OpEdNews Op Eds

What's the carbon/health footprint of another senseless war?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 11/30/09


November 30, 2009

The Afghan War may now doom our ability both to cope with the global climate crisis and to fairly deliver health care in this country.

If Barack Obama announces an escalation, Copenhagen and the Climate Bill will become meaningless. And the prospects for a single-payer health care system or even a token public option will disappear.

At 11pm Tuesday, December 1---after Obama's speech---we in central Ohio will gather at the Federal Building to either celebrate Obama's courageous decision against escalation, or to inaugurate what will certainly be hard years of bitter civil struggle against yet another senseless war. Freepress.org, Solartopia.org and other peace, green and social justice organizations ask others around the world to consider joining us in your own home towns.

If there is no escalation, we can celebrate a small step forward in Copenhagen, where Obama has said he will join with Chinese leadership in a 17% reduction in carbon emissions. Joining with the Chinese in setting ANY target is good global politics.

But this is nowhere near enough. Nor is it anywhere near what's possible.

The rapid advance of renewable and efficient technologies is forcing nuclear power and fossil fuels out of the marketplace. In one of humankind's great technological revolutions, a future that is carbon/nuclear free has become tangible and do-able.


Such a Solartopian conversion is the surest route to economic security and a full employment economy"and to peace.

But if Obama escalates, in a nation with at least one foot already deep in bankruptcy, the resources for that conversion will disappear. In a toxic, polarized wartime atmosphere, the Climate Bill could well degenerate to a cynical faux green smokescreen for a relapse to the failed experiment with atomic reactors.

The war would also come with a carbon burst. How will the massive emissions created by 100,000-plus soldiers in wartime be counted in the 17% reduction rubric? Will the HumVees be converted to hybrids? What is the carbon impact of Predator bombs that destroy Afghan families and villages?

Likewise the war will create yet another wave of human casualties to strain a health care system already at the breaking point. The $1million/year estimate for every solider sent to Afghanistan does not begin to cover the additional fortunes spent to try---so often unsuccessfully---to make these good people whole again when they return.

The $2 or $3 trillion an escalated war is likely to cost could more than fund a single-payer system to cover every American citizen. Escalation turns that money into bombs and bullets that kill rather than heal.

It is the business of war, however it's packaged, to destroy land and people.

We saw what the Vietnam War did to the dream of a Great Society. The poisons spread by an escalated Afghan war would take decades to heal. It would signal a nation firmly in the death grip of corporations and the military.

The certainties are few but staggering:

As with every foreign conqueror since Alexander the Great, the American presence in the Graveyard of Great Powers will fail.

Sending more troops is an escalation, whether packaged with an "exit strategy" or not; intentions to leave nearly always fail to materialize, but entrenched troops rarely leave.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Harvey Wasserman edits  www.nukefree.org . His SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at  www.solartopia.org . The Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show airs at  www.progressiveradionetwork.com .

HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE US is available at http://www.harveywasserman.com/, as is A GLIMPSE OF THE BIG LIGHT and clues to the whereabouts of the Holy Grail.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Will 9 GOP governors put Romney in the White House?

Four Ways Ohio Republicans are Already Stealing the 2012 Election

Toll of U.S. Sailors Devastated by Fukushima Radiation Continues to Climb

Is Fukushima now ten Chernobyls into the sea?

Humankind's Most Dangerous Moment: Fukushima Fuel Pool at Unit 4. "This is an Issue of Human Survival."

Japan's Quake Could Have Irradiated the Entire US

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments