Climate Victims Violent? Klare’s Paean to the American Military

The Future of a Delusion

Michael Klare’s new book, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, is an uncritical paean to the American military. He credits the Pentagon with taking climate science seriously. But he does not question, bring contradictory evidence, or analyze the military’s self-appointed role as global manager of climate-related human disorder. Klare’s work is detailed and comprehensive and merits a close reading. I will briefly summarize the book, address omissions, and conclude with a psychoanalytic perspective

Klare’s is a military institution-centric framing with no regulatory or normative roles for local, national, regional, or international institutions. The book’s present tense title is telling: what’s just a possibility (hell breaking loose) is taken as reality This is a closed system, and it is sealed against inquiry and challenging facts.

The unquestioning endorsement of the American military is especially significant in view of his previous critical work on America’s energy wars and politics. He is the defense expert for the Nation magazine and is a frequent contributor to Counterpunch, Tomgram, and Democracy Now. His new book is acclaimed by Bill McKibben (founder of and human rights historian Adam Hochschild, and it was uncritically featured in the New York Times and U.K. Guardian.

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COP-Out: The Military and Climate Change/Justice

The world situation is much worse than generally acknowledged. This December, the coinciding meetings of NATO and of the climate change Conference of the Parties (COP25) were barely reported, much less analyzed, even though the delegates held the fate of humanity in their hands. To some degree, both meetings are secret, and their unelected delegates are not accountable to the public. COP has met far from the ‘maddening crowd’ ever since the large protests at Copenhagen COP15. NATO provides credibility, flexibility, and anonymity in equal doses and shields member states from legal and political accountability. NATO policy is not to reveal which member state participated in a military operation.1 NATO countries refuse to sign the nuclear ban treaty and now legitimize a nuclear weapons first strike. To judge by the results delegates in both organizations chose to ignore both science and the human situation.

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