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If the Military is So Concerned about Climate Change

Maybe they should all just GO HOME - That climate variability in one region can have an effect on more distant areas is known in the climate research literature, the challenge being to locate these far-connections and understand their projections. The Sahel region of Africa suffered drought over more than 20 years, from the 1970s to the mid-1990s, which caused deep environmental and social crises, such as hunger, civilian desertion, ethnic conflicts, and more. In 2007 the UN published a report stating that the situation in Darfur was intensified by the ongoing drought in the Sahel region and its surroundings.

Meanwhile, US military operations to protect oil imports shipment coming from the Middle East are creating larger amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than once thought, meaning we may have to learn how to function without the oil we fighting so hard to protect even sooner than expected. This is due to the high amount of gasoline used in fighting 2 wars in the Middle East.

Emissions of heat-trapping gases resulting from military protection of supertankers in the Persian Gulf amount to 34.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. In addition, the war in Iraq releases another 43.3 million metric tons of CO2 annually. Also, multiple studies that indicate US spending on military protection of maritime oil transit routes incurs an annual cost of roughly $100 billion per year.

Researcher Adam Liska says, "Our conservative estimate of emissions from military security alone raises the greenhouse gas intensity of gasoline derived from imported Middle Eastern oil by 8 to 18%." This is why, in the national discussion on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the environmental impact of oil-related military emissions must be included in comparisons of gasoline and biofuels such as ethanol.

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Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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