The Stream

Are militaries driving the climate crisis?

On Wednesday, May 10 at 19:30 GMT:
For years, climate activists have centered their work around stopping some of the world’s biggest polluters — from fossil fuel companies, to the meat industry, to industrial farming. And while they remain some of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis, there’s a lesser known climate culprit that’s often forgotten: the military.

Experts have pointed out that the US Department of Defense is the world’s single largest greenhouse gas emitter, with the US military referred to as “one of the largest climate polluters in history.”  In fact, research suggests that if all of the world’s militaries were a country they’d be the fourth largest emitter across the globe.

And beyond the emissions from Humvees, warplanes, and tanks, modern warfare has a devastating effect on the planet. From bombing campaigns to drone strikes, warfare releases greenhouse gas emissions, compromises geodiversity, and can cause soil and air contamination.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at the scale of military emissions, and whether a less militaristic society is not only good for people, but also for the planet.