David Swanson: We Can’t Save the Climate Without Ending War

David Swanson: We Can't Save the Climate Without Ending War

Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr
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by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
World Beyond War
Originally posted May 22, 2019
June 10, 2021

“War and preparations for war are not just the pit into which trillions of dollars that could be used to prevent environmental damage are dumped, but also a major direct cause of that environmental damage.

As the environmental crisis worsens, thinking of war as a tool with which to address it threatens us with the ultimate vicious cycle. Declaring that climate change causes war misses the reality that human beings cause war, and that unless we learn to address crises nonviolently we will only make them worse.

A major motivation behind some wars is the desire to control resources that poison the earth, especially oil and gas. In fact, the launching of wars by wealthy nations in poor ones does not correlate with human rights violations or lack of democracy or threats of terrorism, but does strongly correlate with the presence of oil.

War does most of its environmental damage where it happens, but also devastates the natural environment of military bases in foreign and home nations. The U.S. military is the third-largest polluter of U.S. waterways. […]” — War Threatens Our Environment

WorldBeyondWar.org on May 7, 2019

Learn more: https://worldbeyondwar.org/environment


David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include Leaving World War II Behind (2020), Curing Exceptionalism: What’s wrong with how we think about the United States? What can we do about it? (2018) and War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Support David’s work.

From the archives:

How Climate Collapse Will Overwhelm The U.S. Military, by Rainer Shea

Humans, Nature and the Illusion of Separateness, by Kenn Orphan

100 Seconds To Midnight: The Dissonance and Madness of Our Time, by Rainer Shea

Peter Carter: Are “Net-Zero” Emissions a Smoke Screen?

Top Poisoner of Pacific Is U.S. Military, by David Swanson

NATO’s Arctic War Exercise Unites Climate Change and WWIII

Will Griffin: The US Military is the Largest Institutional Consumer of Fossil Fuels

Martin Sheen: The Twin Dangers Facing Humanity

15 thoughts on “David Swanson: We Can’t Save the Climate Without Ending War

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      • If we take that a tad further, we may also want to distinguish capital from ‘capitalism,’ Capital is only a measure of that type of energetic account which enables specific means and by its dutiful deployment ought to facilitate contingent ‘moral’ ends. Capital deployment should be governed and motivated by humane ethics, by values that respect ecological and biospherical parameters.

        Ultimately the only justifiable war is that which renders itself redundant. The exercise of war in its highest interpretation, ought to be understood as a metaphysical process; the disciplined manifestation of a ‘cosmic’ aspiration to overcome ignorance & delusion, by combating spiritual restriction in all its iniquitous, squalid & ubiquitous forms ~ to ensure the integrity of our unique and intelligent capacity for creative evolution and the healthy exercise of pure intent….to benefit all life

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