ACTION ALERT: Code Red for Planet Earth

August 18th, 2021 - by Win Without War

ACTION ALERT: Code Red and the Pentagon

Win Without War

One of the most urgent updates to climate science in nearly a decade is a brutal indictment of our failure to act. The UN says it’s a “code red for humanity.” 

But from heat waves literally melting power cables and triple-digit temperatures in the Arctic, to out-of-control wildfires in California and Greece — there is one mega-polluter that rarely makes the headlines: the Pentagon

The US military is the largest institutional consumer of petroleum. It emits more greenhouse gases than 100 countries combined. Just one of the military’s jets, the B-52 Stratofortress, consumes about as much fuel in an hour as the average car driver uses in seven years.

But whenever the climate spotlight lands on the US military, it is used as yet another excuse to increase defense spending, instead of the no-brainer that we need to stop spending on the Pentagon’s polluting pet projects and start spending more on tackling climate change.

Just last week, we piled in to help block a sneaky and absurd attempt to ADD $50 billion more for the Pentagon in the infrastructure bill. But we won and forced that back door closed, so now hawks and weapons manufacturers are pushing to pile this massive increase into the already sky-high $750 BILLION National Defense Authorization Act. It’s appalling. That’s why we’re teaming up with a small, but powerful, cohort of lawmakers and partners to stop them — and you can help.

This week’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear we’re on the brink of a mass extinction of species and widespread human suffering, with the worst impacts already hitting poorer countries and vulnerable communities in the United States and other wealthy nations.

That means huge consequences for human dignity here at home and around the world, where the second order effects — like increased forced displacement and migration of people seeking refuge — will increase exponentially. 

Two years ago, an internal report from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) found that the overwhelming reason behind the record migration from Guatemala – that continues today – was due to a crop shortage that left people impoverished and starving. 

Like the IPCC report, the CBP report should have been a Code Red alert, driving a fundamental reallocation of our country’s resources toward stopping climate change and supporting the world’s most vulnerable. But surprise surprise: it’s instead been used as yet anotherexcuse to double-down on padding defense contractors profitsand prioritize corporate greed over the safety of the world’s poor and hungry. 

This misallocation of priorities and resources is the exact same problem we told you about last week, when we wrote about the pilot Pentagon program, FireGuard. The reality is, this misallocation won’t go away unless we double-down as fast as possible. 

Because here’s the thing: ending the role of militarism in the climate crisis is an emerging area of work for Win Without War and we can’t pivot and expand without your support.

Every fraction of a degree of heating we avoid matters, saving human lives and protecting ecosystems. There is much we have lost, but there is much we can save.

Thank you for working for peace,
Kate, Michael, Shayna, and the Win Without War team