Thursday, November 06, 2014

Climate change: War now brings us death in a whole new way

     Remember back in the day when Jesus walked the earth and said, "Thou shalt not kill"?  He said this because He was obviously aware of the bad juju set off by either killing your neighbors or in the hand-to-hand combat of war -- actions that would, sooner or later, drag each individual killer's soul down into the lower depths of Hell or PTSD, whichever came first.

     But Jesus was Old School about His approach to killing people, assuming that people would only kill other people with their spears, arrows or bare hands.  Jesus clearly hadn't anticipated the implications and potentialities of modern mass murder.  Gunpowder hadn't even been invented yet -- let alone drones and AK-47s and concentration camps and nuclear weapons.  But, rest assured, Jesus would have also hated all this modern-day mass murder in places like Hiroshima and Iraq and Auschwitz and Gaza and Sandy Hook.

     But with the recent release of the latest United Nations report on climate change, there is now a whole new and different reason, aside from Jesus telling us not to, why we should not kill.

     Killing is bad for the air.

     Yes, war is the top polluter and primal cause of climate change that there is today.

    "In the dialogue around stopping climate change, too much emphasis is being put on ethical consumerism [such as not driving our cars, refraining from flying whenever possible and spare-the-air days]," said Katherine Ball of Tools for Action.  "Does it really matter if we try to fly less if the US Air Force continues to burn one-fourth of the world's jet fuel?  We have to address the systemic causes of climate change: the most eco-friendly thing you can do is be anti-war."

     "But Jane," some of you Baby Boomers and members of the Greatest Generation might say, "we ourselves don't need to worry about climate change killing us off because, 50 or so years from now, we will already be dead anyway."  Hey that used to be true.  But according to the new UN report, the entire human race could be toast before you even get a chance to order your casket.

     According to a recent article in Mother Jones, "Keeping global warming below the internationally agreed upon 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (above pre-industrial levels) is going to be hard.  To keep warming below this limit, our emissions need to be slashed dramatically.  But at current rates, we'll pump enough greenhouse gas into the atmosphere to sail past that critical level within the next 20 to 30 years, according to the [UN] report." 

       The UN report also noted that greenhouse gas emissions have ramped up particularly quickly after 2000.  Of course they have.  That was the year that Bush and Cheney stole their first presidential election and took America to war.  "Full-Spectrum Dominance" became our battle-cry right around that time.  And now it's even worse than that -- as the American military-industrial complex has begun practically salivating over a new Cold War with Russia and China, one that it is hoping will become a Hot War very soon.

      So even though some of us Baby Boomers should be serenely going off in a rest home within the next 20 years -- and even if none of us currently live or will ever live in a war zone -- America's senior citizens are all still gonna be toes-up long before our natural sell-by date arrives if all this over-the-top war-mongering keeps up.

     All-too-many wonderful things here at home have been mercilessly sacrificed (jobs, schools, infrastructure, morals, whatever) so that over 60% of our national wealth could go to cover the cost of blowing people up on the other side of the world.

     Fine.  Whatever.

     But we also need to be aware that the result of allowing the American military-industrial complex to happily play with their war toys for the last 14 years has been a sharp rise in greenhouse emissions too.  "War is not good for children and other living things."  And it's also not good for avoiding radical climate change either. 

     The war on Afghanistan, the war on Libya, the war on Iraq, the war on Syria, the war on Gaza, the war on Ukraine?  All these endless and needless military adventures may have cost millions of lives in far-away places that don't really matter to the powers that be -- but they probably have shortened our own lives here at home by ten or twenty years too.

     Every time a deadly missile hit Gaza last summer -- and thousands of them did -- our atmosphere also took a direct hit.  Every time the tanks and humvees rolled in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Iraq, we lost yet another chunk of our hope of living a long and happy life in a non-desert.

    You gotta at least give those CIA-backed monsters in ISIS credit for one thing -- their use of swords to behead people was very energy-efficient!  Although, according to Information Clearinghouse, ISIS is just one more "rat-line" to get high-powered American weapons (and Toyotas) from Libya to Syria.

     "But, Jane," you might say next, "climate change is mainly caused by industrial pollution."  All too true.  But where do you think that all these missiles, F-16s, RPGs and tanks come from in the first place?  That they are created out of thin air by fairies and elves?  No.  Producing war toys like F-35s and drones and night-vision goggles is very big business these days.

PS:  In Oakland, California, recently, there was a symposium called "Urban Shield," which spoke to the topic of how to supply military weapons and vehicles to our own American law-enforcement agencies.  Oh crap.  That means that the gigantic military tanks and humvees driving down the streets of our own cities and towns are gonna escalate the production of greenhouse emissions even more.

     "Urban Shield" organizers put out claims that this convention was paid for by Homeland Security.  No, it was not.  It was paid for by you and me.  And it is you and me who, in the long run, will have to pay for it with our lives as well. 

     Every time police release tear gas in our neighborhoods or drive a tank down our streets, there goes the specter of climate change too.

PPS:  OMG, Americans have just elected a whole new bunch of crazy war mongers to Congress!  Be afraid.  Be very afraid. 

     The far-right has just won all these new seats in Congress by use of their clever three-pronged strategy:  Buy the elections with money, scare voters with nightmares of ISIS and Ebola, and commit such outrageous election fraud of such gigantic proportions that even I am amazed that no one is going to jail for this as a result.  Not since Jim Crow days has election-rigging been this bad!

     And now we have a Congress that plans to serve us Endless War and climate-change denial on a platter.  "I'm lovin' it!" they exclaim.  So say goodbye to any chance of saving our atmosphere, saving our hope of living to a ripe old age and saving our world from becoming a desert.
     Jesus wept!