By Mike Shane
Without a doubt, the greatest threat to the planet Earth at this moment in history is the worldwide environmental degradation and destruction. The environment is threatened by not just climate change, but also pollution of the air, land and water, habitat loss, mass extinction of literally millions of species of plants and animals, and loss of topsoil. And the U.S. military, and the military-industrial-banking complex, plays a major role in destroying the planet’s ability to sustain life.
The U.S. military is the world’s largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels and the world’s worst producer of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and many other toxic pollutants. The U.S. military accounts for almost 80% of the federal government’s fossil fuel consumption. If the Pentagon were a country, it would rank 47th in annual fossil fuel consumption, ahead of 140 countries. Not included in this GHG emissions total are those produced by the Pentagon’s massive use of concrete, electricity consumption, and other resources that also produce GHGs. The production of concrete is one of the major sources of GHGs and other forms of pollution.
Since the onset of the so-called “Global War on Terror” in 2001, which is better characterized as the U.S. Global War on Terror, the Pentagon has created more than 1.2 billion metric tons of GHGs from fossil fuel consumption, with 400 million metric tons produced directly from war-related use of fuel. The Pentagon’s GHG emissions are generally overlooked in climate change studies because it is difficult to get consistent data. In an effort to get U.S. buy-in, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol exempted the U.S. military and UN/U.S. sanctioned military activities from the GHG totals, as a concession to U.S. imperialism. Despite this concession, the U.S. refused to sign the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which was signed by 191 countries while the U.S. Congress passed a law exempting the Pentagon from GHG limits. The U.S. military exemptions were eliminated in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which the U.S. initially agreed to but has since announced its withdrawal from the Agreement….