The U.S. military says it wants to be 'energy neutral'.The rhetoric of green-washing is little more than an attempt to divert attention from the fact that the Obama administration is escalating military spending, writes Trish Kahle
The United States military, facing a slew of negative public opinion and resistance in the face of three plus unpopular wars is setting out to redo it's image from that of a polluting force of brutality that rapes and pillages wherever it goes, to a slightly less (and the slightly less is easily disputable) polluting force that rapes and pillages wherever it goes.
The Secretary of the Navy, leader of the campaign to make the military a "energy-neutral" entity, is making the rounds talking about how military bases are now--or soon will be--producing enough energy to become power sources rather than power sinks, using some solar power, but mostly by turning to biodiesel.
Of course, there's more than a few problems with that. Before we can even begin to argue about the questionable contribution of biodiesel to a "greener" world, which is a point worth discussing, we should focus on the more critical argument: that this green-wash campaign is nothing short of a PR attempt to divert attention from the fact that the Obama administration is escalating military spending and using the destructive, imperial force of the United States military in more countries than ever with no end in sight. Fundamentally, the military-industrial complex is diametrically opposed to ecological sustainability and biodiversity. To say anything else is a vicious lie.
As the 2012 election fast approaches, we can already see this as an attempt to win environmentalists back to the Democratic Party, despite the fact that the Democrats have done nothing but scoffed at activist calls to halt the expansion of nuclear power, mountain top removal, fracking for natural gas, and offshore oil drilling. Both the Democrats and Republicans are shoving the EPA--one of the most important legislative victories for environmental activists in the last 50 years--under the budget acts. This campaign is an attempt to hide the disgusting lengths the Obama administration has gone to in order to undermine the ability of the EPA to regulate corporations (a capacity in which it was already severely limited to begin with). The Democrats are not part of the solution, they are a critical fixture of the problem.
And even the rhetoric of green-washing is still shifted to the right by couching the rhetoric in terms of "energy independence," an argument which is a not-too-thinly-veiled defense of imperialism. In addition, biodiesel falls into a similar category with nuclear power in that both are non-solutions presented as radical and necessary alternatives. Biodiesel is replenishable, not sustainable, a critical difference which is usually overlooked. Carbon emissions from biodiesel are not significantly less than fossil fuels, particularly when you include production.
True movements toward sustainability must reject the capitalist system, and certainly no one committed to ecological justice could ever support any military endeavor, and particularly not the imperialist agenda of the United States, which ironically is performing this campaign at the same time that it wages war--sorry, "humanitarian intervention"--in Libya, one of the most oil-rich countries on earth. In order to truly destroy the military power-sink (not to mention budget-sink), we need a world free of imperialism, free of capitalism, a world that puts people and their ecosystem first.
This article was originally published on I Can't Believe We Still Have To Protest This Shit.