By Melanie Pita, Climate Activist team teacher
Today I would like to write about the issue of the Military Complex and how it influences our Climate Crisis.
First and foremost is good to understand that the Military protects commercial interests, that the commercial interests fund the Government- and that the government pays for/to the military. This is the very basic structure of this complex.
Starting from the very basic connection between the Climate and military pollution… The production. Every single item produced and its production chain. The need of resources and the pollution that takes place. From the simplest to the most complex items. Think of all the equipment for the army, air force, navy etc. Think from clothing to weapons. Think of all the aircraft, all the ships, all the modern tanks, all the installations, all the bases. The USA only, in 2019, has over two million and four hundred thousand people on the military force. Think of this big numbers.
Regarding the CO2 emissions – the USA has from 2001 up to 2018 emitted 1.2 billion tons of CO2. Yes, you can read that again: 1.2 billion tons of CO2 in 17 years. The UK emitted, in 2019, 351.5 million tonnes of CO2. Yes, this is only two countries in the whole world.
Military emissions are hidden from sight
The Kyoto Protocol was an international treaty where some state parties committed to reduce greenhouse emissions. There are different reasons for this to have failed - but one of them was that military emissions were excluded from the Kyoto protocol. In a similar agreement - the Paris agreement - signed in 2015, states that nations can freely choose whether or not the military sector should reduce its emissions, but their emissions are no longer exempt from counting but… there are many things that fall in between tables, such as military bases outside their home countries. And around 800 USA military bases are outside the USA.
Which military data is included in GHG (Green House Gas) inventories?
What is counted by the USA, and what is counted by the UK?
You know of the G7, right? The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—that meets annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security, and energy policy. Well now I will show you the amount these 7 countries on military spending and how much they invest on Fighting GWCC and I think the numbers demonstrate quite well what the priorities are.
The next thing I want to share is the chemical pollution and its consequences. You have probably heard what Agent Orange did in Vietnam. It has affected over 2 million people, it has destroyed ecosystems, people’s life and the ground pollution we are still not certain of its gravity. In France there is a forest area called the Zone Rouge… after a battle in the First World War that area is still toxic with lethal levels of arsenic and unexploded bombs.
This is the Chemical Warfare.
You can add nuclear warfare, biological warfare and radiological warfare on which many are considered weapons of mass destruction. Weapons so strong that can end life as we know it.
If we talk nuclear the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea possess approximately 14,000 nuclear weapons, in total. Well you remember what happened in Hiroshima… a B83 nuclear bomb - modern nuke - has 1.2 megatons which means it is 80 x Hiroshima!
This is just to let you know of some of the parts of the military industry we are not speaking about nearly as much as we should. How they influence the environment and life, how the military complex gets natural resources consumption to an extreme - and how to be an Environmental Activist you also have to be a Peace Activist!