Monday, May 09, 2011

Feeding it all to the war system

I bike almost everywhere I go in my town, Portland. Many people on the peace side of our societal equation tell me they will no longer fly. Those people and others are also committed to eating food that comes from within 50 miles of where they live. These people do these unAmerican activities for two related reasons.

One, they want peace.

Two, they want to fight global climate change.

Our personal lifestyles are immensely important--and switching to nonviolence is the single most effective thing we can do to address both of these motivators. As Kent Shifferd points out in his new book, From war to peace: A guide to the next hundred years:

In a single average year, the U.S. military uses enough fuel to run the entire mass transit system of the nation for 22 years—1.589 trillion BTUs—and that does not count the energy used to manufacture military hardware (p. 90).

There are training flights underway at all times all around the world, burning up to eight gallons of jet fuel per second. The aircraft carrier groups require millions of gallons of fuel each to navigate the seas each year. In one hour of fly time an F-14 burns more than the average inefficient American car burns in a year. The Pentagon is the largest single consumer of fossil fuel on Earth.

The corporate and governmental response to these problems has been to studiously ignore them. If the people don't end the war system, the war system will end the people. How simple is that?

Shifferd, Kent D. (2011). From war to peace: A guide to the next hundred years. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

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