Greta Thunberg has an impressive following – on Instagram alone, over 11 million. A post in which she just holds her now classical sign “Skolstrejk” can hundreds of thousands of Likes. (I am of course green with envy! 😉 )
On May 5, Greta posted a very important dimension of the problems, a chart from the UNEP that shows that the highest income groups are also by far the larger emitters of CO2 globally. She calls that the elephant in the room.
Not disputing that I found it important to do what I have done before – to write to Greta and point out that the military is a very important factor in the whole environment issue, actually most likely the largest single institutional environmental destroyer. If anything, certainly another elephant in the room.
As you can see on the picture above, I wrote to her there on Instagram:
”Among the 1% earners are those who maintain everything militarism, war, arms trade, mass killings, nuclear weapons, etc – with tremendous effects on the environment/climate change.
The US military is the largest single consumer of petrol. A B52 in 1 hour consumes as much as an average American family car over 7 years. Nukes will destroy everything – omnicide. We have wars for natural resources; we have environmental refugees being stopped at armed borders by military and police. We have bombings and destruction thanks to warfare – huge areas of agricultural lands filled with mines – and US$ 2000 BILLION wasted on military budgets worldwide that steals funds from saving the Earth.
And yet – those who work for the environment, the species, for sustainability etc never mention the world’s military/militarism in general or the worst single environmental destroyer – the US military. Ask yourself why. Ask your millions of sympathizers – is it too dangerous, to put it crudely, to speak truth to power?
What’s the use of working against the – comparatively – slow destruction of the environment, Mother Earth, if it is blown up this afternoon by a) an idiot, b) a sick person, c) by technical failure – of which there have been many, or by d) human failure? The fact is that we can all be gone with a bang and those who work against us going by the whimper seem to not have a clue – or the courage to even mention it.
It is time to build bridges between peace and the environment movements and researchers. Because under them both lies an acceptance – unspoken – of violence. Unless we address violence as legitimate, I for one do not see how we are going to save the world – individual, gender, nature, culture, structural, psychological and many other types of violence… that neither activists, politicians, media or researchers address.
Because we live in militarist end vision times?”
I shall indeed be happy if Greta comes up with an answer or begin to mention this issue. But not knowing the reason, I do not expect her to.
Here is what I wrote to her on Facebook on September 30, 2019:
I am one of your millions of admirers. Thanks a lot for what you do. I’m a peace and future researcher inspired by Gandhi and I have written about you and your work in that perspective (see link). It also contains two constructive proposals which I hope you will consider.
I am with you and wish you every success – which will be humankind’s success – Jan
PS If I or my foundation can be of any help, please let us know.”
If you are interested in these issues, TFF’s Associates and I have created an entire online magazine on Flipboard “Bootprint – Militarism and Environment” where we have gathered reliable and trustworthy materials to give you insights into the facts and connections between the two huge problems humankind faces – and why bridge-building would be essential.