LemmingsLeap #26 : The Raging Gorilla
Lemmings Leap #26: The Raging Gorilla
I have read several articles about how we can tame global warming if only people would all go vegan. It sounds a lot like another “if only” that was going around a few years ago and that was if only we could stop driving our cars so much and turn down the thermostat, we could help stop global warming. I’m not the one who is going to say these measures would not help. In recent years I have cut back on my meat consumption and have always tried to lessen the need for driving. What I will tell you is that there is an 800 lb. gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk much about: military expenditures combined with the pollution and use of resources by the military.
We spend almost $700 billion a year on the military and what do we get in return? War. Disease. Crumbling infrastructure at home and bombed out infrastructure abroad. Dead and wounded soldiers by the thousands. Dead and wounded civilians by the million. Destruction of vast areas of the planet. Pollution of vast areas of the planet. Plus, as an added bonus, we get the largest contribution to global warming on the planet. We cannot stop global warming without stopping the American war machine.
The military serves an economic purpose in this country in that it makes jobs for people. This is one of the pushes that are used to justify the huge amount of money we spend on war. Those who are raking in the profits don’t want it to stop. In order to keep it going we have to have more wars and that is exactly what we get. Since the end of the last century we have had war after war chewing up billions of tons of resources, killing millions of people, severely injuring tens of millions of people and traumatizing millions more. In the meantime, bankers and makers and dealers of weapons have raked in trillions of dollars. But it’s not enough. They need more. To get more, they start more wars. The truth of the matter is that all those jobs “created” by the military are negative sum jobs, that is they don’t produce something that is lasting yet they use up an inordinate amount of resources that ultimately get destroyed or stored somewhere.
Why would we continue to support this waste of human life and resources? That can be summed up in one word: fear. Ebola. Avian influenza. Russia. Communism. Terrorists. Muslims. We have been made to fear our own shadows. Our leaders and those who have bought them use fear to keep us in line and because capitalism does not like competition. Look at what happens when a small company gets popular and starts to grow. They are bought out or if they refuse to sell they might find their suppliers less willing to give them good prices or any materials at all. Look at what has happened to our many grocery stores that now are owned by larger concerns. Look at any industry, any provider of goods or services and you will find that some larger concern has bought them up or is planning to. Look at what we did to Venezuela. We tried to subvert their election and failed. We tried to hurt them economically, socially and politically. Our rich don’t play fair and don’t want competition at all and playing fair is only for losers. That is why we have so many monopolies controlling so many of our industries.
Meanwhile, a gorilla is raging through the planet creating death and destruction everywhere as well as those massive profits as the people on the planet become more impoverished. The United States sells a large number of weapons and this stimulates other countries to manufacture and sell weapons as well. What do you think this does to the peace of the world? How can it possibly affect Mother Earth and the other beings on this planet that are non-human?
While I do agree that we can lessen the impact of global warming and other pollution problems if people go vegan, it’s only 10% of the problem. Concentrating on this one area and making individuals feel guilty for eating meat will not come close to solving the problem even if the effort is successful. We cannot begin to be successful unless we ramp down the military.
Check out the list below of what we consume because of the US military keeping in mind that this is just the US and that resources used for military purposes are wasted and provide only destruction.
Gasoline used by the US military in one year: 100 million gallons
39,000 areas within the US that are polluted by the military
10–15 tons of depleted uranium, a weapon considered illegal by the UN, used in Yugoslavia
1,000 tons of depleted uranium used in Iraq during 2003
900 of the 1200 superfund cleanup sites are military
Note: I tried searching for the amount of steel, rare earths and pesticides used by the US military and found no numbers to report. The military’s secrecy has kept it from an accounting of the resources it has used and prevents the public from a real assessment of the use of these materials.