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U.S. Militarism’s Toxic Impact on Climate Policy

Biden told the UN General Assembly that “…as we close this period of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy.” But his exclusive new military alliance with the U.K. and Australia, and his request for a further increase in military spending to escalate a dangerous arms race with China that the United States started in the first place, reveal just how far Biden has to go to live up to his own rhetoric, on diplomacy as well as on climate change

U.S. Militarism’s Toxic Impact on Climate Policy,    Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies LA Progressive  22 Sept 21,  President Biden addressed the UN General Assembly on September 21 with a warning that the climate crisis is fast approaching a “point of no return,” and a promise that the United States would rally the world to action. “We will lead not just with the example of our power but, God willing, with the power of our example,” he said

But the U.S. is not a leader when it comes to saving our planet. Yahoo News recently published a report titled “Why the U.S. Lags Behind Europe on Climate Goals by 10 or 15 years.” The article was a rare acknowledgment in the U.S. corporate media that the United States has not only failed to lead the world on the climate crisis, but has actually been the main culprit blocking timely collective action to head off a global existential crisis. 

The anniversary of September 11th and the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan should be ringing alarm bells inside the head of every American, warning us that we have allowed our government to spend trillions of dollars waging war, chasing shadows, selling arms and fueling conflict all over the world, while ignoring real existential dangers to our civilization and all of humanity. 

The world’s youth are dismayed by their parents’ failures to tackle the climate crisis. A new survey of 10,000 people between the ages of 16 and 25 in ten countries around the world found that many of them think humanity is doomed and that they have no future.

Three quarters of the young people surveyed said they are afraid of what the future will bring, and 40% say the crisis makes them hesitant to have children. They are also frightened, confused and angered by the failure of governments to respond to the crisis. As the BBC reported, “They feel betrayed, ignored and abandoned by politicians and adults.” 

Young people in the U.S. have even more reason to feel betrayed than their European counterparts. America lags far behind Europe on renewable energy. European countries started fulfilling their climate commitments under the Kyoto Protocol in the 1990s and now get 40% of their electricity from renewable sources, while renewables provide only 20% of electric power in America. ………..

 the enormous amount of money the U.S. spends on militarism. Since 2001, the United States has allocated $15 trillion (in FY2022 dollars) to its military budget, outspending its 20 closest military competitors combined. The U.S. spends far more of its GDP (the total value of goods produced and services) on the military than any of the other 29 Nato countries—3.7% in 2020 compared to 1.77%. And while the U.S. has been putting intense pressure on NATO countries to spend at least 2% of their GDP on their militaries, only ten of them have done so. Unlike in the U.S., the military establishment in Europe has to contend with significant opposition from liberal politicians and a more educated and mobilized public.  ………

On climate change, the infrastructure bill includes only $10 billion per year for conversion to green energy, an important but small step that will not reverse our current course toward a catastrophic future. Investments in a Green New Deal must be bookended by corresponding reductions in the military budget if we are to correct our government’s perverted and destructive priorities in any lasting way. This means standing up to the weapons industry and military contractors, which the Biden administration has so far failed to do. 

The reality of America’s 20-year arms race with itself makes complete nonsense of the administration’s claims that the recent arms build-up by China now requires the U.S. to spend even more. China spends only a third of what the U.S. spends, and what is driving China’s increased military spending is its need to defend itself against the ever-growing U.S. war machine that has been “pivoting” to the waters, skies and islands surrounding its shores since the Obama administration.

Biden told the UN General Assembly that “…as we close this period of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy.” But his exclusive new military alliance with the U.K. and Australia, and his request for a further increase in military spending to escalate a dangerous arms race with China that the United States started in the first place, reveal just how far Biden has to go to live up to his own rhetoric, on diplomacy as well as on climate change

The United States must go to the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow in November ready to sign on to the kind of radical steps that the UN and less developed countries are calling for. It must make a real commitment to leaving fossil fuels in the ground; quickly convert to a net-zero renewable energy economy; and help developing countries to do the same. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says, the summit in Glasgow “must be the turning point” in the climate crisis.

That will require the United States to seriously reduce the military budget and commit to peaceful, practical diplomacy with China and Russia. Genuinely moving on from our self-inflicted military failures and the militarism that led to them would free up the U.S. to enact programs that address the real existential crisis our planet faces – a crisis against which warships, bombs and missiles are worse than useless. https://www.laprogressive.com/toxic-impact-on-climate-policy/

September 23, 2021 Posted by | climate change, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Going nuclear: the secret submarine deal to challenge China, PODCAST 

Going nuclear: the secret submarine deal to challenge China, PODCAST   Guardian, 22 Sept 21,   It came out of the blue – but the new military pact between Australia, the UK and the US could transform international relations for a generation. The Guardian’s defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, explains the Aukus deal that has enraged Beijing.

When Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Scott Morrison announced a new deal that would provide Australia with the technology to run silent nuclear submarines as part of its navy, one phrase kept coming up: “stability in the Indo-Pacific”. The word the leaders of the UK, the US and Australia did not use may be more important: China. By striking the Aukus deal, an unprecedented agreement on defence cooperation between the three countries, the governments have moved to counter what they view as Beijing’s aggression – and prompted questions about whether the move is an ominous sign of a new ‘cold war’ mentality………it has raised a series of questions about whether it signals a shift in international alliances: what happens if China invades Taiwan? What are the knock-on consequences of adding to the club of countries with nuclear-powered submarines? And will any of it make those who live in the Aukus countries – or their neighbours – any safer?

In this episode, Michael Safi is joined by the Guardian’s defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, to unpack the ramifications of the deal and ask what it means for the UK and Australia to be tied to American foreign policy for decades to come.  https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2021/sep/21/going-nuclear-the-secret-submarine-deal-to-challenge-china

September 23, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Guest post: 5 reasons to talk about adaptation — The Earthbound Report

By Dr. Morgan Phillips – Co-Director, The Glacier Trust Many in the environmental and climate movement remain reluctant to talk about climate change adaptation. This is slowly changing, but if you are still sceptical, it pays to remember that the adaptation story is not, and does not have to be, in opposition to the mitigation […]

Guest post: 5 reasons to talk about adaptation — The Earthbound Report

September 23, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 22 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Honest Australian Government Ads And The Great Australian Coverup” • Here is a series of ads created to show the truth about the Australian government’s approach to climate change. Don’t watch them if you are easily offended. They are intelligent and honest, but full of Aussie bawdy humor and satire. Each ad is […]

September 22 Energy News — geoharvey

September 23, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Proposed US/UK nuclear-powered submarines for Australia: jeopardising health and fueling an arms race — IPPNW peace and health blog

Summary of joint statement by IPPNW and its affiliates in Australia, UK and US Health professionals in Australia, the UK and the US have expressed their deep concerns at Australia’s proposed acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines with UK and US assistance, stating that the plan will jeopardise global health and security.  Their concerns are set out […]

Proposed US/UK nuclear-powered submarines for Australia: jeopardising health and fueling an arms race — IPPNW peace and health blog

September 23, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment