- May 2022
The global security environment has degraded. Worldwide, increased military spending reflects expectations of greater conflict during the decade between 2022 and 2030, including the prospect of major intrastate warfare.
The complexity, as the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine of war is that it is yet another feedback loop reinforcing the impact of the hyperobject. From a climate change perspective, war has the highest carbon footprint of all because it is actually the willful distruction of purpose-made human cultural objects that each have an embedded energy cost. Hence war requires the construction of offensive and defensive weapons and equipment, as well as munitions, whose sole purpose is destruction. This comes at its own embedded energy cost and the destruction of human lives and human infrastructure is also prematurely ending the human and material lifetimes of living beings and objects respectively, each of which required high energy cost to bring into existence. It also takes enormous energy resources to maintain armies.
- Mar 2022
I hope, for the sake of everybody -- Ukrainians, Russians and the whole of humanity -- that this war stops immediately. Because if it doesn't, it's not only the Ukrainians and the Russians 00:11:39 that will suffer terribly. Everybody will suffer terribly if this war continues. BG: Explain why. YNH: Because of the shock waves destabilizing the whole world. Let’s start with the bottom line: budgets. We have been living in an amazing era of peace in the last few decades. And it wasn't some kind of hippie fantasy. You saw it in the bottom line. 00:12:06 You saw it in the budgets. In Europe, in the European Union, the average defense budget of EU members was around three percent of government budget. And that's a historical miracle, almost. For most of history, the budget of kings and emperors and sultans, like 50 percent, 80 percent goes to war, goes to the army. 00:12:31 In Europe, it’s just three percent. In the whole world, the average is about six percent, I think, fact-check me on this, but this is the figure that I know, six percent. What we saw already within a few days, Germany doubles its military budget in a day. And I'm not against it. Given what they are facing, it's reasonable. For the Germans, for the Poles, for all of Europe to double their budgets. And you see other countries around the world doing the same thing. 00:12:58 But this is, you know, a race to the bottom. When they double their budgets, other countries look and feel insecure and double their budgets, so they have to double them again and triple them. And the money that should go to health care, that should go to education, that should go to fight climate change, this money will now go to tanks, to missiles, to fighting wars. 00:13:25 So there is less health care for everybody, and there is maybe no solution to climate change because the money goes to tanks. And in this way, even if you live in Australia, even if you live in Brazil, you will feel the repercussions of this war in less health care, in a deteriorating ecological crisis, 00:13:48 in many other things. Again, another very central question is technology. We are on the verge, we are already in the middle, actually, of new technological arms races in fields like artificial intelligence. And we need global agreement about how to regulate AI and to prevent the worst scenarios. How can we get a global agreement on AI 00:14:15 when you have a new cold war, a new hot war? So in this field, to all hopes of stopping the AI arms race will go up in smoke if this war continues. So again, everybody around the world will feel the consequences in many ways. This is much, much bigger than just another regional conflict.
Harari makes some excellent points here. Huge funds originally allocated to fighting climate change and the other anthropocene crisis will be diverted to military spending. Climate change, biodiversity, etc will lose. Only the military industrial complex will win.
Remember that the military industry is unique. It's only purpose is to consume raw materials and capacity in order to destroy. What is the carbon footprint of a bomb or a bullet?