October 22, 2021 | Wisconsin State Journal
The “elephant in the room” is a phrase that refers to an issue so large that it is destroying the functioning of a group. But it also implies that the issue is neither acknowledged nor addressed. The upcoming United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which begins ironically on Oct. 31, must unmask and confront this “elephant.”
The “elephant” is not an elephant, but a life-killing, planet-destroying monster of unbelievable proportions. Rarely discussed, it is the relationship between worldwide militarism and environmental degradation. Because the Pentagon budget is larger than the next 11 largest global military budgets combined, we have the largest share of responsibility for the environmental crisis caused by militarism.
Medea Benjamin, cofounder of Code Pink, identifies the Pentagon as the “single largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels in the world.” Our military budget, taking over an enormous amount of U.S. discretionary funds, monopolizes financial resources that could be used to seriously address climate change.
The upcoming U.N. Climate Change Conference is an opportunity to finally unmask and confront this monster. We need to reduce U.S. military spending and clean up the contamination caused by military operations worldwide. Urge President Joe Biden to lead in this vital discussion.
– Jane Kavaloski
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