ACTION ALERT: Tell Politico to “Report Pentagon Polluters!”

April 17th, 2023 - by CODEPINK

ACTION ALERT: Tell Politico to
“Report the Pentagon Polluters!”

Dear Politico,

The “Politico, Report the Pentagon Polluters!” initiative will improve the quality of climate change reporting and government accountability by pushing newsrooms and media organizations to include the impact of the United States military on the climate crisis and climate disasters both nationally and globally.

The news reporting initiative includes:

  • A recognition by Politico (and other news corporations) that the US military is the world’s largest oil consumer and causes more greenhouse gas emissions than 140 nations combined.
  • A commitment to include the military’s contribution to climate change in climate change reporting
  • The establishment of a news database solely committed to tracking the US military’s total fossil fuel usage and amount of pollution it produces with every military operation, weapons program, war and/or contribution of US weapons to war, and the ecological destruction to endangered ecosystems from old and new military bases abroad.
  • The addition of at least one reporter to each major news bureau dedicated to covering militarism and climate change.

Politico prides itself on being “the global authority on the intersection of politics, policy, and power,” and they position themselves as “the most robust news operation and information service in the world specializing in politics and policy.”

There is nothing more important in the world of politics and policy than the way the climate crisis is reported and holding the largest contributors to it accountable in the public record. The only way to ensure a sustainable future for people and the planet is to address climate change now with real solutions.

Solutions that do not include addressing the impact of militarism on climate change are not adequate. Reporting on climate change and US environmental policy that does not include the US military’s contribution is also not adequate nor should it be considered ethical journalism.

The United States military is one of the largest polluters in the world. It releases more greenhouse gasses than any other entity in the country, including power plants, factories or refineries. Because these emissions are not counted as part of national totals under current law, they are invisible in official reports about climate change — even though their impact is enormous.

In addition, over 64% of our government’s discretionary spending is siphoned off to the Pentagon every year. Funding endless war is an existential threat to human life and one of the leading causes of climate change. The media is failing to make these connections and they are failing at our peril.

We ask Politico to step back from their current model of Department of Defense “access journalism” for the sake of our future. We ask them to use their “global authority” for good and expose those who are most responsible for the climate crisis.  We ask them to adopt this reporting initiative for the defense of people and the planet.

CODEPINK and friends