Are you aware that the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy, but is exempt in all international climate agreements? Therefore – none of the greenhouse gas emissions released by the military are counted against our carbon emission limits as a country. Whether you are for or against military activity, it is important to know the effects military pollution has on the environment. We, rightfully, praise the military for keeping us safe, but at what cost to the environment?
The Militant Truth:
For centuries countries have been at war for numerous reasons including; land, natural resources, politics and religious beliefs. The US military is responsible for the most widespread pollution of the planet – unfortunately this information goes almost entirely unreported. The US Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides and defoliants like Agent Orange and lead. Let’s take a look at the true cost of war.
Military Testing & War Facts:
- The US military produces more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined.
- 39,000 contaminated areas spread across 19 million acres in the US from military activity.
- US military bases top the Superfund list of the most polluted places, as perchlorate and trichloroethylene seep into the drinking water, aquifers, and soil.
- The US military uses 320,000 barrels of oil a day – not including fuel consumed by contractors, in leased or private facilities, or in the production of weapons.
- Tens of thousands of pounds of microparticles of radioactive and highly toxic waste have contaminated the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Balkans.
- US Navy’s sonar generate slow-rolling sound waves topping out at around 235 decibels. The world’s loudest rock bands top out at only 130 decibels.
- Whales have been shown to swim hundreds of miles out of their regular path, rapidly change their depth – causing bleeding from the eyes – and beach themselves to get away from sonar sound waves.
- Nuclear weapons testing in the American Southwest and the South Pacific Islands has contaminated millions of acres of land and water with radiation – while uranium tailings defile Navajo reservations.
- US military action in Iraq has resulted in the desertification of 90% of Iraqi territory – crippling Iraq’s agricultural industry – and forcing it to import more than 80% of its food.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Seek more information. Research the Defense Environmental Restoration Program – it is in charge of massive cleanup efforts for military pollution.
- Share this information with friends, family, and social media. The more people that know about military pollution, the more likely were are to see illicit change.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Tell Congress we don’t want war.
- Taxes pay for war. Your hard earned dollars are funding environmental degradation. Be a voice by demand Congress reallocate some of the money in our defense funds to environmental protection.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Rise up and demand peaceful resolutions. War should always be the last resort.