Militarism’s Role in the Sixth and Possibly Last ‘Great’ Extinction

U.S. Military World’s Largest Polluter – Hundreds Of Bases Gravely Contaminated
Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined, the U.S. Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among other pollutants.”

“One of the most recent testaments to the U.S. military’s horrendous environmental record is Iraq.”
“U.S. military action there has resulted in the desertification of 90 percent of Iraqi territory, crippling the country’s agricultural industry and forcing it to import more than 80 percent of its food. The U.S.’ use of depleted uranium in Iraq during the Gulf War also caused a massive environmental burden for Iraqis. In addition, the U.S. military’s policy of using open-air burn pits to dispose of waste from the 2003 invasion has caused a surge in cancer among U.S. servicemen and Iraqi civilians alike.”

“The 20,000 tons of “stressors” mentioned in the EIS do not account for the additional 4.7 to 14 tons of “metals with potential toxicity” that the Navy plans to release annually, from now on, into inland waters along the Puget Sound in Washington state.”

“In response to concerns about these plans, a Navy spokeswoman said that heavy metals and even depleted uranium are no more dangerous than any other metal, a statement that represents a clear rejection of scientific fact. It seems that the very U.S. military operations meant to “keep Americans safe” come at a higher cost than most people realize – a cost that will be felt for generations to come both within the United States and abroad.” This story is continued at U.S. Military Worlds Largest Polluter

“Internal documents obtained by the Japan Times offer evidence that the contamination of local drinking water sources near a massive U.S. airbase in Japan is the result of years of repeated mishaps and “lax safety standards” by U.S. military forces.”

“The reports, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, “expose a spate of accidents at the [Kadena Air Base in Okinawa] during the past 15 years that have involved at least 21,000 liters of fire extinguishing agents—some of them toxic.”

“The reporting cites several such instances, including a three-day period in 2001 when 17,000 liters of fire extinguishing agents were released and “attributed by base officials to mechanical and electronic malfunctions.”

“It also cites an incident in 2015 when “a drunk U.S. Marine activated a firefighting system. It filled a hangar with more than 1,500 liters of JET-X 2.75 percent—a foam classified by the U.S. government as hazardous. It contains chemicals known to cause cancer, and neurological and reproductive disorders.” That foam made its way to local waterways, but the base did not notify Japanese authorities.”

“The U.S. Pacific Air Forces issued a statement in January that—despite the detection of toxic substance in the drinking water sources— the water was safe because it is adequately treated before consumer use.”   New Docs Link Polluted Drinking Water Supply to Massive US Military Base

“Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.”
A forty fold increase in just 14 years in just the human species. This ecological and genetic destruction will also be cascading through the non-human species as well.

Two US-led wars in Iraq have left behind hundreds of tonnes of depleted uranium munitions and other toxic wastes. by

A constant disconnect I have witnessed in 40 years of activism is the failure to link ecological activism and anti-war activism. Every war is a war on the biosphere and all it’s inhabitants. It’s not particularly complex, it’s the Military Industrial Complex;
Military Industrial Complex

WAIHOPAI SPYBASE PROTEST    Aotearoa New Zealand                                  

    January 25-27, 2019

“In light of the disastrous Trump Presidency – why is New Zealand still an active and willing part of the US Empire? The US intelligence and nuclear war machine controls the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau. The GCSB is now legally allowed to systematically spy on New Zealanders; as well as routinely spying on any number of other countries, on behalf of the US National Security Agency (NSA). And the NSA spies on everyone. More pressure must be put on the Government to end the anti-democratic and destructive activities of this NZ spy agency.” Anti-Bases Campaign

On the December 2018 episode of Nature Bats Last, myself and Professor Guy McPherson will interview Roger Hallam from the Extinction Rebellion movement where I intend to address this disconnect. The show will be uploaded to the archive with the previous 121 shows which are embedded at the following link; Nature Bats Last on The Progressive Radio Network.

“The WFP has warned that Yemen is on the brink of a full-blown famine, with 18 million of its 29 million population food insecure, 8.4 million severely so.”
The war on Yemen is being conducted by the monsters in the House of Saud who  recently murdered and dismembered Jamal Kassahoggi, a former journalist with the Washington Post.”A campaign to remove Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council has been launched by a group of British lawyers, who argue the desert kingdom’s membership of the body is “contradictory and ironic”.Saudi Arabia should be dropped from UN Human Rights Council, say British lawyers

Soon the living will envy the dead, the time we have left is infinitely less than most realise or are prepared to accept.
“At the edge of extinction, only love remains”.

I’ll leave the last word to the late great Bob Marley who I had the honour of seeing play in Aotearoa N.Z. in 1979. Almost no one listened to the message Bob, sorry.

I'm an anti-imperialist, environmental activist and blue ocean sailor, who is passionate about the earth and all it's inhabitants without favour. Brace for imminent impact as we bare witness to the non-linear unraveling of the biosphere and habitability disappearing for most if not all complex life on the only habitable planet we know of. To quote President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’. Folks we have lost the Arctic.

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Activism, Dahr Jamail, Extinction Rebellion, Military
53 comments on “Militarism’s Role in the Sixth and Possibly Last ‘Great’ Extinction
  1. Kevin Hester says:

    “A new analysis on Monday showing that the world’s military spending surpassed $1.9 trillion last year, once again led by the United States under President Donald Trump, provoked demands that governments across the globe prioritize peace and the health of people as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the planet.”

    “The latest annual report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) found that the top military spenders after the U.S. were China, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Total spending in 2019 was 3.6% higher than in the previous year and accounted for 2.2% of global gross domestic product (GDP).”

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/27/halt-madness-us-drove-last-years-over-19-trillion-global-military-spending?fbclid=IwAR0WVg4fGfoLviqcqdAlbacIjV6HhweJIscSqokY8e8zeQMxx_pqKvxVX6k

    Like

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Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

My Submission to the Ministry of the Environment
Kevin Hester, Dropping Anchor in an Exponential World
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