One of America’s most prominent environmentalists took to the pages of The New Republic to argue humanity needs to treat the fight against global warming like World War III.
“World War III is well and truly underway. And we are losing,” Bill McKibben, an environmentalist and founder of the group 350.org, wrote for TNR in an article describing warming like a well-organized military opponent.
“Global warming, they told us, was beginning a stealth campaign that would lay waste to vast stretches of the planet, uprooting and killing millions of innocent civilians,” McKibben wrote.
“But instead of paying heed and taking obvious precautions, we chose to strengthen the enemy with our endless combustion; a billion explosions of a billion pistons inside a billion cylinders have fueled a global threat as lethal as the mushroom-shaped nuclear explosions we long feared,” he wrote.
“Carbon and methane now represent the deadliest enemy of all time, the first force fully capable of harrying, scattering, and impoverishing our entire civilization,” McKibben wrote.
McKibben called for full-scale mobilization of society to defeat man-made global warming, mirroring how the U.S. fought the Nazis and Japanese in World War II.
(Ironically, the Allies would have never triumphed over the Axis powers had it not been for carbon dioxide — they very gas McKibben wants us to stamp out.)
“If Nazis were the ones threatening destruction on such a global scale today, America and its allies would already be mobilizing for a full-scale war,” McKibben argued.
Ultimately, McKibben argues we need to fight global warming like we fought Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler — a man who orchestrated the killing of more than 12 million people, including more than 6 million Jews.
“Turning out more solar panels and wind turbines may not sound like warfare, but it’s exactly what won World War II: not just massive invasions and pitched tank battles and ferocious aerial bombardments, but the wholesale industrial retooling that was needed to build weapons and supply troops on a previously unprecedented scale,” he wrote.
“Defeating the Nazis required more than brave soldiers. It required building big factories, and building them really, really fast,” he wrote.
McKibben isn’t the first to call for World War II-style mobilization to fight global warming. The Democratic Party’s 2016 platform also called for such an effort.
“We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II,” reads the Democratic platform, which was approved in July.
“In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists, and indigenous communities to chart a course to solve the climate crisis,” the platform reads.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has promised massive amounts of spending on green energy projects to create jobs, including jobs for out of work coal miners.
Clinton’s plan calls for installing half a billion solar panels by the end of her first term in office. She’s also promised enough green energy to power every home in America.
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