Only a few days after blaring the G-7's intent to reduce global carbon emissions (by century's end, when the planet could already be near death) Barack Obama is blaring his intent to ignore his own ecological prescription. He's escalating the never-ended Iraq War (now euphemized as a 30-year war against ISIS) by fast-creeping 450 more boots on the ground and building yet another global military base in that destroyed country. This is all so that the American imperium can "re-take" one more foreign city, even as the cities in the actual United States are crumbling and dying.
The US military already uses more than $20 billion of fuel a year, more than any other single American consumer.
Despite the fact that the military has managed, over the past several years, to slightly tweak its fuel consumption through the use of lightweight Predator and Reaper drones to kill people, that green policy is swiftly transforming back into greed policy. Big Oil can't make money and pay its investors unless big oil is extracted and burned on a global scale. The Pentagon's use of alternative fuel, as touted by a climate-conscious Obama administration, will only go so far in achieving the nirvana of proportionality (neoliberal-speak for cost-benefit measurements -- acceptable human casualties are weighed against acceptable pollution of the air that we humans are used to breathing.)
The more that Obama (and future salesmen and servants of the military-industrial complex) wage Permawar, the faster will come the death of the planet, despite all the sanctimonious and meaningless pledges of carbon emission reductions by this or that agency, or this or that luxury confab of world leaders.
And, as a Project Censored report has laid out, environmental groups rarely directly take on the military as the main culprits of worsening climate change. The burning of fossil fuels by the Pentagon is also virtually ignored by the media, despite the hideously-named "defense industry" being the worst polluter on the planet. Instead, activists rail against the Koch Brothers and the oil cartel serving the hegemon. Part of the reason is that the Pentagon is largely exempt -- thanks in large part to a Bush-era Kyoto Accord loophole and lack of Congressional oversight -- from revealing the true extent of its dirty, filthy bestiality. The military is now responsible for 80% of all the energy consumed by government agencies.
From the Project Censored report:
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.”How convenient does it get? Lack of transparency enables Barack Obama to concern-troll climate change, hypocritically scolding China and Russia out of one side of his glib mouth, and barking orders for ever-escalating American pollution out of the other.
And it's not just the carbon emissions continuously spewed by the biggest polluter in the world. It's all the leftover toxic waste, such as depleted uranium. It's US-made landmines and cluster bombs and poisonous chemicals that continue to kill and maim innocent people long after the Americans have left and cashed in.
Despite these ugly realities, the White House has grotesquely touted Obama as "the greenest president we've ever had." I suppose this could be true, but only if the shade of green we envision is of the harsh bilious variety. Or maybe this:
|Greenest Prez Evah|
To be fair, the accolade is actually based solely upon Obama's announcement of an "initiative" (neoliberal-speak for bullshit) to write a report that highlights the harmful health effects of man-made climate change. Remember, though, that the Pentagon and all the other secret unaccountable agencies of aggression are conveniently exempt from any and all blame.
What we don't know is most assuredly hurting us.