Hurricanes in Hawaii, raging fires in California forests, sea-level rise in Florida and Maine — these are the signs of climate change coming home to roost. What is often overlooked in discussions about carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases building up is that the Pentagon is the biggest consumer of fossil fuels on the planet.

“Is Climate The Worst Casualty of War?” by Stacey Bannerman in Common Dreams recently gave us some of the metrics of the military’s contribution to climate change.

The Pentagon uses more petroleum each day than 175 countries put together, and in doing so it creates over 70 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, based on data from the CIA World Factbook. The Air Force alone uses 2.4 billion gallons of jet fuel a year. And these figures do not even include the Pentagon’s many contractors, including weapons manufacturers.

The medical journal Pediatrics published research in May showing that “children are estimated to bear 88 percent of the burden of disease related to climate change.” These diseases include dysentery, malaria, and Zika.

Until we take an honest look at reducing the Pentagon’s giant carbon boot print, our tax dollars will continue to fan the flames of catastrophic climate change.

Lisa Savage

Solon


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