A recent article on climate emergency (Ripple et. al. 2020), endorsed by more than 11000 scientists from 153 countries, has received widespread publicity in the media. This is the latest among numerous scientifically researched articles on climate change and global warming, which have been published by various organizations on this one of the greatest problems that have developed on this planet, directly as a result of the activities of particular type of humans, the Modern Capitalist-Imperialist Humans (MCIH), which have evolved from the co-evolution of science and technology and capitalist political economy, during the previous few centuries. These complex and multidimensional developments have been progressively accelerating, with the greatest accelerations occurring during the 20th Century and the current 21st Century.
As in numerous other areas of reality that has been created on this planet, the problems of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction; climate change and global warming; ozone layer depletion in the atmosphere; destruction of the ecology of nature; pollution of air, water, soil, and food; ever-increasing militarism and arms race throughout various countries of the world, initiated and perpetuated by the sinister insanity of quest for global domination by the US and NATO imperialism; etc., are being addressed fragmentally from each other, mostly as single issues, especially by the scientific community, which operates self-confidently within the narrow limits of what it considers to be objectivity and scientific methodology, and confuses abstract facts of specialized sciences with truth. Data and facts of specialized sciences, in themselves, do not constitute truth. Truth is a very complex category that, among other areas, consists of interrelated facts and data in the relevant areas of relevant sciences, philosophy, and ethics. It is interdisciplinary in nature. Such scientism cannot address, perceive, or understand the macro-level problems of overall realities. It also cannot create a macro-level unified theory, which may link all the diverse macro-level problems together and discover their essence, in which these are rooted. Almost all the contemporary environmental movements are also inflicted with this crucial flaw and are dealing with problems like the climate change fragmentally, as single issues, without integrating and relating them to their historically developed causes and essence, which are rooted in the co-evolution of science and technology, political economy of capitalism, and capitalist and imperialist human nature. It is self-evident that unless the real causes of various problems are identified, these cannot be solved. It is the co-evolution of science and technology, political economy of capitalism, and capitalist and imperialist human nature, which have created all these diverse macro-level problems. Now, a section of scientific community has become aware of the great disaster towards which the climate change is leading mankind, and is publicizing the relevant facts in numerous reports. Even though all these are important, these are inadequate by themselves, as these lack a proper theoretical framework and are unable to relate this problem to its essence and real causes. Hence, these have produced very little actual results. This will continue to be the case as long as this flawed approach is maintained in relation to such macro-level problems. It is also relevant to mention that only a relatively very small section of the scientific community has become involved in this matter. Overwhelming majority of scientists and technicians are working in areas of science and technology and industry that produce environmental pollutants and enhance the macro-level problems of climate change, global warming, pollution, as well as other macro-level problems, some of which are mentioned above. For example, those working in the fossil fuels and transportation systems based on them, chemicals, and armaments and military related research and development.
According to the data of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (based in Paris), 63 percent of the research and development activity of a total of 700,000 scientists, engineers and technicians working in the U.S. during 1967 was on behalf of the military (Melman 1970, p. 187). As the military budgets have increased enormously after that data were published, it is certain that the total number of scientists, engineers and technicians, as well as the percentage of those working on behalf of the military, have also greatly increased.
In numerous countries, militaries are the worst polluters of the environment, contributing enormously to global warming and climate change. For example, as documented by Saxifrage, the United States military is one of the world’s largest climate polluters — emitting more than entire European countries like Sweden or Norway. That’s according to a new report that estimates the U.S. Department of Defence’s worldwide emissions at nearly 60 million tonnes (MtCO2).
The lion’s share of its emissions, however, come from the energy used to carry out its operations. As the report notes: “With an armed force of more than two million people … and the most advanced military aircraft the DOD is the world’s largest institutional user of petroleum.”
Around 70 per cent is jet fuel for bombers, jet fighters, cargo planes and other support aircraft. These aircraft burn gallons of this fossil fuel per mile.
Much of the rest is diesel for vehicles. In just one example, the report notes that the U.S. Army alone has around 60,000 HUMVEEs that burn one gallon every four to eight miles (Saxifrage 2019. Much of this information is cited from the following comprehensive research article by Crawford).
Following information is from Crawford’s comprehensive research on this matter.
Indeed, the DOD (US Department of Defense) is the world’s largest institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world. The DOD is the single largest consumer of energy in the US, and in fact, the world’s single largest institutional consumer of petroleum. Since 2001, the DOD has consistently consumed between 77 and 80 percent of all US government energy consumption. The US military annually consumes more fuel than most countries.
In any one year, the Pentagon’s emissions are greater than many smaller countries total greenhouse gas emissions. For example, in 2017, US DOD greenhouse gas emissions were 59 million metric tons (not including biogenic emissions) of CO2e. In that same year, Pentagon emissions were greater than Finland, which emitted 46.8 million metric tons, Sweden which emitted 50.8 million metric tons, and Denmark which emitted 33.5 million metric tons of CO2.
The best estimate of US military greenhouse gas emissions from 2001, when the wars began with the US invasion of Afghanistan, through 2017, is that the US military has emitted 1,212 million metric tons of greenhouse gases (measured in CO2 equivalent, or CO2e). In 2017, for example, the Pentagon’s greenhouse gas emissions were greater than the greenhouse gas emissions of entire industrialized countries as Sweden or Denmark.
Crawford has previously estimated that the budgetary costs of the post-9/11 wars, including Homeland Security and our future obligations to care for the veterans of these wars, are nearly $6 trillion dollars (Crawford 2018).
There has been enormous scientific research on global warming and pollution and destruction of the natural environment. However, there is very little on the role that social and politico-economic environments play in all that, as well as in the regulation of human nature itself. After all, it is a particular type of human nature, the modern capitalist-technocratic form, which has been, and continues to be, responsible for the creation and perpetuation of these problems. Dr. Barry Commoner, one of the most important environmental scientists and founders of environmental movement, had tried to reveal the connection between political economy and environmental erosion. However, he was a very rare exception among the environmental scientists, almost all of whom are either unaware of that connection, or exclude it from their research and conclusions.
I have background in many areas of biological and social sciences and am a theoretical interdisciplinary researcher and writer, with focus on the biosocial and epigenetic relativity of human nature, relative to political economy, culture, and technocracy. I created a new and original macro-level theory in this area, the original version of which was published in an interdisciplinary scientific journal in the US, Journal of Social and Biological Structures, in 1980 (Rahman 1980). I gave up my career in specialized areas of science to focus on this interdisciplinary research.
My own research has been theoretical and interdisciplinary, in the areas of social and biological sciences. It is much broader and more comprehensive than the researches of almost all the environmental scientists, as it focuses on the role and effects of politico-economic and social environments in biosocial and epigenetic relativity of human nature, which are fundamental to the effects of human activities on the natural environment, including the climate change. The simplest and most essential conclusion of my theoretical research is that erosion and destruction of the ecology of nature is inextricably and dialectically related to and is the manifestation of the erosion and destruction of the ecology of human nature.
The problems that have been created by the Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technological Societies (ACITS) are far worse and far more complicated than anyone can imagine, the creation of capitalist technological human nature being the most important and fundamental of them, on the basis of which, all the innumerable and diverse environmental, social, political, international, and other problems are constantly generated. The co-evolution of capitalism, science and technology, and modern capitalist-imperialist humans has created the greatest and most disastrous problems of all human history on this planet. Nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, climate change and global warming, ozone layer depletion in the atmosphere, destruction of the ecology of nature, extinction of enormous numbers of species, pollution of air, water, soil, and food, sinister insanity of quest for global domination by the US and NATO imperialism, etc., are the external symptoms of that co-evolution. However, it has also created disruptions and imbalances in the inner ecology of human nature, which remain unknown and in the dark. I have attempted to shed some light on these in some of my articles by venturing into the terra incognita. One of those articles can be read through the following link. It was posted on my web site https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com.
My above paper, Biosocial and epigenetic relativity of human nature, relative to political economy, technology, and culture and another related paper are the only ones ever written or published on these very complex interdisciplinary matters. In these, I have discussed the effects of social and politico-economic environment on the conditioning and regulation of human nature, including on the epigenetic (differential regulation of genes) and biosocial levels. There is extensive research information on differential regulation of genes in various life forms by natural environment, but none, except these two papers, on such regulation in humans by social and politico-economic environment.
For a long time now, almost everyone, including numerous some of the biggest polluting and exploiting corporations, has been jumping on the bandwagon of sustainability, a word that has become very fashionable, and like most other words that become fashionable, has become blasé and is exploited and manipulated endlessly by various organizations and individuals, whose real goal is to sustain and enhance their profits and funds under that mask. In the meantime, almost everything continues to get more and more unsustainable. The real underlying fundamental cause of unsustainability and environmental destruction involves the ever-increasing unsustainabilty of capitalist human natures of billions of people, parasitizing ruthlessly and demonically on everything that exists on this planet, including each other. This unsustainability greatly increases in the ACITS. When human nature itself becomes so unsustainable as it has, nothing else can be sustainable, no matter what clever objective or subjective books or articles are written about it and what solutions are proposed in them, as almost all of them do not even touch that fundamental root of that great problem, which, in any case cannot be resolved with knowledge, information, and education alone. That would require the radical socialist revolutionary transformation of human nature, which can only happen after the revolutionary replacement of capitalism and imperialism with socialism.
The destruction of Planet and its biosphere is beyond the abilities of humans, no matter what weapons and pollutants they create. The Planet and its biosphere will recover from all the damages inflicted upon them by this most destructive and self-destructive species of all, which has temporarily jumped onto the center of the stage of evolution. Planet’s life span consists of billions of years, while human species evolved only around 6 millions years ago, current forms of humans around 200,000 years ago, and civilization around 6,000 years ago. The “enlightened” and modern humans have sprung up only a few centuries ago, and have devastated the planet’s ecology and the ecology of their own human nature during that relatively very short period of time, and especially during the previous 100 years. Human generations’ life span, on average, is probably less than 70 years. Planet has all the time it needs to recover and rejuvenate. Many other species of life also are much more capable to survive the aftermaths of the Third World War or climate change than the humans species, which, especially its so-called “developed” parts, will be the least capable and will certainly be annihilated. It is the human species that does not have much time left to reverse the mad and sinister rush towards the Great Abyss (Rahman 1982 and 2015).
The problems of environmental pollution were much less in the former socialist countries, as compared to the western capitalist countries. However, rapid scientific, technological, military, and industrial developments in those also inevitably caused such problems significantly, especially under the conditions of life and death struggle and competition with the latter, which were trying everything they could, including military invasions, subversions, and threats, to roll back the socio-economico-political gains and changes made there after the socialist revolutions and restore capitalism there, which did happen eventually in most of the former socialist countries, mostly as a result of internal subversions and betrayals of socialism, supported by the powerful imperialist countries of the West, especially the US. Now, the problems of environmental pollution in the former socialist countries are incomparably worse under capitalism than these were under socialism, especially in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), which has now caught up with, and according to some studies, even surpassed, the biggest polluter in the world, the US of A, in environmental pollution. Objectively, the political economy of PRC is not socialist anymore, in spite of being ruled by the so-called “Communist Party” and lip service to socialism by its current leaders. It has been transformed into state capitalism, which is being controlled and regulated by the leaders of the so-called “Communist Party”. Under frenzied capitalist developments, some major cities in India, Pakistan, and other countries, have become the most polluted in the world. In spite of ineffective, hypocritical, and toothless international conferences on stopping and reversing environmental pollution and climate change, these problems are getting far worse, and not any better. A lot of public money is wasted on these conferences, without any substantial results or outcomes. The statements that are made during and after these conferences are not worth the paper these appear on.
Historically, logically, and factually, it should be clear to any honest, thinking, feeling, knowledgeable, and informed person that such macro-level problems, like the environmental pollution and climate change, cannot be solved under the political economies of capitalism and imperialism, as these are their causes. It is hypocritical, foolish, and delusionary to expect solutions within these systems, no matter what changes are proposed to be implemented.
Addition on February 2, 2020
Khan, chief executive of the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change in Pakistan, wrote an article in the English language newspaper, Dawn, on February 3, 2020, with dire warnings about the bleak future being created in Pakistan and rest of the world, as a result of climate change, population explosions, and ethical-moral atrophy, indifference to the decay of democracy, and emergence of so-called populist autocratic regimes and rulers (Khan 2020). I have added the reference here, after posting my own article.
Crawford, Neta, C. “United States Budgetary Costs of the Post-9/11 Wars Through FY2019: $5.9 Trillion Spent and Obligated,” Costs of War Project, November 2018.
Crawford, Neta, C. Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War Neta C. Crawford Boston University June 12, 2019. Watson Institute, Brown University.
Khan, Aisha. Age of impunity. Dawn, February 3, 2020.
Melman, S. 1970. Pentagon Capitalism: The Political Economy of War. New York, St. Louis, San Francisco, Toronto: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Rahman, F. 1980. “Effects of the contemporary technological model on the genetic regulation of inner human faculties.” Journal of Social and Biological Structures 3: 375-389.
Rahman, F. 1982. Biosocial regulation of human nature by social systems-science and technology-culture complexes. 60 pages. Paper presented at the International Conference of Scientists and Scholars in Grenada, Spain, during 1982. The conference was organized jointly by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture and the Swedish International Federation of Institutes for Advanced Studies (IFIAS). Title was changed to Biosocial and epigenetic relativity of human nature: Relative to political economy, technology, and culture, and posted with the following link:
RIPPLE, W. J., CHRISTOPHER WOLF, THOMAS M. NEWSOME, PHOEBE BARNARD, WILLIAM R. MOOMAW, AND 11,258 SCIENTIST SIGNATORIES FROM 153 COUNTRIES (LIST IN SUPPLEMENTAL FILE S1). World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency. BioScience, January 2020 / Vol. 70 No. 1, pp. 8-12.
Saxifrage, B. Climate pollution from US military and Alberta’s oilsands industry: reports. National Observer, Canada. June 29, 2019. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/06/26/opinion/climate-pollution-us-military-and-albertas-oilsands-industry-reports
Dr. Fazal Rahman is an interdisciplinary researcher and writer, with background in many areas of biological and social sciences. He has lived and worked in many countries, like Pakistan, Brazil, USA, Lebanon, and Zambia, as a scientist and head of research and development programs and centers. He has done in-depth and extensive studies on Marxism, Leninism, phenomenology, existentialism, political economy of capitalism and socialism, political economy of US and former USSR, technocracy, psychology, mass psychology, and genetics, etc.
[DS added the video.]
Costs and Consequences of US Post-9/11 Wars: Focus on Climate Change
Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs on Sep 12, 2019
As we observe another anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack, Neta Crawford, political scientist and co-director of the Costs of War project, discusses the environmental impacts of the post-9/11 wars.
Although greenhouse gas emissions from war were excluded from country reporting during the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocols, a major consequence of war is increased use of fossil fuels. During this event, Crawford will share her recent research calculating the U.S. military’s greenhouse gas emissions associated with the post-9/11 wars.
Neta C. Crawford is a professor of political science and currently chairs the department of political science at Boston University. Her teaching focuses on international relations theory, international ethics, and normative change. Crawford received the Distinguished Scholar award from the International Ethics section of the International Studies Association in 2018.
Her research interests include international relations theory, normative theory, foreign policy decision making, sanctions, peace movements, discourse ethics, post-conflict peacebuilding, research design, utopian science fiction, and emotion. Crawford is also interested in methods for understanding the costs and consequences of war and is co-director of the Eisenhower Study Group “Costs of War” study (www.costsofwar.org) based at Brown University.
Co-sponsored by the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society.
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