A new report from climate change activists in the US and the UK was picked up and run by the Chinese government publication Global Times on January 17th. Originally authored by Common Wealth in the UK and the Climate and Community Project in the US, the piece places climate change squarely on the shoulders of the US and UK militaries. With the Chinese spin on the study, they skip over the massive glut of pollution caused by China.
Khem Rogaly, co-author of the report, reportedly told the Global Times, “The US military prioritizes its perceived strategic interests over evidence of its ecological impact. Nonetheless, the military presents itself as a solution to the climate crisis, even if the opposite is true. Conflicts supported by the US are a source of insecurity, violence, and instability that will exacerbate the effects of the climate crisis while the military itself is a major source of ecological damage.”
In order to create change, the report states that the US and UK should look at closing military bases, and stop the persistence of global conflict. While the Chinese and other militaries produce far more pollutants from their vehicles and are persistently behind the US and UK in “going green,” their use was suspiciously absent from the report. Then again, the Chinese government has relentlessly gone after any outlet that dares to challenge their ideals or way of conducting business.
To atone for their pollution, these groups figure the two nations owe $111 billion in reparations due to the irreversible damage they claim has been done to the planet. Specifically, they claim that 20+ years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as operations around the globe, are to blame for the pollution. In their math, this is the “social cost of carbon,” and both nations are responsible for footing the bill.
Using data provided by the US Department of Defense and other publicly available figures, the Chinese, as well as these liberal organizations, are trying to use the data against us. Specifically cherry-picking information and refusing to discuss non-western countries’ soaring pollution, the report is little more than laughable.
While there is a degree of responsibility that the US and every other nation on the planet face for pollution, we are making strides in fixing things. This doesn’t mean abiding by President Biden’s Green New Deal or everyone going to an electric vehicle either. Rather, it means better availability of public transit in cities, reducing sitting in traffic, and making carpooling more incentivized.
Making demands like these or trying to claim countries owe reparations might make the climate organizations look more special to one another, but they are unenforceable. Neither the US nor the UK owes anyone to the social costs of pollution or military operations. If anything, the rest of the globe owes both nations for their innovations and past money towards cleaning up the planet.
Truth be told, China and its high concentration of pollution-spewing factories, the horrible trash and water pollution of India, and the private jet usage by celebrities across the globe are far more troublesome than the impacts of the US or UK. If these organizations want to see change, they could easily go after celebrities and their private jets.
People like Barbara Streisand used such luxuries to fly her dogs from San Francisco to London and back just so they could be there for her show. Then there’s Greta Thunberg, who frequently flies on private jets for climate summits and meetings to blame the Western governments for pollution. These are but two examples of literally thousands of celebrities and wealthy people who refuse to fly commercially, and instead fly private and increase the pollution significantly more.
Reports like this are dangerous to the planet. They place targets on the backs of those who are making change. The revision by Global Times is more disturbing as it simply feeds the narrative of places like China being a clean country and a communist dream when the country is nothing more than the hope of oppression and heartbreak.