On Earth Day 2010 (April 22), the US Navy is going to stage a demonstration of its F/A-18 Super Hornet (a.k.a. the Green Hornet), powered by a 50/50 biofuel blend (made from the Camelina sativa plant). Before you attempt processing that nugget, I’ve got something else you may want to factor in: The USS Makin Island, the “world’s first hybrid fuel warship.” (Lest we forget amidst all this eco-celebrating, the Makin Island is built to “transport and land Marine Expeditionary Units ashore by helicopter, landing craft and amphibious assault vehicle.”)
Suggestion: The Left should abandon all “support the troops” pretense and “just war” nonsense and recognize that the US Department of Defense is the largest polluter on the planet – producing more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined. Pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange, solvents, petroleum, lead, mercury and depleted uranium are among the many deadly substances used by the military.
What does this mean for us? To start with, it can help illustrate how to best foment a genuine green revolution. As Derrick Jensen reminds us: “Even if every single person in the United States were to change all their light-bulbs to fluorescent, cut the amount they drive in half, recycle half of their household waste, inflate their tire pressure to increase gas mileage, use low flow shower heads and wash clothes in lower temperature water, adjusts their thermostats two degrees up or down depending on the season, and plant a tree, it would result in a one-time, 21 percent reduction in carbon emissions.”
For those of you scoring at home, that’s a one-time, 21 percent reduction in carbon emissions when most responsible scientists are calling for a 75 percent reduction. We compost, we drive hybrids, we bring our own bag to the market, but meanwhile, the US military and its fellow mega-polluters – transnational corporations – treat the planet like it’s a porta-potty … with little or no opposition from the general population. In fact, the military typically enjoys unconditional support even from those who identify as “antiwar.”
Keep this in mind the next time you cling to the crowd-pleasing “support the troops” chant as those same volunteer soldiers wage a “war on terror”: Our tax dollars are subsidizing a global eco-terror campaign and all the recycled toilet paper and CFL bulbs in the world ain’t gonna change that.
In other words, if we don’t want our legacy to be one of inaction and shame, we must create drastic, permanent change very, very soon … because here’s the most inconvenient truth of all: it’s time to embrace a much darker shade of green.