The Climate Change War

Mother Nature doesn’t care about your denials (Josh Addessi at

W.J. Astore

It seems Americans can’t rally support for something without declaring a “war” on it. The war on poverty. On drugs. On gangs and crime. On terror. And these wars have become open-ended, or “generational” in Pentagon-speak, with a dynamic of crisis-surge-“progress”-new crisis-new surge-repeat that sustains large bureaucracies and huge government spending.

To these “wars” we must add a new one, notes Michael Klare at the climate change war.  As Texas and Florida were being clobbered by powerful hurricanes, the U.S. military and Homeland Security took the lead role in responding to these disasters, notes Klare.  Yet, even as the U.S. National Security State was mobilized to respond, identifying and seeking to mitigate a root cause of this “war” — the role global warming plays in exacerbating these storms — was and is very much forbidden by the Trump administration.

This is nothing new. As with so many other wars, the U.S. military is deployed to address symptoms rather than root causes. Worse than that, we often deny our own role in creating or worsening those root causes.

With respect to climate change, we Americans have made our choice. We’ve come to believe the advertising slogans that “we can have it all.” We’ve dismissed the dangers of wanton fossil fuel consumption, and indeed wanton materialism in general. Corporations have worked hard to persuade us that global warming might just be a hoax, or at the very least dodgy science. Many of us have willingly bought the message that coal is “clean,” that fracking along with new pipelines are safe and create jobs, even though it’s clean(er) energy like wind and solar that is the better job-creator.

Those are facts that lead me to a different “war” in America, the one being waged against truth.  Basic truths are denied (e.g. that human activity contributes to global warming) in the interests of profits enjoyed by powerful industries. But denial in “war” is not a path to victory (except for the profiteers). Denial is a path only to generational conflict, one that is sure to lead to more disasters and end only in defeat.

So, two things are most definitely certain: the climate change war will be generational. And, much like that other generational war — the war on terror — our military won’t win it. For no one wins a war against Mother Nature — not when we’re going out of our way to piss her off.

2 thoughts on “The Climate Change War

  1. Why the “war” on this, and the “war” on that without, naturally, any thought of a war on “war”? Sheldon S. Wolin explains this prefered propaganda paradigm in Democracy, Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2008):

    Chapter Two – Totalitarianism’s Inversion: Beginnings of the Imaginary of a Permanent Global War

    “… what attracted [post-WWII] decision-makers to choosing ‘war’ is that Americans of the twentieth century had no direct experience of it and hence were receptive to having warfare imagined for them – and Hollywood happily obliged with ‘war movies.’ Save for actual combatants sent overseas and economic shortages at home, World War II was unexperienced. After 1945 ‘war’ was a tabula rasa on which opinion-makers and government decision-makers were free to constitute its meaning in terms that pretty much suited their purposes, allowing them to set the character of public debate and to acquire a vastly enlarged range of governmental powers – powers that, when they did not violate the Constitution, deformed it. … The meaning of war was given a plasticity that allowed the new image-makers to set its parameters as they pleased.”

    The American public has almost no experience with actual war, and hasn’t for seveal generations now. The American public has shown itself willing to passively consume virtual or imaginary “war” as a form of mythological entertainment while surrendering to a corporate/military oligarchy immense national resources and power that somehow never result in anything but an endless imagined “victory” that never actually “wins.” A Permanent Winless War on Victory. As easy to imagine as any other unreal thing.


  2. A long but good article on how climate change effects what we eat:
    The great nutrient collapse
    The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention.

    For the Regimes of Obama and Trump the operative song is: Don’t Worry Be Happy
    Bobby McFerrin Don’t worry, be happy
    In every life we have some trouble
    But when you worry you make it double
    Don’t worry, be happy
    Don’t worry, be happy now
    Human intervention and exploitation has long history. The extermination by wanton killing of the passenger pigeon, over fishing, clear cutting forests, etc. The introduction of rabbits and cane toads into Australia. The dumping of industrial and mining waste into lakes, rivers and streams.

    We have a significant population here the USA (including politicians), that believes in the myth of Noah’s Ark, but question and deny the science of NOAA. These science deniers become useful dupes for the corporations and their spin doctors who label regulation as “onerous regulations”.


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