; 2 degrees, … is a death sentence for the people [of the Global South.] We’ve come here today to say ‘try harder’ because [we] need our actions now, not next year, not in the next decade.”

In her speech she identified several areas that need to be heeded: nationalism, technology, and financing solutions to the climate crisis. She pointed out that these areas are dependent on technology that has not yet been developed, especially in the case of net zero, which is the inadequate plan of the industrialists that the U.S and other nations have signed onto, and is not the same as zero emissions, which means no emissions at all. 

How can we trust technology even if it is successfully developed for net zero? How can we trust the Big Oil companies who, with inflated prices, collectively made $93.3 billion in the first quarter of 2022. 

Let’s ask the families of those who died in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico  in 2010 about how reliable technology is. Net zero is dependent on technology that has not yet been developed.  To achieve what they call “the balance” with net zero is expensive, not guaranteed to be effective, and allows the Big Polluters their profits. It is a slow solution at best when a slow solution will not save the planet. 

Military Omissions and Emissions

U.S. Military CO2 emissions make the U.S. #1 polluter worldwide. [Costs of War / Banner by Bruce Berry, Veterans for Peace]

There’s a Pentagon-sized hole in President Biden’s plans to cut government CO2, carbon, and greenhouse gas emissions. Biden signed an executive order in January 2022 directing the government to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050 in line with COP26 goals. It also calls for eliminating climate pollution from federal buildings and vehicles. As E&E News reports: 

“But the executive order exempts anything related to national security, intelligence, or military combat and training. 

That means Biden’s order covers only a fraction of federal emissions. While military leaders insist they share the president’s decarbonization goal there is no plan for them to meet it.” 

The military has actually done very little to decrease CO2 emissions and other pollutants, greenwashing their actions to end climate change. 

“Since 2001, the military has accounted for 77 to 80 percent of federal energy use, according to the Costs of War 2019 study released by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.” 

Costs of War Screen Shot 2022-06-10 at 6.00.38 PM.png

In the April 2022 webinar “The Ecology of War,” Prof. Neta Crawford, co-director of the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute and Prof. Alan Robock, co-director of the Rutgers Impact Studies of Climate Intervention (RISC) lab, discuss the role of the military in the climate crisis. 

Crawford says most technological innovations the military produce are only useful for military purposes: “I wouldn’t want the military leading us to the green transition that we need. Commercial, that is civilian technology, would be much better suited to making a rapid transition.” 

Prof. Robock elaborates: 

“There’s enough wind and sun on the earth to power the whole earth with solar panels and windmills, and we just need a little bit better storage and ways to transmit it. So we don’t need them to help, we need them to get out of the way and stop emitting CO2.”

Neta Crawford goes on to say that “the climate crisis will kill people: it already is.” The solution to global warming is to leave the fossil fuels in the ground and switch as quickly as we can to renewable sources: 

“We are up against two massive power centers though, the fossil fuel industry and the military-industrial complex. They make lots of money and have armies of lobbyists going to Congress telling them other things and giving them money so that they can run for re-election. It’s very frustrating fighting against that, but that’s what we’re up against.”

Addressing the climate crisis requires holding the military-industrial-congressional complex accountable and  dismantling that complex, as well as holding President Biden accountable for exempting the military from cutting federal emissions. 

Michael T. Klare, a founder of the Committee for a Sane U.S.-China Policy whose latest book is “All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change,” offers a bleak view in TomDispatch of what will happen if we follow the warfare state instead of choosing to save the planet—a track the leaders of state are now pursuing instead of cooperating around the climate crisis.  While Biden frames perpetual war as being about freedom and democracy, others see it as raw imperialism—as U.S. corporate wars of hegemony and empire—and continued oppression by the ruling elites to maintain their own power and profits at great expense to the poorer countries on earth in the Global South.

The recent decision by the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. EPA narrowed the powers the Environmental Protection Agency has to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act. As NPR reports,

“By a vote of 6 to 3, the court said that any time an agency does something big and new—in this case addressing climate change—the regulation is presumptively invalid, unless Congress has specifically authorized regulating in this sphere.”

This decision has plainly given the fossil fuel industry more freedom to pollute and also is directly out of line with COP26 goals for 2030 and 2050 regarding curtailing carbon emissions, even as those goals are inadequate.

Above all, U.S. corporations continue to drag their feet as they have for decades now by not addressing climate change until it has snowballed into an existential climate crisis.

Another barrier is that prominent environmental groups and individuals often do not make the connections between militarism and the climate crisis. Early on in their activism, many thought they could sway corporate weapons manufacturers and the war industry as well as gas and oil corporations and thus did not wish to alienate them—a practice some still basically follow. However, numerous antiwar groups nationwide including Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) and Veterans for Peace, have stepped forward to educate and to resist and transform how militarism fuels the climate crisis. 

The young people who will inherit this planet are stepping into organizing and resistance, and solidarity is growing across the planet. These are all signs of hope.

***

Sue Ann Martinson is a member of WAMM’s End Military Madness Against the Earth action group and an associate member of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 27. She edits and publishes an online alternative news and news analysis source, Rise Up Times: Media for Justice and Peace (riseuptimes.org).

1. Federal Land Ownership Overview and Data. Congressional Research Service, 21 Feb. 2020.

Some examples of military pollution and effects on climate change in this article are from the “War is Not Green” brochure created by the Women Against Military Madness EMMAE action group.

25 comments

  1. This informative article should have us storming the Bastille but we’re more like frogs in rapidly warming hot water than revolutionaries. At least for now. One major reason is cited toward the end: “Another barrier is that prominent environmental groups and individuals often do not make the connections between militarism and the climate crisis.”

    I’ve added this article to my extensive collection of research and reporting on, specifically, climate harms of the U.S. military which can be seen here: https://sites.google.com/site/mainenaturalguard/resources

    1. Americans storming the Bastille? you’ve got to be kidding! If there is any storming it will come from the fringe right. Americans do not enjoy freedom of thought and under the current regime have a long way to go before they react like the public in foreign countries. You have a zombified public more focused on trivia than the serious issues of the day. They have been lied to, coopted, brainwashed and put thru the “truth” cycle many times. I don’t think they will ever wake up.

  2. Here’s the comment to the Times that I wrote this morning regarding the danger of Bye Bye Byeden’s ‘ginning-up’ War & Empire in the Middle East and spreading it globally:

    ‘Times’ title of their New Analysis article: “Nukes, Oil and a Prince’s Redemption: A Trip Fraught With Perils for Biden” and to which I wrote:

    The Meeting Moment

    As I would characterize this triplet meeting of Biden, Netanyahu, and MBS — which “these ’Times’ they are a-changing” progressively, but slowly, and which the New York Times mission has assigned to star reporters, David Sanger and Peter Baker

    This is not a mission to expose just a “Wag the Dog” moment, but rather a “Wag the Empire” moment of clarity, of our entire:

    Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal Child-Killing & War-Starting EMPIRE, controlled by a “Quiet American”; ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCCers, arrogantly self-appointed "Masters of the Universe", and "Evil (not-so) Geniuses" [Kurt Andersen] — which hides Empire behind their totally corrupted dual-party Vichy-facade of faux-democracy.

    Sincerely,

    Alan MacDonald

    1. Alan, thank you for responding. And for your insightful posts that I have posted, on RiseUpTimes.org. I have limited space there unfortunately.

  3. Ahh, the folly of thinking the DoD only has 800 bases worldwide. Think of all the CIA and DoD embassies. Think of all those corporations, here, abroad, transnational, that are in the employ of satellites, psy-ops, propaganda, bombs, bullets, soft and hard coup lovers and planners. Think of all the strategic NGOS and all those university departments that work for empire, for the war against cultures, people, resources, planet.

    Please please, see the disease as it is — rotting the world through Capitalism as in Continuing Crimina l Enterprise. Every nanosecond of a servers, the cloud run by Bezos, all those experimental DNA scramblers, all the bioweapons, all the Fauci Fun Folk, all the Internet of Things, Internet of Bodies. All those behavior specialists creating charter schools, Zoom Doom tele-everything, Charter Cities, pop-up refugee centers. Think of all the Microsoft and Seattle Hard and Silion Vallye Syphilitics working on data trolling, data, thieving, data aggregation, data power to enlist the tools of oppression and digital imprisonment ALL in the employ of WAR against people, cultures, languages, valleys, rivers, reefs, mountains, ponds, glaciers, aquifers, etc.

    Stop this silliness and look hard at how Capital destroys with the tools of financial war, with rhetorial war, with media war. We live in a war economy. Whether it is drone classes at your local community college, or some Ivy League poli-sci course. Warriors for Capital. How clean is that? How green washing is that”? How eco-porn is that?

    Then, well, how many vaxxed folk and triple and bi-annual double boosted people will it take before the greenie weenies see how deep and profound that war economy is?

  4. This is about so much more than militarism, or climate change. It is a civilization in decay and on the verge of collapse. All the system buffers are gone and the shocks now cut into meat and jar to the bone. Our society no longer has any unifying moral or ethical compass to steer by,….only greed. The propaganda is so pervasive that they now declare up is down and night is day. You will own nothing and be happy.

    All the easy energy is gone…..a millennium of it wastefully used in a century and there is no easy way out with 7-8 billion people who need to get fed, clothed, housed, and transported. Social inequality now matches or even exceeds the decadence of ancient Rome. As does our psychopathic need to enslave the world.

    I find it endlessly ironic that the average American has no problem at all with out country oppressing, subjugating and murdering all the world over…in the name of democracy and justice, and never once realize that as sure as the sun comes up in the morning, eventually and not far in the future, they will share the same fate….by the same hands.

    I constantly declare we have gone collectively insane. Many of you who read here know this and some of you believe I am some kind of nutcase for making such declarations. Because you cannot see it, because you on some level are part of it. I turned off the TV and the Movies, and the Propaganda a long time ago, and when I look out at my country I do it with unblemished, un-programmed, unfiltered eyes and I see insanity.

    Basing your own worth by how much you own….insane. Thinking your better then other people just because you make more money….insane. Thinking you will be happy….once you accumulate enough stuff…..insane. Willing to surrender your own critical thinking to group think and conformity….insane.

    I could go on….for a long time. But the insanity so instilled in the culture, taught to you since birth, hammered into you with every TV show, or movie…in virtually every thing you do and everywhere you go that you don’t see it, because you are part of it.

    The center cannot hold. Our civilization has gone insane, along with it’s leaders and is bent on it’s own destruction. It will have it too….

    1. JAM, I agree with everything you said, with one exception. We’ve always been insane. Europe has been insane since it was born out of the remnants of Rome.

      We’ve been psychotic and psychopathic for centuries. But we can’t see it because it is so normalized for us.

      We’re only here in this land at all because we were running screaming from ourselves, from living in human-created hellscapes of poverty and abuse and rich psychopaths being charge.

      We are trained to defer to them in the way a dog defers to its human when that human is a dog trainer. We wouldn’t know what freedom of thought was if we saw it, because the hierarchy IS our reality.

    2. Good points However don;t forget that a public fed from the Kool Aid Fountain of Freedom and Democracy for 75 years cannot tell the difference between shit and shinola. You’re dealing with a brainwashed public dumbed down by decades of propaganda and lies, that never questions its sacred military.

    3. “I could go on….for a long time. But the insanity so instilled in the culture, taught to you since birth, hammered into you with every TV show, or movie…in virtually every thing you do and everywhere you go that you don’t see it, because you are part of it.” Good rant MAV – all too true. Beyond insane.

  5. When I read reports like this, I am at first struck by the evidence given, then slowly, internally I find myself asking the questions “If all of these issues are resolved in a timely way, what authority will insure that the new “clean Earth utopia”, stays that way? And furthermore, “What is the ultimate goal in all this, if not to facilitate our species current state of “Overshoot” with the unspoken assumption that human life on Earth must continue without end?
    “All your images of winter
    I see against your sky.
    I understand the wounds
    that have not healed in you.
    They exist
    Because God and Love
    Have yet to become real enough
    To allow you to forgive
    The dream”
    -Hafiz

    Humans are a dangerously insane and very sick species, that is not a judgement but a fact. – Eckhart Tolle

    These two bits of wisdom, have the power to render all of our worldly problems moot.

    1. Hafiz was Goethe’s favorite poet
      “bulls are like peasants… they stick to their folly…..you can beat them….they return to their folly..”
      N Nekrasov

    2. Hafiz was Goethe’s favorite poet
      “bulls are like peasants… they stick to their folly…..you can beat them….they return to their folly..”
      N Nekrasov…

  6. Two AF bases here in NM. The one closer to Albuquerque dumped jet fuel into the ground that leaked into some of the local wells supplying the city; took 15 years to finally get an admission and the beginnings of a detox effort. The other base in the state’s south leaked enough PFAS into the aquifer that a dairy farmer was quoted as contemplating the euthanizing of his entire dairy herd whose milk was seriously contaminated. (I don’t recall if he actually did or not.) It’s hard not to perceive that in their unwillingness to reign-in the US monster military, our feckless pols are killing both the country’s biosphere and its citizens.

  7. ” The solution to global warming is to leave the fossil fuels in the ground and switch as quickly as we can to renewable sources.”

    Unfortunately, that is not the solution to the climate crisis, or to global warming, however it would be required as part of a much larger response. I won’t say “solution” because I don’t believe there are solutions. As the writer points out, we do not have the technology to do what we know needs to be done. It’s still extreme science fiction stuff.

    Global warming has triggered what are called positive self-reinforcing feedback loops. One is the melting of the ice cap, which is now little more than half its previous size in cover, which causes huge loss of albedo each summer, which causes more warming, which causes more melting, which causes more warming which causes more melting, and so on.

    Global warming has caused massive permafrost melt, permafrost that stores as much as 30% to 50% (no one knows for sure) of all carbon that exists on the planet, and it is hemorrhaging out of the arctic in the form of methane, a powerful GHG that in the short term of 20 years has 85 times the heating effect of CO2.

    Even if we stopped burning CO2 completely today, the Earth would continue to warm to extinction levels for decades to come. It would slow our CO2 production, but some experts actually believe stopping all activity could bring about our demise even sooner because we generate so much atmospheric pollution that we provide some cooling with our industrial activities. Should those activities cease, the planet could heat a few degrees within a matter of weeks only, is the theory.

    But of course, no one knows. Nothing has ever happened to the planet exactly like what we have done.

    Actually our money and wealth seeking is what will be the end of us. Civilization the way we do it was always doomed to failing in a terrible and brutal manner. Our unwillingness to live within moral-material limits is going to be the end of everything. We can talk endlessly about the many forms this greed results in, our militarism, our colonialism, our speciesism, our overconsumption, our fetish with machinery and magical thinking, all our made up nonsense, but our basic problem is simple. We have a culturally inculcated narcissistic hatred of boundaries and limits, even and especially the Earth’s.

  8. Yep we will go and pluck the solar panels off the solar tree then power hospitals at night when the wind doesn’t blow . This civilization is unsustainable without fossil fuels period . You are not going to power Semi trucks with solar . Period end of story

  9. study published yesterday: 65% in USA support NATO, 65% want government censorship—dems nearly double GOP

    1. Gilligan, so it looks like Americans are willfully blind, and deaf??
      We deserve what we get as we keep voting the same types of pro war politicians and believe our M S media.
      Our economy and employment grinds to a halt without war and our psyche is weaken with out enemies…. Thank goodness for China to hate : like never before….(. Apologies for using Donald’s phrases).

      Don’t believe me, you can see a lot by just watching that USA has been at war, cold War or proxy war constantly since 1950.
      Obviously, we need war like a junkie needs his fix, and his addiction grows for bigger and bigger hits.
      Don’t be surprised if a nuke goes off.

      1. ” . . . that USA has been at war, cold War or proxy war constantly since 1950.”

        The US has been at war since Jamestown in 1607. It was war that allowed White people to live here at all, and they were at war constantly for almost the next 300 years with just the Native Americans. There was never been a day that this country was not at war someplace from the time of the first European landing until 1891.

        If not for war, we’d still be impoverished peasants in feudal Europe. Oh, wait, we are impoverished peasants (most of us) in a feudal society with rich, psychopathic overlords in charge. Maybe that’s why we’re at war all the time.

        It’s pretty obvious to me that we don’t know how to live any other way, or we don’t want to live any other way. We’ve been doing exactly what we do now for a very, very long time.

      2. Keith,
        US has been at war 95% of its history…Weber and Freud most carefully examined charisma…..leaders are irrelevant; mainly they are cheerleaders. in USA this narcissism has been examined by many. In other nations there is little interest in leaders excepting Nazi Germany—Hitler’s famous “metaphysical charisma”
        Both Durkheim and Hegel found that the state reflects the values and desires of its people. Slater attributed misadventures in Vietnam and Iraq, both supported by 80% of American adults to ” a particular culture and the psychology of that culture”. In 1974 the Marxist Richard Sennet described the american obsession with JFK’s money and sex life as “mobilized narcissism, passivity, ideological senility”. In 1970 Sennet wrote, “that a nation like america is irresponsibly adolescent is revealed in the great fear americans have of learning about the war they have made”..

  10. I saw no mention of geoengineering. Military aircraft have been used for nearly 100 years for weather control. Everything from biplanes, B-17’s and more lately KC-135’s refitted with spray nozzles to deposit metallic micro dust in the upper atmosphere. Our planet is getting coated in aluminum dust and our oceans are covered in plastics; the whole planetary system is suffocating.

    Artificial cloud formation is touted as being necessary for solar radiation control but it is essentially using one form of pollution to fight another. It is ironic that artificially blocking the sun decreases the efficiency of solar panel generated electricity. Up to 60% in some cases. I think that the oil companies like this because it stifles their competition.

    I like to older acronym FUBAR to describe the situation. “Fucked up beyond any repair”.

  11. With the news media in the pocket of the corporate world important issues never get mentioned.
    Just watch Martha Raddatz, another member of the overpaid elite newspersons interview Bernie Sanders. All the important issues get ignored and she focuses on the superficial. No wonder the public is deaf and dumb.
    The nation is staring collapse in the eye and laughing it off. Tragic and sad.

  12. The world’s military industrial government complex must convert from war to cleanup and regenerative agroecology. Bases like WPAFB in Dayton, Ohio must stop fueling the logistics of war and start cleanup of superfund sites they created, they must ‘go local’ to remediate PFAS in our water, the scale of cleanup need is titanic and has been covered up for decades by corrupt local officials and politicians.

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