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Bill Dores: Wall Street and the Pentagon, not China, pose the largest climate threat

The US has just experienced its deadliest wildfires in history. (AP file photo)

American political analyst and activist Bill Dores says Washington’s “attempt to frame China for the world climate crisis is one of the most hypocritical acts in history,” as the United States is the source of the deadliest corporate and military assault on the planet in history, not China.

Dores, a writer for Struggle/La Lucha and longtime antiwar activist, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday after Democrats in the United States House of Representatives and Senate called on US President Joe Biden to use targeted sanctions to punish individuals and companies that are worsening the global climate crisis.

In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week, Democratic lawmakers particularly targeted China and its companies despite the fact that studies show that the US military is the largest consumer of hydrocarbons on the planet and one of the largest polluters in history.

According to the New York Times, the United States has contributed more than any other country to the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is scorching the planet.

Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), who signed on the letter, called on the Biden administration to target individuals and companies “that are perpetrating the worst climate damage.”

Following is the complete text of Dores’s comment to Press TV:

US hypocrisy on looming climate disaster

Washington’s attempt to frame China for the world climate crisis is one of the most hypocritical acts in history. It is also one of the most dangerous. It is a deliberate effort to sabotage the international cooperation needed to prevent looming climate disaster. And it is a step toward war, the ultimate environmental destroyer.

Fracking industry agent Donald Trump claimed that climate change is a “hoax created by and for the Chinese.” Joe Biden admits the climate crisis is real but seeks to blame it on China. Some US senators even say China should be sanctioned for its alleged environmental misdeeds.

What mendacity! China leads the world in renewable energy production, reforestation, electric vehicles, high-speed rail and solar panel manufacture.

In recent years, China has surpassed the US in overall carbon emissions. But China is the largest country in the world. It has nearly five times the population of the United States. Its per capita emissions are less than half those of the US. And it has a concrete strategy to seriously reduce them.

Meanwhile, the watered-down infrastructure bill passed by Congress gifts tens of billions of dollars to the US fossil fuel industry. That’s not surprising considering 28 US senators are directly invested in fossil fuel companies. And that 11 lawyers for ExxonMobil helped to write the bill.

The Trump regime imposed tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels at the behest of his oil company bosses. Biden has outright banned the import of Chinese-made solar panels.

The White House claims Chinese solar panels are made with forced labor. Yet the racist US prison-industrial complex is the biggest exploiter of forced labor in the world. Imagine how many jobs installing those panels could create for workers here.

If Washington were really concerned about human rights, it could stop sending cops and marshals to attack the Water Protectors, Native activists and their allies defending their land against fracking and pipelines. They have been gassed, clubbed, shot and jailed by federal and state agents in the US and Canada. Under HR1374, a law now before Congress, state agents would be authorized to murder anti-pipeline protesters.

Biden seeks to weaponize the climate crisis

Trump denied the climate crisis. Biden seeks to weaponize it. Though their tactics be different, they share one object: To try and restore the stranglehold the US corporate ruling class once had on the world economy.

For decades, Washington and Wall Street used their power to strangle economic development in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  They kept themselves at the center of the world economy by keeping most of the world impoverished. Meanwhile, US companies poisoned the air with abandon.

Greenhouse gases don’t go away. At least 25 percent of those that now fill the atmosphere are made in the USA. That doesn’t count the output of the offshore operations of US-owned corporations.

For decades after World War II, US corporations owned most of the world’s known oil reserves. That was key to US global power. They purposely kept oil-rich countries “underdeveloped” and dependent on selling oil. Today Washington tries to achieve that with war and sanctions.

In the 1970s and ’80s, oil-producing countries began to take back ownership of their own resources. The Libyan Revolution of 1969, the Iraqi nationalizations of 1972 and the especially the Iranian Revolution of 1979 were catalysts in this process.

In 1991, as soon as the Cold War ended, the US went to war against oil-producing countries. Under different names and pretexts, that imperialist war has raged for 30 years. It has destroyed millions of lives and cost trillions of dollars. The climate is also a victim.

US war machine is the most polluting institution on earth

From 2001 to 2017, the US military poured 1.6 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere. At least 400 million tons of that came from US military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria.

The US war machine, with its massive global operations, is the most polluting institution on earth. In 2017, it unleashed 60 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air. That was more than the individual output of 140 countries. Every year it dumps 750,000 tons of toxic waste-depleted uranium, oil, jet fuels, pesticides, defoliants, lead and other chemicals into our air, water and soil. 

The US Army’s M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank uses nearly 4 gallons of fuel per mile. An Air Force B2 bomber burns at least 4.2 gallons of jet fuel per mile and has to be refueled every six hours. In the so-called “war on terror,” B2 bombers flew 44 hours from Missouri and Nebraska to rain bombs on people in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the biggest waste of energy is the constant transport of troops, weapons and supplies around the world.

When the Clinton administration signed the Kyoto climate agreement in 1997, it insisted the US military be exempt from the treaty’s restrictions.

Washington’s 30-year oil war had another devastating impact on our planet’s climate. It unleashed the “shale oil revolution” that has made the US the world’s No. 1 fossil fuel producer.

US fracking industry poisons the earth

After the US invaded Iraq, Corporate America pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into fracking-the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas from shale rock. War and sanctions against oil-producing countries created a triple-digit energy price bubble that made these huge investments seem profitable. They stimulated the plunder of Canada’s tar sands, the DAPL and Enbridge 3 pipelines and mountaintop removal projects in Appalachia.

Fracking not only poisons the earth and water, it unleashes much more methane than conventional drilling. The collapse of the fracking boom has left many of these wells abandoned. There are over 3 million abandoned oil and gas wells across the United States. At least 2 million are unplugged and gushing out methane and other chemicals.

Plugging those wells and reclaiming the land around them would create a lot more jobs than fracking and pipelines do. So would investing in renewable energy, reforestation, mass transit and high-speed rail instead of war.

Attacking China over climate change is a red herring. If Washington is serious about preventing environmental disaster, it should end the US corporate and military assault on the planet. To make that happen will take a people’s struggle against corporate power.

End the wars and sanctions. Bring home all the troops, war fleets and warplanes. Invest that money in renewable energy, expanding mass transit systems, affordable high-speed rail and reforestation. And to help poorer countries do the same. Those things could create millions of high-paying jobs. Ban fracking and shut down the DAPL and Enbridge pipelines. The sky is the limit when the needs of humanity are put before corporate profit.

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