17 August 2014

So, Do We Really Have Time to Avert Climate Catastrophe? Yes, If We Deploy the Military

Anyone who understands the climate change emergency deeply knows that our Climate EMERGENCY Countdown is a desperate, last-ditch effort to ensure that world leaders at the Climate Summit this September in New York City get us on a path that at least gives us a hope in hell of a future.

Someone responded to the Countdown on FB by saying "This is a realistic plan, but it is also too slow. 2ºC is already locked in at present CO2, methane and NO2 levels. We need to slash the defense budget and use it to convert everything to renewable energy ASAP." 

Yup, all true. But if we start our decline in carbon emissions by next year, then we'll already be on a different trajectory -- one that gives us that hope in hell. And next year is as close to now as we're going to get. (Though the financial crash in 2008-2009 showed us how quickly greenhouse gas emissions can be turned around.)

Several years ago, we and Anthony Marr were talking about a Global Green Fund -- paid for by a 10% donation from each country's military. That would have got the ball rolling, but it didn't happen. (Indeed, ha ha ha ha ha. What were we smokin'?)

Doesn't mean it wasn't a good idea, or that my FB friend's friend's idea isn't a good one. Imagine a world where the soldiers are all busy, not fighting each other (and invisible enemies), but retrofitting whole cities and countries and kickstarting the solar age. Imagine armies of people taking constructive rather than destructive action. (Imagine the increase in military self-esteem!)

So, do we have time? Yes, just. But first, to ensure our success, we have some important things we need to do ... fast. And since we all know who can mobilize fast, let's ask the calvary and the National Guard and the King's Army and the FBI and the CIA and maybe the Mafia and street gangs, too, to lend us a hand. After all, they're all human beings with beloved children in their lives. Why wouldn't they want to help?

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?