On the 22nd of September, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance marched from the World Bank to the gates of the White House and demanded a meeting with President Obama.They wanted to discuss the impact of Obama’s wars on climate change but were ignored. In response they blocked the White House gates and over a dozen were arrested.
The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance was joined in this protest by some of the Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) fasters from the ongoing protest at FERC. BXE is demanding that FERC stop approving any new permits whatsoever for new fossil fuel extraction projects.
A simple example of how modern warfare contributes to climate change is this: It has been publicly reported that the average US Navy pilot burns 2 million gallons of jet fuel in his lifespan. That’s over 1000 years of driving for typical US commuters.
There is also the feedback loop between war and colonialism. The replacement of sailing warships with steam provides an example with deadly modern consequences. Today’s warships burn huge quantities of oil. In the early part of the 20th century, the conversion of Britian’s Royal Navy from coal to oil fuel drove European efforts to take control of the Middle East. All of the current conflicts there are rooted in the post-WWI dvision of that oil-rich region among European and “western” powers.
Today, strategic minerals like the “col-tan” used in everything from cell phones to the Pentagon’s war toys drive wars like the civil war in Congo that has killed 2 million people. Concerns for the supply of oil to the US military in future Middle East wars has been openly cited in debates over the Keystone XL and other tar sands related projects.
One way to understand the broader connection between war, industry, and environmental destruction is to fire up any of the “real time strategy” computer games. Whoever mines and logs their landscape the fastest build the strongest army fastest, soon conquering even more forests and mines. The game often ends when one side or the other has totally denuded their landscape and runs out of resources.
Blocking the gates of the White House
Secret Service arresting activists at the gates of the White House
Marching on the White House from the World Bank