Global warming is on the minds of people all over the planet. They
are talking about how strange their weather is these days. Severe fluctuations
are causing new weather patterns alien to communities worldwide. Obviously, the
growth in greenhouse gases is a primary reason for global warming.
lifestyle, especially in the U.S. with less than 5% of the world’s population,
is a major contributor as we produce 25% of global carbon emissions.
few ever ask what role the U.S. military plays in contributing to global
warming. And as people like Al Gore and other environmentalists look for
solutions, rarely is the Pentagon mentioned as a polluter and a place that we
can look to for change if life is to survive on our mother Earth.
Pentagon has been studying,
and testing, the idea of using weather modification as a battlefield weapon
for many years. Can we begin to talk about what impact weather modification
experimentation could be having on our planet already?
In a recent
article called What’s
Possible in the Military Sector? Greater Than 100% Reduction in Greenhouse
, Green Party activist Don Fitz says “The military is the only sector
of the economy where emissions of greenhouse gases can be reduced by greater
than 100%…..Regular economic activity of the military is not exactly small.
According to the February 2007 Energy Bulletin
, the Pentagon is the
single largest consumer of oil in the world. Only 35 countries consume more
Fitz continues, “This domination of industrial activity by the
military is often referred to as the ‘permanent war economy.’ There is an even
more insidious meaning to the phrase. That is the need of the military to have
ever-shorter periods of time between wars. The only way to have a true test of a
weapon is to use it against people…..Military spending is like a cancer which
has metastasized throughout the body politic, with every congressional district
demanding its place at the trough.”
Many environmental groups are working on
solutions to global warming. One for example is the Apollo Alliance
, which is calling for
the creation of a new economy – a new industrial policy that moves toward
building alternative sustainable technologies. Uniting labor and environmental
groups, who usually are on opposite sides of the fence, the Apollo Alliance is
showing that a new environmental policy can also create good jobs which is
something the labor movement and low-income communities can get excited
But there is just one huge concern. Where will be funds come from
to invest in this new industrial policy?
When the military industrial
complex is soaking up over 50% of every American tax dollar, where will the
funds come from to create the investment for this new industrial infrastructure?
Space technology development will only exacerbate this trend as the Pentagon
brags that Star Wars
will be the largest industrial
project in the history of the planet Earth.
Major private corporate
industrial investment is leaving the country like rats off a sinking ship.
in U.S. industry is the reality
Most politicians understand this new reality very well. They know
that weapons production is currently the number one industrial export
product of the U.S. They know that major industrial job creation is
largely coming from the Pentagon. Thus most politicians, from both parties, want
to continue to support the military industrial complex gravy train for their
Across the nation colleges and universities are turning to
the Pentagon for greater research funding as Congress and successive
administrations have cut back on scientific research and development investment.
As this trend worsens we find growing evidence that engineering, computer
science, astronomy, mathematics, and other departments are becoming
“militarized” in order to maintain funding levels. Student protests against
campus weapons research have been growing in recent years at places like the
University of Hawaii, University of New Mexico, University of Oregon, and UC
It is abundantly clear that no real alternative
sustainable technology investment will be possible on the scale needed to avert
catastrophic global warming without conversion of the military industrial
complex. It is imperative that the peace movement, environmental movement,
social justice movement, and labor movements create a unifying vision and
political demand calling on Congress to use our hard-earned tax dollars for conversion of the
military industrial complex
We must do as the old saying goes –
follow the money. And increasingly the money in the U.S. today is in weapons
production. By converting the military we can make large strides to dealing with
greenhouse gases, create new sustainable industries and stop our free fall into