字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 This video is sponsored by Brilliant. It's time to talk about the elephant in the room. The single most polluting industry in the world. The military. Specifically, the U.S. military, because the U.S. war machine currently has a yearly budget of over $700 billion, which dwarfs the military spending of the next 8 countries combined in 2018. The U.S. military is a behemoth, and the environmental consequences of its massive size and global presence are equally immense. Indeed, if the American military was a country it would rank 47th, right in between Peru and Portugal, for highest global greenhouse gas emissions, and that's only based on military fuel use. Despite this, we're very rarely exposed to the idea of the U.S. military-industrial complex as a possible contributor to climate change. Instead, individual actions, like taking shorter showers or composting food waste, seem to be the primary push of the environmental movement. So the big question is: what are the consequences of this massive U.S. military machine? And ultimately, what are the connections between militarism and climate change? The environmental cost of the U.S. military is so large because the country has continuously piled money into the Department of Defence ever since the 1980s Reagan Era push for military spending transformed the world's biggest lender into the biggest debtor. A recently approved defense budget of $738 billion for the 2020 fiscal year only cements this lust for U.S. military growth around the globe. And to be clear, the U.S. military is a global entity. It has established roughly 800 military bases in 80 countries around the world according to David Vine, author of Base Nation. To put that in perspective, all other countries combined have established roughly 70 foreign bases. So, the U.S. military is gargantuan, and to fuel that machine, they need, well, fuel. From 2001 to 2017, the U.S. military emitted an estimated 1.2 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent according to the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. That's the same as putting an additional 257 million cars, or roughly the current amount of passenger cars currently in operation, on the road in the U.S. for a whole year. From Humvees running at 4 miles per gallon, or gas-guzzling F-22 fighter jets, the machines of war that the Department of Defense purchases and maintains require a lot of fuel. In the realm of 85 million barrels of fuel in 2017. But the U.S. military pollution doesn't stop and end at emissions. The military has blazed a sharp trail of environmental and chemical pollution across the world, racking up 39,000 contaminated sites according to a Newsweek interview with the former head of environmental programs at the Pentagon. 143 of the Superfund sites in the United States are military bases, and 900 of the 1344 total sites are areas that previously supported military needs according to the same Newsweek interview. At Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, for example, the drinking water servicing over 170,000 people is so polluted with cancer-causing chemical solvents like trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene that it's been called “the worst example of water contamination this world has ever seen.” In short, the U.S. military has a long track record of pollution and emissions that often is tacitly accepted by otherwise environmentally-minded people in the name of national defense and military preparedness. But let's be clear here, the majority of the wars the U.S. has fought, and the massive military structure it's built has rarely been in the name of peace or safety. More often than not it's centered around profit and control. The United States has a long history of using military power to assert dominance over potentially strategic or profitable entities. Like in Panama in 1989, when George H. W. Bush deployed 25,000 troops to oust the military leader and previous CIA “asset,” General Noriega, who began acting against U.S. interests. In Noriega's stead, Bush propped up Guillermo Endara, who was much more loyal to the U.S. global agenda and willing to allow the U.S. to maintain control over the Panama Canal. Or in 1973 when the United States supported a coup to overthrow democratically-elected Chilean socialist leader Salvador Allende, replacing him with ruthless dictator Augusto Pinochet, who in the months following his rise to power imprisoned, tortured and killed thousands of supposed leftist-sympathizers in order to establish an economy that a New York Times reporter called “a banker's delight.” Or the U.S. backed indiscriminate slaughter of East Timorese by Indonesian forces, or the multi-decade war razing Iraq to the ground to protect the flow of fuel from Middle Eastern oil fields into American cars. The same oil fields, which Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, secured a noncompetitive contract for up to seven billion dollars to rebuild. The list drags on. The point here is this: in many cases, the U.S. military has guzzled millions of barrels of fuel and killed thousands to establish and maintain control of profitable international interests. One of the most decorated marines in U.S. history, Major General Smedley Butler rams this reality home in his book, War is a Racket: “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.” Ironically, the Department of Defence has released reports characterizing climate change as a security risk, but of course, their solution is not to scale back their own emissions-intensive operations but instead it's doing more of the same. So, when we're trying to understand the connections between environmentalism and demilitarization, we have to recognize a simple reality: War is always an environmental hazard. There is no such thing as a responsible military or green war. It is, in fact, irresponsible to suggest that it's possible to “green the military,” as Elizabeth Warren has proposed. Though it is admirable to try to find solutions within a corrupt and irredeemable system, the 2018 IPCC report has made clear that we have no time for slow change, and small reforms prevent us from focusing on and investing in the larger, more radical changes that need to happen. Demilitarization is a lofty goal; in the United States, it is not unreasonable to feel despair about the possibility of ever demilitarizing a country with such a fetish for violence and control. But dire circumstances require radical solutions. Keep in mind that even if the current military budget is slashed in half, the U.S. would still spend more than double the amount China does. So, the military-industrial complex is beyond bloated. And as we look towards a future marked by climate change, to me it's clear where taxpayer money needs to go. If the United States can pour $4.79 trillion into the wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, they certainly can extract themselves from a fossil-fuel centric economy. The money doesn't need to be piled into the over-polluting and violent machine that is the U.S. military, it instead needs to be invested in strong, publically-favored initiatives like the Green New Deal, which would supply dignified low-carbon jobs to thousands, reinvest in the U.S.'s crumbling infrastructure, and establish an economy based around care. The gift-giving season is upon us, and usually that means a lot of material-centric presents that either get left in the closet or thrown out. Because, let's face it, finding the right present to show your love is hard, especially if you are trying to avoid waste or create less of an impact. Luckily Brilliant has made it easy this year. You can now give the gift of learning with a Brilliant Premium Subscription. If someone you know loves problem-solving or learning scientific concepts then this is a great non-materialistic gift. Brilliant is a perfect way to nurture curiosity, build confidence, and develop problem-solving skills crucial to school, job interviews, or your career. And Brilliant's thought-provoking content breaks up complexities into bite-sized understandable chunks that will lead you from curiosity to mastery. So if you're looking for ideas for presents this year, consider heading over to brilliant dot org slash OCC to grab a gift subscription to help your loved ones spark a lifelong love of learning. Hey Everyone! Charlie here. Thanks for making it all the way to the end of the video. If you're interested in supporting the videos I make for this channel, consider backing me on Patreon. Even a dollar a month goes a long way to helping me out. Again, thanks for watching, and I'll see you in two weeks!