Peace for the World, Healing for the Climate
Letter presented to the Beale Air Force base commander
December 14, 2015
Colonel Douglas J. Lee
Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing
General Delivery at PSC Box 5000
Beale Air Force Base, CA 95903
Dear Colonel Lee:
We are here today to demonstrate at Beale because the Global Hawk Drones that are housed here provide surveillance that help identify targets for attacks by the US military, including killer drone attacks. We oppose all offensive US military action, and are especially outraged by the US attack on the Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. We join with people around the world in calling for an impartial investigation on this matter.
As world leaders meet in Paris for global talks on climate change (COP21), we also note the connection between the US military and the grave threat of climate change. The U.S. military is the single largest user of petroleum in the world, emitting a massive amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and has been the main enforcer of the global oil economy for decades. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.
A Pentagon report asserts that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty, and food shortages. It also predicts rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, climate change will soon become the biggest factor driving population displacements. This, too, creates the potential for humanitarian disaster, upheaval, and an increase in anti-immigrant hysteria.
In spite of these security risks, the U.S. military is not working to mitigate the release of greenhouses gases that cause climate change. Instead, it is beefing up its fossil-fuel intensive infrastructure and using drone warfare and other attacks to respond to problems militarily, fueling hate and creating more terrorists. Violence breeds violence.
Colonel Lee, we challenge you and your military and civilian superiors to begin the conversion of all military assets to peacetime use and to spend most of the bloated military budget to develop alternatives to fossil fuels and to work for goodwill and a just peace among all nations and peoples. The only way to create the will for peaceful solutions to global problems like climate change and terrorism is to simultaneously work for justice and peace. Another world is possible, but waging wars of domination will not get us there.
We are attempting to deliver this letter to you in person. Since you represent the leadership of the U.S. Air Force at Beale, we request to meet with you personally to explain our concerns.