Climate Change and the Military

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Climate Change and the Military

As Don Fitz wrote in 2007, "[t]he military is the only sector of the economy where emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) can be reduced by greater than 100%. This is because militarism is the only type of activity whose primary purpose is destruction." [1]

Indeed, Fitz concludes that: "The world does not need a global warming strategy which features tanks charged by wind power or Israelis using solar-powered bulldozers for leveling Palestinian homes. Given the oil used by the military, its interconnections with other economic sectors, and its increasing permanence, no proposal for reducing GHG should be taken seriously if it does not include a massive restructuring of war industry into a peacetime economy." [2]

On the contrary, a 2004 "secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world." Unfortunately, this observation is only likely to lead to an increase in military budgets, as the report's authors note that climate change "should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern". [3]

Ironically, there have even been calls that Governments must declare war on climate change.

Also see, Council on Foreign Relations "Special Report on Climate Change and National Security" (author: Joshua W. Busby)

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