Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

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chlamor
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Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by chlamor » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:21 pm

Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change
Posted Oct 29, 2019 by Martin Hart-Landsberg

Originally published: Reports from the Economic Front (October 25, 2019)

Climate change is occurring, highlighted by dramatically shifting weather patterns and ever more deadly storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires. And the evidence is overwhelming that it is driven by the steady increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide and methane, produced by our fossil fuel-based economic system.

Aware of global warming’s deadly human consequences, millions of people have taken to the streets to demand that governments take action to end our use of fossil fuels as part of a massive system-wide economic transformation that would also be designed to ensure a just transition for all communities and workers.

As movements here in the U.S. take aim at the fossil fuel industry and government leaders that continue to resist efforts to promote more sustainable and egalitarian forms of energy generation and distribution, transportation, agriculture, and housing, the largest generator of greenhouse gas emissions continues to fly above the clouds and largely out of public view. As Neta Crawford, Co-Director of Brown University’s Costs of War Project, states in her recently published study of Pentagon fuel use and climate change, “the Department of Defense is the world’s largest institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world.”

Flying above the clouds

We know that we have an enormous military budget. U.S. military spending is greater than the total military spending of the next seven countries combined: China, Saudi Arabia, India, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and Germany. The budget of the Department of Defense alone commands more than half of all U.S. federal discretionary spending each year. Add in spending on national security activities and weapons included in other departmental budgets, like that of the Department of Energy, and the military’s budget share approaches two-thirds of all discretionary spending.

This kind of information is readily available. The U.S. military’s contribution to global warming is not. One reason is that because of U.S. government pressure, the governments negotiating the Kyoto Protocol agreed that emissions generated by military activity would not count as national emissions and would not have to be reported. That exemption remained in the agreement even though the U.S. government never signed-on to the Kyoto Protocol. Perhaps as a consequence, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also does not include national military emissions in its calculations. Although the Paris Accord removed the exemption, the U.S. government is committed to withdrawing from the agreement in 2020.

Uncovering the carbon costs of the U.S. military

Although the U.S. military does not publicly disclose its fuel use, four researchers—Oliver Belcher, Benjamin Neimark, Patrick Bigger, and Cara Kennelly—using multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, have recently published an article that provides a good estimate.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is charged with overseeing the supply chain that supports all military activities, including its warfighting, peacekeeping, and base operations. The Defense Logistics Agency–Energy (DLA-E), a unit within the DLA, has responsibility for managing the military’s energy requirements. In the words of Belcher, Neimark, Bigger, and Kennelly, “the DLA-E is the one-stop shop for fueling purchases and contracts within the U.S. military both domestically and internationally, and acts as the U.S. military’s internal market for all consumables, including fuel.”

In simple terms, the military needs fuel—to fly its jets and bombers on surveillance or attack missions, to deliver troops and weapons to bases and areas of conflict, to power ships on maneuvers, to run the vehicles used by patrols and fighting forces, and to maintain base operations here and around the world. And because it is the DLA-E that secures and distributes the required fuel, the four researchers used “Freedom of Information Act requests to compile a database of DLA-E records for all known land, sea, and aircraft fuel purchases, as well as fuel contracts made with U.S. operators in military posts, camps, stations, and ship bunkers abroad from FY 2013 to 2017.” The resulting calculation of total fuel purchases and use served as the basis for the authors’ estimate of the military’s production of greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. military runs on fuel

The fuel dependence of the U.S. military has dramatically grown over time, largely as a consequence of the nature of its continually evolving weapons systems and warfighting strategies. For example, average fuel use, by soldier, grew from one gallon a day during World War II, to nine gallons a day by the end of the Vietnam War, to 22 gallons a day in the wars currently being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.

One reason for this upward trajectory is that the U.S. military has come to depend ever more on airpower to directly threaten or attack its enemies as well as support its heavily armored ground forces operating in foreign countries. As Crawford explains, the U.S. military consumes so much energy because “its fighting ‘tooth’ employs equipment that guzzles fuel at an incredible rate . . . [and its] logistical ‘tail’ and the installations that support operations are also extremely fuel intensive.”

For example, Crawford reports that the fuel consumption of a B-2 Bomber is 4.28 gallons to the mile. Read that carefully–that is gallons to the mile, not the more common miles to the gallon. The fuel consumption of a F-35A Fighter bomber is 2.37 gallons to the mile, while it is 4.9 miles to the gallon for a KC-135R Refueling Tanker (loaded with transfer fuel). “Even the military’s non-armored vehicles are notoriously inefficient. For instance, the approximately 60,000 HUMVEEs remaining in the U.S. Army fleet get between four to eight miles per gallon of diesel fuel.”

Needless to say, an active military will burn through a lot of fuel. And as Belcher, Neimark, Bigger, and Kennelly point out, the U.S. military has indeed been busy: “Between 2015 and 2017, the U.S. military was active in 76 countries, including seven countries on the receiving end of air/drone strikes, 15 countries with ‘boots on the ground,’ 44 overseas military bases, and 56 countries receiving counter-terrorism training.”

The carbon footprint of the U.S. military

Belcher, Neimark, Bigger, and Kennelly determined that “the U.S. military consumes more liquid fuels and emits more CO2e (carbon-Dioxide equivalent) than many medium-sized countries.” Comparing 2014 country liquid fuel consumption with U.S. military liquid fuel consumption revealed that the U.S. military, if treated as a country, would rank between Peru and Portugal. The U.S. military’s 2014 greenhouse gas emissions, just from its use of fuel, was roughly equal “to total–not just fuel-–emissions from Romania.” That year, the U.S. military, again just from its fuel use, was the 47th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, and not far behind a host of other countries.

The U.S. military’s ranking would be higher if its other emissions were included, such as from the electricity and food the military consumes, or the land use changes from military operations. And of course, none of this includes the emissions from the many corporations engaged in producing weapons for the military. In 2017, the U.S. military purchased about 269,230 barrels of oil a day and emitted 25,375.8 kt-CO2e by burning those fuels.

One reason that the U.S. military is such a large greenhouse gas emitter is that most of its fuel is jet fuel procured for use by the Air Force or Navy. Their planes burn the fuel at extremely high altitudes, which “produces different kinds of chemical reactions, resulting in warming 2–4 times greater than on the ground.”

The military’s response to climate change

The military is well aware of the dangers of climate change—in contrast to many of our leading politicians. One reason is that it threatens its operational readiness. As Crawford explains:

In early 2018, the DOD reported that about half of their installations had already experienced climate change related effects. A year later, the DOD reported that the U.S. military is already experiencing the effects of global warming at dozens of installations. These include recurrent flooding (53 installations), drought (43 installations), wildfires (36 installations) and desertification (6 installations).

But most importantly, the military sees climate change as a threat to U.S. national security. For years, the military has considered the impact of climate change in its defense planning because, as a recent report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence puts it, “global environmental and ecological degradation, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond.” Of course, in planning responses to possible climate-generated threats to U.S. interests, the military remains committed to strengthening its capacity for action, even though doing so adds to the likelihood of greater climate chaos.

In short, people are right to demand that governments take meaningful and immediate steps to stop global warning. And those steps need to include significant reductions in military spending as well as overseas bases and interventions. Since the U.S. military is the single largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, the fight to reign in militarism in this country is especially important. As an added benefit, the money freed could be put to good use helping to finance the broader system-wide transformation required to create an ecologically responsive economy.

https://mronline.org/2019/10/29/flying- ... te-change/

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Re: Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by blindpig » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:50 pm

If they ain't talking about serious political change, like reducing Pentagon budget immediately by 50% & additional 40% shortly thereafter then they ain't serious about the environment.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

chlamor
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Re: Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by chlamor » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:32 am

US military bigger polluter than most countries
Tue Jun 25, 2019

The US military is a bigger polluter than most countries, a new research has found, warning that the American war machine has a larger carbon footprint than a number of countries combined.

The research by the Durham University and Lancaster University in the UK found that if the US military was a country, it would have ranked 47th among all nations in greenhouse gas emissions based on its consumption of fossil fuels.

A comparison of 2014 World Bank country liquid fuel consumption with 2015 US military liquid fuel consumption shows that the US military ranks between Portugal and Peru in terms of purchasing fossil fuels.

In 2014, the US military greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were roughly equivalent to Romania’s total emissions.

In 2017, the US military bought more than 269,000 barrels of oil a day and emitted more than 25,000 kilotons of CO2 equivalent emissions by burning them.

In total, the US Air Force spent $4.9 billion on fuel that year, while the Navy spent $2.8 billion, followed by the Army at $947 million and Marines Corps at $36 million.

The report stated that US Air Force is by far the largest emitter of GHG at more than 13,000 kilotones equivalent of CO2, almost two times the US Navy’s 7,800 kilotons.

The US military has become the biggest polluter in the world, leaving a trail of toxic waste around the world.
A 2017 report by MintPress revealed that the Pentagon alone produces more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined, creating a toxic trail over the world comprised of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead.

The US military has long tried to hide its emissions data, the main reason why such a major factor is often overlooked in climate change studies.

In fact, the US insisted to get an exemption for reporting military emissions when the 1997 Kyoto Protocol came into effect to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The loophole was addressed in the Paris Accord, but US President Donald Trump has announced that America would withdraw from the accord in 2020.

“The US military has long understood it is not immune from the potential consequences of climate change — recognizing it as a threat multiplier that can exacerbate other threats — nor has it ignored its own contribution to the problem," said Patrick Bigger of the Lancaster University Environment Center.

“Yet its climate policy is fundamentally contradictory — confronting the effects of climate change while remaining the largest single institutional consumer of hydrocarbons in the world, a situation it is locked into for years to come because of its dependence on existing aircraft and warships for open-ended operations around the globe.”

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/06/ ... n-Pentagon

chlamor
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Re: Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by chlamor » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:33 am

U.S. Military World’s Largest Polluter – Hundreds Of Bases Gravely Contaminated
Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined, the U.S. Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among other pollutants.
By Whitney Webb
Global Research, May 18, 2017
MintPress News 15 May 2017

Last week, mainstream media outlets gave minimal attention to the news that the U.S. Naval station in Virginia Beach had spilled an estimated 94,000 gallons of jet fuel into a nearby waterway, less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. While the incident was by no means as catastrophic as some other pipeline spills, it underscores an important yet little-known fact – that the U.S. Department of Defense is both the nation’s and the world’s, largest polluter.

Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined, the U.S. Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among others.

In 2014, the former head of the Pentagon’s environmental program told Newsweek that her office has to contend with 39,000 contaminated areas spread across 19 million acres just in the U.S. alone.

U.S. military bases, both domestic and foreign, consistently rank among some of the most polluted places in the world, as perchlorate and other components of jet and rocket fuel contaminate sources of drinking water, aquifers, and soil. Hundreds of military bases can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Superfund sites, which qualify for clean-up grants from the government.

Almost 900 of the nearly 1,200 Superfund sites in the U.S. are abandoned military facilities or sites that otherwise support military needs, not counting the military bases themselves.

“Almost every military site in this country is seriously contaminated,” John D. Dingell, a retired Michigan congressman and war veteran, told Newsweek in 2014.

Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina is one such base. Lejeune’s contamination became widespread and even deadly after its groundwater was polluted with a sizable amount of carcinogens from 1953 to 1987.

Environmentalists are Ignoring the Elephant in the Room: U.S. Military is the World’s Largest Polluter
However, it was not until this February that the government allowed those exposed to chemicals at Lejeune to make official compensation claims. Numerous bases abroad have also contaminated local drinking water supplies, most famously the Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa.

Between 1946 and 1958, the US tested 66 nuclear weapons near Bikini atoll. Populations living nearby in the Marshall Islands were exposed to measurable levels of radioactive fallout from these tests. (Map: National Cancer Institute)

In addition, the U.S., which has conducted more nuclear weapons tests than all other nations combined, is also responsible for the massive amount of radiation that continues to contaminate many islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Marshall Islands, where the U.S. dropped more than sixty nuclear weapons between 1946 and 1958, are a particularly notable example. Inhabitants of the Marshall Islands and nearby Guam continue to experience an exceedingly high rate of cancer.

The American Southwest was also the site of numerous nuclear weapons tests that contaminated large swaths of land. Navajo Indian reservations have been polluted by long-abandoned uranium mines where nuclear material was obtained by U.S. military contractors.

One of the most recent testaments to the U.S. military’s horrendous environmental record is Iraq. U.S. military action there has resulted in the desertification of 90 percent of Iraqi territory, crippling the country’s agricultural industry and forcing it to import more than 80 percent of its food. The U.S.’ use of depleted uranium in Iraq during the Gulf War also caused a massive environmental burden for Iraqis. In addition, the U.S. military’s policy of using open-air burn pits to dispose of waste from the 2003 invasion has caused a surge in cancer among U.S. servicemen and Iraqi civilians alike.

Effect of US’ use of depleted uranium in Iraq

While the U.S. military’s past environmental record suggests that its current policies are not sustainable, this has by no means dissuaded the U.S. military from openly planning future contamination of the environment through misguided waste disposal efforts. Last November, the U.S. Navy announced its plan to release 20,000 tons of environmental “stressors,” including heavy metals and explosives, into the coastal waters of the U.S. Pacific Northwest over the course of this year.

The plan, laid out in the Navy’s Northwest Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), fails to mention that these “stressors” are described by the EPA as known hazards, many of which are highly toxic at both acute and chronic levels.

The 20,000 tons of “stressors” mentioned in the EIS do not account for the additional 4.7 to 14 tons of “metals with potential toxicity” that the Navy plans to release annually, from now on, into inland waters along the Puget Sound in Washington state.

In response to concerns about these plans, a Navy spokeswoman said that heavy metals and even depleted uranium are no more dangerous than any other metal, a statement that represents a clear rejection of scientific fact. It seems that the very U.S. military operations meant to “keep Americans safe” come at a higher cost than most people realize – a cost that will be felt for generations to come both within the United States and abroad.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-milit ... ed/5590667

chlamor
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Re: Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by chlamor » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:35 am

Pentagon Pollution, 7: The military assault on global climate
Posted on February 8, 2015
The U.S. military is the single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural disasters intensified by global climate change.

H. Patricia Hynes, a former professor of environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health, now directs the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice. She has kindly given permission for Climate & Capitalism to repost these articles, which were originally published in Truthout in 2011.

Part 1: War and the true tragedy of the commons
Part 2: Military waste sickens land and people
Part 3: Chemical warfare and Agent orange
Part 4: A biological bargain with the devil
Part 5: The deadly impact of depleted uranium
Part 6: Weapons of mass destruction in slow motion
Part 7: The military assault on global climate
US military oil tank trucks

PENTAGON POLLUTION, 7
THE MILITARY ASSAULT ON GLOBAL CLIMATE

by H. Patricia Hynes

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
Martin Luther King

By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy … Yet, the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements … Any talk of climate change which does not include the military is nothing but hot air, according to Sara Flounders.

It’s a loophole [in the Kyoto Convention on Climate Change] big enough to drive a tank through, according to the report A Climate of War.

In 1940, the US military consumed one percent of the country’s total energy usage; by the end of World War II, the military’s share rose to 29 percent.(1) Oil is indispensable for war.

Correspondingly, militarism is the most oil-exhaustive activity on the planet, growing more so with faster, bigger, more fuel-guzzling planes, tanks and naval vessels employed in more intensive air and ground wars. At the outset of the Iraq war in March 2003, the Army estimated it would need more than 40 million gallons of gasoline for three weeks of combat, exceeding the total quantity used by all Allied forces in the four years of World War 1. Among the Army’s armamentarium were 2,000 staunch M-1 Abrams tanks fired up for the war and burning 250 gallons of fuel per hour.(2)

The US Air Force (USAF) is the single largest consumer of jet fuel in the world. Fathom, if you can, the astronomical fuel usage of USAF fighter planes: the F-4 Phantom Fighter burns more than 1,600 gallons of jet fuel per hour and peaks at 14,400 gallons per hour at supersonic speeds. The B-52 Stratocruiser, with eight jet engines, guzzles 500 gallons per minute; ten minutes of flight uses as much fuel as the average driver does in one year of driving! A quarter of the world’s jet fuel feeds the USAF fleet of flying killing machines; in 2006, they consumed as much fuel as US planes did during the Second World War (1941-1945) — an astounding 2.6 billion gallons.(3)

Barry Sanders observes with a load of tragic irony that, while many of us assiduously reduce our carbon footprint through simpler living, eating locally, recycling and reusing, energy conservation, taking public transportation, installing solar panels, and so on, the single largest institutional polluter and contributor to global warming — the US military — is immune to climate change concerns. The military reports no climate change emissions to any national or international body, thanks to US arm-twisting during the 1997 negotiations of the first international accord to limit global warming emissions, the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

To protect the military from any curbs on their activities, the United States demanded and won exemption from emission limits on “bunker” fuels (dense, heavy fuel oil for naval vessels) and all greenhouse gas emissions from military operations worldwide, including wars. Adding insult to injury, George W. Bush pulled the United States out of the Kyoto Protocol as one of the first acts of his presidency, alleging it would straitjacket the US economy with too costly greenhouse emissions controls. Next, the White House began a neo-Luddite campaign against the science of climate change. In researching The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism, Sanders found that getting war casualty statistics out of the Department of Defense (DoD) is easier than getting fuel usage data.

Only recently has the momentous issue of military fuel use and its massive, yet concealed role in global climate change come to the foreground, thanks to a handful of perspicacious researchers. Liska and Perrin contend that, in addition to tailpipe emissions, immense “hidden” greenhouse gas pollution stems from our use of gasoline. This impact on climate change should be calculated into the full lifecycle analysis of gasoline. When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compares gasoline and biofuels for their respective atmospheric pollution, the greenhouse gas emissions calculated for gasoline should include the military activities related to securing foreign crude oil, from which gasoline is derived. (But they do not, thanks to the Kyoto Accords military exemption.) Oil security comprises both military protection against sabotage to pipelines and tankers and also US-led wars in oil-rich regions to assure long-term access.

Nearly 1,000 US military bases trace an arc from the Andes to North Africa across the Middle East to Indonesia, the Philippines and North Korea, sweeping over all major oil resources — all related, in part, to projecting force for the sake of energy security. Further, the “upstream emissions” of greenhouse gases from the manufacture of military equipment, infrastructure, vehicles and munitions used in oil supply protection and oil-driven wars should also be included in the overall environmental impact of using gasoline. Adding these factors into their calculations, the authors conclude that about “20 percent of the conventional DoD budget … is attributable to the objective of oil security.”

A corresponding analysis by researchers at Oil Change International quantifies the greenhouse gas emissions of the Iraq war and the opportunity costs involved in fighting the war, rather than investing in clean technology, during the years 2003-2007. Their key findings are unambiguous about the vast climate pollution of war and the lockstep bipartisan policy of forfeiting future global health for present day militarism.

The projected full costs of the Iraq war (estimated $3 trillion) would cover “all of the global investments in renewable power generation” needed between now and 2030 to reverse global warming trends.
Between 2003-2007, the war generated at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)(4), more each year of the war than 139 of the world’s countries release annually.(5) Rebuilding Iraqi schools, homes, businesses, bridges, roads and hospitals pulverized by the war, and new security walls and barriers will require millions of tons of cement, one of the largest industrial sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2006, the US spent more on the war in Iraq than the entire world spent on renewable energy investment.
By 2008, the Bush administration had spent 97 times more on military than on climate change. As a presidential candidate, President Obama pledged to spend $150 billion over ten years on green energy technology and infrastructure — less than the United States was spending in one year of the Iraq war.
Just how much petroleum the Pentagon consumes is one of the best-kept secrets in government. More likely, observes Barry Sanders, no one in DoD knows precisely. His unremitting effort to ferret out the numbers is one of the most thorough to date. Sanders begins with figures given by the Defense Energy Support Center for annual oil procurement for all branches of the military. He then combines three other non-reported military oil consumption factors: an estimate of “free oil” supplied overseas (of which Kuwait was the largest supplier for the 2003 Iraq war), an estimate of oil used by private military contractors and military-leased vehicles and an estimate of the amount of bunker fuel used by naval vessels. By his calculation, the US military consumes as much as one million barrels of oil per day and contributes 5 percent of current global warming emissions. Keep in mind that the military has 1.4 million active duty people, or .0002 percent of the world’s population, generating 5 percent of climate pollution.

Yet, even this comparison understates the extreme military impact on climate change. Military fuel is more polluting because of the fuel type used for aviation. CO2 emissions from jet fuel are larger — possibly triple — per gallon than those from diesel and oil. Further, aircraft exhaust has unique polluting effects that result in greater warming effect by per unit of fuel used. Radiative effects from jet exhaust, including nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, soot and water vapor exacerbate the warming effect of the CO2 exhaust emissions.(6) Perversely, then, the US military consumes fossil fuel beyond compare to any other institutional and per capita consumption in order to preserve strategic access to oil — a lunacy instigated by a series of executive decisions.

Short History of Militarizing Energy

Ten of 11 US recessions since World War 11 have been preceded by oil price spikes … Maintaining low and stable oil prices is a political imperative associated with modern petroleum-based economies.

In 1945 the US military built an air base at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the start of securing permanent American access to newly discovered Middle East oil. President Roosevelt had negotiated a quid pro quo with the Saudi family: military protection in exchange for cheap oil for US markets and military. Eisenhower possessed great prescience about the post-World War II rise of a permanent war-based industry dictating national policy and the need for citizen vigilance and engagement to curb the “military-industrial” complex. Yet, he made a fateful decision on energy policy, which set our country and the world on a course from which we must find our way back.

The 1952 blue-ribbon Paley Commission Report proposed that the US build the economy on solar energy sources. The report also offered a strong negative assessment of nuclear energy and called for “aggressive research in the whole field of solar energy” as well as research and development on wind and biomass. In 1953, the new President Eisenhower ignored the report recommendation and inaugurated “Atoms for Peace,” touting nuclear power as the world’s new energy miracle that would be “too cheap to meter.” This decision not only embarked the country (and world) on a fateful course of nuclear power, but it also affixed the centrality of oil, gas and coal within the US economy.

By the late 1970s, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian Revolution threatened US access to oil in the Middle East, leading to President Carter’s 1980 State of the Union warmongering doctrine. The Carter Doctrine holds that any threat to US access to Middle East oil would be resisted “by any means necessary, including military force.” Carter put teeth into his doctrine by creating the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, whose purpose was combat operations in the Persian Gulf area when necessary. Ronald Reagan ramped up the militarization of oil with the formation of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), whose raison d’etre was to ensure access to oil, diminish Soviet Union influence in the region and control political regimes in the region for our national security interests. With growing reliance on oil from Africa and the Caspian Sea region, the US has since augmented its military capabilities in those regions.

In 2003, Carter’s doctrine of force when necessary was carried out with “shock and awe,” in what was the most intensive and profligate use of fossil fuel the world has ever witnessed. Recall, too, that as Baghdad fell, invading US troops ignored the looting of schools, hospitals and a nuclear power facility as well as the ransacking of national museums and burning of the National Library and Archives holding peerless, irreplaceable documentation of the “cradle of civilization.” The US military did, however, immediately seize and guard the Iraqi Oil Ministry Headquarters and positioned 2,000 soldier to safeguard oilfields.(7) First things first.

Many factors have converged and clarified over time to support the proposition that, at its core, the Iraq war was a war over oil. Eliminating weapons of mass destruction, deposing a tyrannical dictator, rooting out terrorism linked to 9/11, employing gunboat diplomacy to instill democracy and human rights — all were largely foils for oil. Alan Greenspan put it squarely: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everybody knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”(8)

As we near peak oil production, that is, the point of diminishing returns for oil exploration and production and higher oil prices, OPEC countries’ share of global production “will rise from 46 percent in 2007 to 56 percent in 2030.” Iraq has the third-largest reserves of oil; Iraq and Kazakhstan are “two of the top four countries with the largest [petroleum] production increases forecast from 2000 to 2030. The Middle East and Central Asia are, predictably, epicenters of US military operations and wars. A 2006 report on national security and US oil dependency released by the Council on Foreign Relations concluded that the US should maintain “a strong military posture that permits suitably rapid deployment to the [Persian Gulf] region” for at least 20 years. US military professionals concur and are preparing for the prospect of “large-scale armed struggle” over access to energy resources.

Where We Stand

Our national security has been reduced in large part to energy security, which has led us to militarizing our access to oil through establishing a military presence across the oil-bearing regions of the world and instigating armed conflict in Iraq, sustaining it in Afghanistan and provoking it in Libya. The air war in Libya has given the new US Africa Command (AFRICOM) — itself another extension of the Carter Doctrine — some spotlight and muscle. A few commentators have concluded that the NATO war in Libya is a justifiable humanitarian military intervention. The more trenchant judgment, in my view, is that the air war violated the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, the US Constitution and the War Powers Act; and that it sets a precedent and “model for how the United States wields force in other countries where its interests are threatened,” to quote administration officials. The air war in Libya is another setback to non-militarized diplomacy; it marginalized the African Union and it sets a course for more military intervention in Africa when US interests are at stake. Air war a model for future wars? If so, a death knell for the planet. This insatiable militarism is the single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural disasters intensified by global climate change.

Postscript

In August 2010, as I was conceiving this series, wildfires caused by drought and heat wave were consuming huge swaths of Russia and choking Moscow with air pollution. A member of the Russian Academy of Sciences warned that fire-induced winds could carry radioactive particles hundreds of miles from the burning forest around Chernobyl, reaching cities in Russia and even in Eastern Europe. The same risk exists for regions elsewhere contaminated with radioactive waste and jeopardized by uncontrollable wildfires. At the same time as the Russian fires, more than one in ten Pakistanis were uprooted, rendered food dependent and endangered by disease from the worst floods in recorded history, floods which engulfed one-fifth of the country from the northwest region to the south. Pakistan — a highly militarized nuclear power with tense relations with its nuclear neighbor India, whose border area with Afghanistan is a war zone, and within whose boundaries the CIA is conducting a drone war — prioritizes militarism over development. It ranks 15 in global military strength and 141 out of 182 countries in the Human Development Index.

In summer 2011, as I was completing this series, forest fires burned almost 50,000 acres in and around the nuclear weapons production and waste storage facilities at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Among the endangered radioactive materials and waste were as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste stored in fabric tents above ground, awaiting transport to a low-level radiation dumpsite in southern New Mexico. Two months later, Vermont suffered its worst ever floods and flood damage, with no part of the state untouched, from Tropical Storm Irene — considered to be one of the ten costliest disasters in US history.

Coincident with these environmental tragedies intensified by global warming, is the ongoing tradeoff in the US federal budget between militarized defense and genuine human and environmental security. The United States contributes more than 30 percent of global warming gases to the atmosphere, generated by five percent of the world’s population and US militarism. The pieces of the US federal budget pie that fund education, energy, environment, social services, housing and new job creation, taken together, receive less funding than the military/defense budget. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has called the military budget a taxpayer-supported jobs program and argues for reprioritizing federal spending on jobs in green energy, education and infrastructure – the real national security.

The United States has the wealth (currently larding the defense budget) and the technical capacity to revolutionize our energy economy and turn it within a few decades into an economy based on efficiency and renewable energy sources, thus removing a critical demand factor of our Goliath military. How costly would it be to eliminate underlying causes of war and injustice, such as poverty and gender inequality, and to restore the natural environment? In his most recent book “Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization,” Lester Brown estimates that eradicating poverty, educating women, providing reproductive resources and restoring forests worldwide would cost one-third of the US 2008 defense budget. The issue is not public monies.

Another ferocious demand factor is the octopus of defense industry companies that have spread their tentacles to nearly all of the states and control the majority of Congressionals. Thus, another vital scarce resource – some mineral in a contested seabed, for example – could replace petroleum and become the next flashpoint for more military build-up and response, unless that military-industrial complex is neutered.

Perhaps the most elusive driving factor of war is the values that underpin the tradition and habit of militarized solutions. War mirrors the culture of a country. US militarism – from its training, tactics and logistics to its reasons for going to war and its weapons of war – is distinctly shaped by core elements of American identity. These determining cultural forces are, according to military historian Victor Davis Hanson: manifest destiny; frontier mentality; rugged individualism and what he calls a “muscular independence”; unfettered market capitalism; the ideal of meritocracy (no matter what one’s class, one can rise to the top in the US military); and a fascination with machines, modernity and mobility. All converge to generate bigger, better and more destructive war technology. He adds that the integration of military into society is smoothed through the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

This cultural competence for high-tech war, with its origins in our past annihilation of Native Americans, may be our society’s nemesis unless we do critical soul searching about our cultural and personal values and actively engage in transforming them. There are a plentitude of cross currents in our society that have profoundly challenged the dominant cultural profile limned by militarist Hanson: the women’s and civil rights movements, the anti-war and peace movements, public intellectuals and progressive media, peace and justice studies, progressive labor and health workers, the coop and Transition Town movements and the handful of progressive politicians, among others. The challenge is how to build voice, social cohesion and public influence for our shared values of a sense of community, connection to nature, concern for the exploited and thirst for equity and justice against the dominant market messages of wealth, social prestige, image, power through dominance and meeting conflict with force.

Resources for Education and Action

Bring the War Dollars Home, a growing movement at the state and city/town level, uses the National Priorities Project data to make the case for ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and redirecting defense spending to genuine domestic security. See here and here.
National Priorities Project is a think tank and advocacy group that provides research designed to influence US federal spending priorities. Includes data on costs of wars, local taxes for war and tradeoffs.

Progressive Caucus Budget for 2012, also known as The People’s Budget, is an alternative budget offered by the 81-member Congressional Progressive Caucus that takes steps toward a saner role for government while reducing the deficit more and faster than either Ryan’s “Plan for Prosperity” or Obama’s plan.
Peace and Conflict Studies Programs: Two hundred and fifteen accredited peace and conflict studies graduate programs and grad schools on the leading graduate schoolweb site.
Peace and Justice Studies Association
War Tax Resistance: See the web site of War Tax Resistance/War Resisters League
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) was founded in 1915 during World War I. WILPF works to achieve, through peaceful means, world disarmament, full rights for women, racial and economic justice, an end to all forms of violence.
Notes:

1. Barry Sanders (2009), The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism. Oakland, California: AK Press, p.39.

2. Ibid p.51.

3. Ibid pp. 50,61

4. Units of carbon dioxide equivalent to combined greenhouse gas emissions.

5. This figure is conservative because there were no reliable numbers on the military consumption of naval bunker fuels for the transport of fuel and troops. Nor was there data on the use or release of intensive greenhouse gas chemicals in war, including halon, an ozone-depleting fire extinguishing chemical banned in the US since 1992 for civilian production and use, but allowed for DoD “critical mission” use.

6. George Monbiot (2006), Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning. cited in Sanders, p.72.

7. Chalmers Johnson (2010), Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope. New York: Metropolitan Books. pp.40-51.

8. Quoted in Liska and Perrin, p.9.

https://climateandcapitalism.com/2015/0 ... l-climate/

chlamor
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Re: Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by chlamor » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:37 am

Image

chlamor
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Re: Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by chlamor » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:45 am

OCTOBER 10, 2019
Major Media Bury Groundbreaking Studies of Pentagon’s Massive Carbon Bootprint
JOSHUA CHO


In 2010, Project Censored (10/2/10) found that the

US military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet, yet this information and accompanying documentation goes almost entirely unreported.

Conversation: US military is a bigger polluter than as many as 140 countries – shrinking this war machine is a must
The Conversation (6/26/19) ran a piece by the authors of the Durham/Lancaster study.

Almost a decade later, Project Censored’s observations are still applicable, with two major studies published in June remaining buried by most major media outlets. The first study, “Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change and the Costs of War,” by Neta Crawford for Brown University’s Costs of War Project, confirmed previous findings that the US military is “the single-largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world,” and that the Pentagon is responsible for between “77% and 80% of all US government energy consumption” since 2001, and that from the beginning of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to 2017, the US military emitted approximately 1.2 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

The second study, “Hidden Carbon Costs of the ‘Everywhere War’: Logistics, Geopolitical Ecology, and the Carbon Bootprint of the US Military,” published by Oliver Belcher, Benjamin Neimark and Patrick Bigger from Durham and Lancaster universities in the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (6/19), found that if the US military were a country, its “fuel usage alone would make it the 47th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, sitting between Peru and Portugal.”

Yet these groundbreaking studies received no coverage in virtually all the US’s biggest newspapers and TV news channels. An initial search in the Nexis news database from June 1 to October 4 of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, NPR, PBS, ABC, MSNBC, CBS and CNN turned up nothing.

A broader Nexis search of all the English-language outlets only confirmed that the biggest media outlets in the country, with much better resources for reporting, are burying the study.

Here’s a list of the outlets, according to the Nexis news database, that mentioned the Costs of War study:

Arab American News (US)
Indian Agriculture News (India)
Yerepouni Daily News (Armenia)
Pressenza International Press Agency (Ecuador)
Washington Examiner (US)
Defense Monitor Worldwide (US)
International Business Times India (India)
The Conversation (US)
Straits Times (Singapore)
The Nation (US)
Defense One (US)
Real News Network (US)
Here’s a list of the outlets, according to Nexis, that mentioned the study published in the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers:

Daily Mail (UK)
Asian News International (India)
Science Daily (US)
Forbes: The US Military Emits More CO2 Than Many Industrialized Nations
Forbes (6/13/19) ran a graphic comparing the Pentagon’s greenhouse emissions to those of medium-sized nations.

To be fair, Nexis isn’t able to catch every report or reprints in other outlets. On my own, I found nothing that contradicts the finding that these studies are being buried by most of the biggest media outlets in the US. But these studies were mentioned by Reuters (6/12/19), Grist (6/12/19), Gizmodo (6/13/19), Bloomberg (6/13/19), USA Today (6/14/19), Forbes (6/13/19), GQ (9/13/19), The Hill (6/13/19), New York Post (6/13/19), CNBC (6/13/19), UK Independent (6/13/19), Intercept (9/15/19), TomDispatch (6/23/19) and Mic (6/26/19). The Real News Network (7/10/19) provided exemplary reporting on these two studies by featuring their authors in an interview to discuss their findings.

Aside from the findings, these studies are also especially significant because they’re the first to use comprehensive data based on the publicly available emissions data from the Department of Energy, and on multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to the US Defense Logistics Agency managing the US military’s supply chains, which includes hydrocarbon fuel purchases and distribution. Most greenhouse gas accounting focuses on how much energy and fuel civilians use, because it has always been difficult to obtain reliable and consistent data on the Pentagon’s carbon bootprint; the Pentagon doesn’t publicly and regularly report its fuel consumption or greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite not signing the 1992 Kyoto Protocol international agreement to fight climate change, the US succeeded in obtaining an exemption for all countries’ militaries from having to report, let alone cut, their carbon emissions, which Congress later locked in. Although that exemption was later removed by the 2015 Paris Accord—despite the Obama administration’s longstanding policy of undermining international climate agreements—the Trump administration has the US due to withdraw from the Paris Accord in 2020 (New York Times, 6/1/17), which would make it harder to collect data and conduct future studies like the ones above. This is why it’s especially important for media outlets to cover studies like this when they’re published.

Although the authors of both studies acknowledge that the US military has been cutting its emissions over the years, they both note how “existing military aircraft and warships” are “locking the US military into hydrocarbons for years to come,” and that the “Pentagon does not acknowledge that its own fuel use is a major contributor to climate change.” That shouldn’t be surprising. Given corporate media’s propagandizing for starting and staying in wars (FAIR.org, 10/23/17, 9/11/19) and for never ending arms races (FAIR.org, 5/17/19, 7/12/19), one should expect corporate media to bury evidence that the US military is a threat to itself and its citizens with its massive carbon output.

https://fair.org/home/major-media-bury- ... p8VDod5Dac

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Re: Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by chlamor » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:49 am

2. US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet
October 2, 2010

The US military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet, yet this information and accompanying documentation goes almost entirely unreported. In spite of the evidence, the environmental impact of the US military goes largely unaddressed by environmental organizations and was not the focus of any discussions or proposed restrictions at the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. This impact includes uninhibited use of fossil fuels, massive creation of greenhouse gases, and extensive release of radioactive and chemical contaminants into the air, water, and soil.

The extensive global operations of the US military (wars, interventions, and secret operations on over one thousand bases around the world and six thousand facilities in the United States) are not counted against US greenhouse gas limits. Sara Flounders writes, “By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy in general. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.”

While official accounts put US military usage at 320,000 barrels of oil a day, that does not include fuel consumed by contractors, in leased or private facilities, or in the production of weapons. The US military is a major contributor of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that most scientists believe is to blame for climate change. Steve Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, reports, “The Iraq war was responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) from March 2003 through December 2007. . . . That war emits more than 60 percent that of all countries. . . . This information is not readily available . . . because military emissions abroad are exempt from national reporting requirements under US law and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

According to Barry Sanders, author of The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism, “the greatest single assault on the environment, on all of us around the globe, comes from one agency . . . the Armed Forces of the United States.”

Throughout the long history of military preparations, actions, and wars, the US military has not been held responsible for the effects of its activities upon environments, peoples, or animals. During the Kyoto Accords negotiations in December 1997, the US demanded as a provision of signing that any and all of its military operations worldwide, including operations in participation with the UN and NATO, be exempted from measurement or reductions. After attaining this concession, the Bush administration then refused to sign the accords and the US Congress passed an explicit provision guaranteeing the US military exemption from any energy reduction or measurement.

Environmental journalist Johanna Peace reports that military activities will continue to be exempt based on an executive order signed by President Barack Obama that calls for other federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Peace states, “The military accounts for a full 80 percent of the federal government’s energy demand.”

As it stands, the Department of Defense is the largest polluter in the world, producing more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined. Depleted uranium, petroleum, oil, pesticides, defoliant agents such as Agent Orange, and lead, along with vast amounts of radiation from weaponry produced, tested, and used, are just some of the pollutants with which the US military is contaminating the environment. Flounders identifies key examples:

– Depleted uranium: Tens of thousands of pounds of microparticles of radioactive and highly toxic waste contaminate the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Balkans.

– US-made land mines and cluster bombs spread over wide areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East continue to spread death and destruction even after wars have ceased.

– Thirty-five years after the Vietnam War, dioxin contamination is three hundred to four hundred times higher than “safe” levels, resulting in severe birth defects and cancers into the third generation of those affected.

– US military policies and wars in Iraq have created severe desertification of 90 percent of the land, changing Iraq from a food exporter into a country that imports 80 percent of its food.

– In the US, military bases top the Superfund list of the most polluted places, as perchlorate and trichloroethylene seep into the drinking water, aquifers, and soil.

– Nuclear weapons testing in the American Southwest and the South Pacific Islands has contaminated millions of acres of land and water with radiation, while uranium tailings defile Navajo reservations.

– Rusting barrels of chemicals and solvents and millions of rounds of ammunition are criminally abandoned by the Pentagon in bases around the world.

The United States is planning an enormous $15 billion military buildup on the Pacific island of Guam. The project would turn the thirty-mile-long island into a major hub for US military operations in the Pacific. It has been described as the largest military buildup in recent history and could bring as many as fifty thousand people to the tiny island. Chamoru civil rights attorney Julian Aguon warns that this military operation will bring irreversible social and environmental consequences to Guam. As an unincorporated territory, or colony, and of the US, the people of Guam have no right to self-determination, and no governmental means to oppose an unpopular and destructive occupation.

Between 1946 and 1958, the US dropped more than sixty nuclear weapons on the people of the Marshall Islands. The Chamoru people of Guam, being so close and downwind, still experience an alarmingly high rate of related cancer.

On Capitol Hill, the conversation has been restricted to whether the jobs expected from the military construction should go to mainland Americans, foreign workers, or Guam residents. But we rarely hear the voices and concerns of the indigenous people of Guam, who constitute over a third of the island’s population.

Meanwhile, as if the US military has not contaminated enough of the world already, a new five-year strategic plan by the US Navy outlines the militarization of the Arctic to defend national security, potential undersea riches, and other maritime interests, anticipating the frozen Arctic Ocean to be open waters by the year 2030. This plan strategizes expanding fleet operations, resource development, research, and tourism, and could possibly reshape global transportation.

While the plan discusses “strong partnerships” with other nations (Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Russia have also made substantial investments in Arctic-capable military armaments), it is quite evident that the US is serious about increasing its military presence and naval combat capabilities. The US, in addition to planned naval rearmament, is stationing thirty-six F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets, which is 20 percent of the F-22 fleet, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Some of the action items in the US Navy Arctic Roadmap document include:

– Assessing current and required capability to execute undersea warfare, expeditionary warfare, strike warfare, strategic sealift, and regional security cooperation.

– Assessing current and predicted threats in order to determine the most dangerous and most likely threats in the Arctic region in 2010, 2015, and 2025.

– Focusing on threats to US national security, although threats to maritime safety and security may also be considered.

Behind the public façade of international Arctic cooperation, Rob Heubert, associate director at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, points out, “If you read the document carefully you’ll see a dual language, one where they’re saying, ‘We’ve got to start working together’ . . . and [then] they start saying, ‘We have to get new instrumentation for our combat officers.’ . . . They’re clearly understanding that the future is not nearly as nice as what all the public policy statements say.”

Beyond the concerns about human conflicts in the Arctic, the consequences of militarization on the Arctic environment are not even being considered. Given the record of environmental devastation that the US military has wrought, such a silence is unacceptable.

Update by Mickey Z.
As I sit here, typing this “update,” the predator drones are still flying over Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, the oil is still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, and 53.3 percent of our tax money is still being funneled to the US military. Simply put, hope and change feels no different from shock and awe . . . but the mainstream media continues to propagate the two-party lie.

Linking the antiwar and environmental movements is a much-needed step. As Cindy Sheehan recently told me, “I think one of the best things that we can do is look into economic conversion of the defense industry into green industries, working on sustainable and renewable forms of energy, and/or connect[ing] with indigenous people who are trying to reclaim their lands from the pollution of the military industrial complex. The best thing to do would be to start on a very local level to reclaim a planet healthy for life.”

It comes down to recognizing the connections, recognizing how we are manipulated into supporting wars and how those wars are killing our ecosystem. We must also recognize our connection to the natural world. For if we were to view all living things, including ourselves, as part of one collective soul, how could we not defend that collective soul by any means necessary?

We are on the brink of economic, social, and environmental collapse. In other words, this is the best time ever to be an activist.

Update by Julian Aguon
In 2010, the people of Guam are bracing themselves for a cataclysmic round of militarization with virtually no parallel in recent history. Set to formally begin this year, the military buildup comes on the heels of a decision by the United States to aggrandize its military posture in the Asia-Pacific region. At the center of the US military realignment schema is the hotly contested agreement between the United States and Japan to relocate thousands of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam. This portentous development, which is linked to the United States’ perception of China as a security threat, bodes great harm to the people and environment of Guam yet remains virtually unknown to Americans and the rest of the international community.

What is happening in Guam is inherently interesting because while America trots its soldiers and its citizenry off to war to the tune of “spreading democracy” in its own proverbial backyard, an entire civilization of so-called “Americans” watch with bated breath as people thousands of miles away—people we cannot vote for—make decisions for us at ethnocidal costs. Although this military buildup marks the most volatile demographic change in recent Guam history, the people of Guam have never had an opportunity to meaningfully participate in any discussion about the buildup. To date, the scant coverage of the military buildup has centered almost exclusively around the United States and Japan. In fact, the story entitled “Guam Residents Organize Against US Plans for $15B Military Buildup on Pacific Island” on Democracy Now! was the first bona fide US media coverage of the military buildup since 2005 to consider, let alone privilege, the people’s opposition.

The heart of this story is not so much in the finer details of the military buildup as it is in the larger political context of real-life twenty-first-century colonialism. Under US domestic law, Guam is an unincorporated territory. What this means is that Guam is a territory that belongs to the United States but is not a part of it. As an unincorporated territory, the US Constitution does not necessarily or automatically apply in Guam. Instead, the US Congress has broad powers over the unincorporated territories, including the power to choose what portions of the Constitution apply to them. In reality, Guam remains under the purview of the Office of Insular Affairs in the US Department of the Interior.

Under international law, Guam is a non-self-governing territory, or UN-recognized colony whose people have yet to exercise the fundamental right to self-determination. Article 73 of the United Nations Charter, which addresses the rights of peoples in non-self-governing territories, commands states administering them to “recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants are paramount.” These “administering powers” accept as a “sacred trust” the obligation to develop self-government in the territories, taking due account of the political aspirations of the people. As a matter of international treaty and customary law, the colonized people of Guam have a right to self-determination under international law that the United States, at least in theory, recognizes.

The military buildup, however, reveals the United States’ failure to fulfill its international legal mandate. This is particularly troubling in light of the fact that this very year, 2010, marks the formal conclusion of not one but two UN-designated international decades for the eradication of colonialism. In 1990, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 1990–2000 as the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. To this end, the General Assembly adopted a detailed plan of action to expedite the unqualified end of all forms of colonialism. In 2001, citing a wholesale lack of progress during the first decade, the General Assembly proclaimed a second one to effect the same goal. The second decade has come and all but gone with only Timor-Leste, or East Timor, managing to attain independence from Indonesia in 2002.

In November 2009—one month after “Guam Residents Organize Against US Plans for $15B Military Buildup on Pacific Island” aired—the US Department of Defense released an unprecedented 11,000-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), detailing for the first time the true enormity of the contemplated militarization of Guam. At its peak, the military buildup will bring more than 80,000 new residents to Guam, which includes more than 8,600 US Marines and their 9,000 dependents; 7,000 so-called transient US Navy personnel; 600 to 1,000 US Army personnel; and 20,000 foreign workers on military construction contracts. This “human tsunami,” as it is being called, represents a roughly 47 percent increase in Guam’s total population in a four-to-six-year window. Today, the total population of Guam is roughly 178,000 people, the indigenous Chamoru people making up only 37 percent of that number. We are looking at a volatile and virtually overnight demographic change in the makeup of the island that even the US military admits will result in the political dispossession of the Chamoru people. To put the pace of this ethnocide in context, just prior to World War II, Chamorus comprised more than 90 percent of Guam’s population.

At the center of the buildup are three major proposed actions: 1) the construction of permanent facilities and infrastructure to support the full spectrum of warfare training for the thousands of relocated Marines; 2) the construction of a new deep-draft wharf in the island’s only harbor to provide for the passage of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers; and 3) the construction of an Army Missile Defense Task Force modeled on the Marshall Islands–based Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, for the practice of intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In terms of adverse impact, these developments will mean, among other things, the clearing of whole limestone forests and the desecration of burial sites some 3,500 years old; the restricting of access to areas rich in plants necessary for indigenous medicinal practice; the denying of access to places of worship and traditional fishing grounds; the destroying of seventy acres of thriving coral reef, which currently serve as critical habitat for several endangered species; and the over-tapping of Guam’s water system to include the drilling of twenty-two additional wells. In addition, the likelihood of military-related accidents will greatly increase. Seven crashes occurred during military training from August 2007 to July 2008, the most recent of which involved a crash of a B-52 bomber that killed the entire crew. The increased presence of US military forces in Guam also increases the island’s visibility as a target for enemies of the United States.

Finally, an issue that has sparked some of the sharpest debate in Guam has been the Department of Defense’s announcement that it will, if needed, forcibly condemn an additional 2,200 acres of land in Guam to support the construction of new military facilities. This potential new land grab has been met with mounting protest by island residents, mainly due to the fact that the US military already owns close to one-third of the small island, the majority of which was illegally taken after World War II.

In February 2010, upon review of the DEIS, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated it “insufficient” and “environmentally unsatisfactory,” giving it the lowest possible rating for a DEIS. Among other things, the EPA’s findings suggest that Guam’s water infrastructure cannot handle the population boom and that the island’s fresh water resources will be at high risk for contamination. The EPA predicts that without infrastructural upgrades to the water system, the population outside the bases will experience a 13.1 million gallons of water shortage per day in 2014. The agency stated that the Pentagon’s massive buildup plans for Guam “should not proceed as proposed.” The people of Guam were given a mere ninety days to read through the voluminous 11,000-page document and make comments about its contents. The ninety-day comment period ended on February 17, 2010. The final EIS is scheduled for release in August 2010, with the record of decision to follow immediately thereafter.

The response to this story from the mainstream US media has been deafening silence. Since the military buildup was first announced in 2005, it was more than three years before any US media outlet picked up on the story. In fact, the October 2009 Democracy Now! interview was the first substantive national news coverage of the military buildup.

Sources:

Sara Flounders, “Add Climate Havoc to War Crimes: Pentagon’s Role in Global Catastrophe,” International Action Center, December 18, 2009, http://www.iacenter.org/o/world/climate ... agon121809.

Mickey Z., “Can You Identify the Worst Polluter on the Planet? Here’s a Hint: Shock and Awe,” Planet Green, August 10, 2009, http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tech-t ... lanet.html.

Julian Aguon, “Guam Residents Organize Against US Plans for $15B Military Buildup on Pacific Island,” Democracy Now!, October 9, 2009, http://www.democracynow.org/ 2009/10/9/guam_residents_organize_against_us_plans.

Ian Macleod, “U.S. Plots Arctic Push,” Ottawa Citizen, November 28, 2009, http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology ... story.html.

Nick Turse, “Vietnam Still in Shambles after American War,” In These Times, May 2009, http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/436 ... in_vietnam.

Jalal Ghazi, “Cancer—The Deadly Legacy of the Invasion of Iraq,” New America Media, January 6, 2010, http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/vi ... ml?article _id=80e260b3839daf2084fdeb0965ad31ab.

For more information on the military buildup:

We Are Guahan, http://www.weareguahan.com
Draft Environmental Impact Study Guam & Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Military Relocation, www.guambuildupeis.us
Center for Biological Diversity Response to DEIS, www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/
center/articles/2010/los-angeles-times-02-24-2010.html
EPA Response to Guam DEIS, www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=68298
For more information on Guam’s movement to resist militarization and unresolved colonialism:

The Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice: Lisa Linda Natividad, lisanati[at]yahoo.com; Hope Cristobal, ecris64[at]teleguam.net; Julian Aguon, julianaguon[at]gmail.com; Michael Lujan Bevacqua, mlbasquiat[at]hotmail.com; Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, victoria.lola[at]gmail.com
We Are Guahan—We Are Guahan Public Forum: www.weareguahan.com
Famoksaiyan: Martha Duenas, martduenas[at]yahoo.com; http://famoksaiyanwc.wordpress.com

https://www.projectcensored.org/2-us-de ... he-planet/

chlamor
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Re: Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by chlamor » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:51 am

Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War
Neta C. Crawford1
Boston University
June 12, 2019

https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/fil ... 0Final.pdf

chlamor
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Re: Flying above the clouds: the U.S. military and climate change

Post by chlamor » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:54 am

Hidden carbon costs of the “everywhere war”: Logistics, geopolitical ecology, and the carbon boot-print of the US military

This paper examines the US military's impact on climate by analysing the geopolitical ecology of its global logistical supply chains. Our geopolitical ecology framework interrogates the material‐ecological metabolic flows (hydrocarbon‐based fuels, water, sand, concrete) that shape geopolitical and geoeconomic power relations. We argue that to account for the US military as a major climate actor, one must understand the logistical supply chain that makes its acquisition and consumption of hydrocarbon‐based fuels possible. Our paper focuses on the US Defense Logistics Agency – Energy (DLA‐E), a large yet virtually unresearched sub‐agency within the US Department of Defense. The DLA‐E is the primary purchase‐point for hydrocarbon‐based fuels for the US military, as well as a powerful actor in the global oil market. After outlining our geopolitical ecology approach, we detail the scope of the DLA‐E's operations, its supply chain, bureaucratic practices, and the physical infrastructure that facilitates the US military's consumption of hydro‐based carbons on a global scale. We show several “path dependencies” – warfighting paradigms, weapons systems, bureaucratic requirements, and waste – that are put in place by military supply chains and undergird a heavy reliance on carbon‐based fuels by the US military for years to come. The paper, based on comprehensive records of bulk fuel purchases we have gathered from DLA‐E through Freedom of Information Act requests, represents a partial yet robust picture of the geopolitical ecology of American imperialism. This paper examines the US military's impact on climate by analysing the geopolitical ecology of its global logistical supply chains. Our geopolitical ecology framework examines how material–ecological metabolic flows shape geopolitical and geoeconomic power relations. We argue that to account for the US military as a major climate actor, one must understand the logistical supply chain that makes its acquisition and consumption of hydrocarbon‐based fuels possible.

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... S_military

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