The Elephant in the Room: The U.S. Military is One of the World’s Largest Sources of C02

Sara Flounders writes:

By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy in general. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.

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The Feb. 17, 2007, Energy Bulletin detailed the oil consumption just for the Pentagon’s aircraft, ships, ground vehicles and facilities that made it the single-largest oil consumer in the world.

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Even according to rankings in the 2006 CIA World Factbook, only 35 countries (out of 210 in the world) consume more oil per day than the Pentagon.

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This information is not readily available … because military emissions abroad are exempt from national reporting requirements under U.S. law and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change” …

Bryan Farrell in his new book, “The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism,” says that “the greatest single assault on the environment, on all of us around the globe, comes from one agency … the Armed Forces of the United States.”

Just how did the Pentagon come to be exempt from climate agreements? At the time of the Kyoto Accords negotiations, the U.S. demanded as a provision of signing that all of its military operations worldwide and all operations it participates in with the U.N. and/or NATO be completely exempted from measurement or reductions.

After securing this gigantic concession, the Bush administration then refused to sign the accords.

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Although the U.S. had already received these assurances in the negotiations, the U.S. Congress passed an explicit provision guaranteeing U.S. military exemption. Inter Press Service reported on May 21, 1998: “U.S. law makers, in the latest blow to international efforts to halt global warming, today exempted U.S. military operations from the Kyoto agreement which lays out binding commitments to reduce ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions. The House of Representatives passed an amendment to next year’s military authorization bill that ‘prohibits the restriction of armed forces under the Kyoto Protocol.'”

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According to environmental journalist Johanna Peace … “The military accounts for a full 80 percent of the federal government’s energy demand.”

As I pointed out out last week:

Professor Michael Klare noted in 2007:

Sixteen gallons of oil. That’s how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis — either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone.

And in 2008, Oil Change International released a report showing that:

  • The [Iraq] war is responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) since March 2003. To put this in perspective, CO2 released by the war to date equals the emissions from putting 25 million more cars on the road in the US this year.
  • Between March 2003 and October 2007 the US military in Iraq purchased more than 4 billion gallons of fuel from the Defense Energy Support Center, the agency responsible for procuring and supplying petroleum products to the Department of Defense. Burning these fuels has directly produced nearly 39 million metric tons of CO2 Just transporting 4 billion gallons of fuel to the military in Iraq consumed at least as much fuel as was delivered nearly doubling overall fuel-related emissions.
  • Emissions from the Iraq War to date are nearly two and a half times greater than what would be avoided between 2009 and 2016 were California to implement the auto emission regulations it has proposed (but that the Bush Administration struck down).
  • If the war were ranked as a country in terms of annual emissions, it would emit more CO2 each year than 139 of the world’s nations do, more than 60% of all countries on the planet

Of course, the escalation of the war in Afghanistan will lead to a huge surge in greenhouse gas emissions as well.

The fact that the U.S. military is one of the world’s largest sources of C02 is an open secret that no one is addressing. If C02 causes warming and the military is one of the largest producers of C02, then any talk of climate change which does not include the military is nothing but hot air.

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  • http://rainbowwarrior2005.wordpress.com/ Rose

    Pentagon’s Role in Global Catastrophe: Add Climate Havoc to War CrimesBy every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy in general. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements."Military emissions abroad are exempt from national reporting requirements under U.S. law and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change." http://wp.me/p4271-1E4

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    why do you think that the usa hsa not invaded / occupied North Korea ??? they do not have any Oil / Gas under their soil.Afghan is close to huge deposits of both in Central Asia.and we all know that Iraq simply floats on Oil.and why is the usa getting ready to attack and invade Venezuela ??? oh that is right !! Hugo has quite a bit of Oil.and why is the usa so concerned whether Iran has nuclear weapons or not ??? because the Persians could incinerate the zionist jews ??? hardly. it is because if the Iranians have nukes, they might be able to repel the upcoming usa attack and invasion and stealing of their Oil and Gas.this is what it all boils down to – the usa will attack / invade / occupy your country if you have any Natural Resources that it requires / desires – Oil & Gas being at the of the list – but soon, fresh water and arable land is going to creep up the charts.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    Since the issue here is global warming, the only relevant measure is how the US armed forces green house gas emissions compares to the total emissions for the world. That the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of fuel may well be true. It is probably also true that they are the largest user of oil for an organization whose members wear uniforms and pretty ribbons. But these statements are not useful in determining the effect the military has on the planet’s climate.The 3.5 million gallons of oil used per day for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East is a large number, but it is still only a thousandth of the world consumption of more than 3.5 billion gallons per day. And the Pentagon may be the single largest oil user in the world, and rank at number 36 if it were considered a country by itself. But, if so, this would place it among countries that contribute just a few tenths of one percent of the total of global CO2 emissions. As both China and the United States contribute more than 20% each to these emissions this seems to indicate that the role played by the military in these emissions is small.In short, if the US military were to vanish tomorrow, we would still have global CO2 emissions virtually identical to what they are today.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    Well, by all means– let's get rid of the military.Look, liberal goofballs….we are not going to go green in the military if it means giving up any advantage the equipment provides. That would cost American lives.And people say the left is crazy. I wonder why.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    "we are not going to go green in the military if it means giving up any advantage the equipment provides. That would cost American lives."Was the point of this article to "green" the military or to end pointless armed conflict? I'm all for protecting lives, American or not, and I'd like to see your ideas taken further by bringing all our troops hope.Violence begets violence.

  • http://www.youtube.com/llcoolpass Brian P

    You're informed, and have a great blog. But how how come you are ignorant of the scam of global warming?

 

 

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