|Source: Stop the War Coalition "Global warring: how war and climate change are wired to the same engine"|
by Neil Faulkner
President Obama making a big announcement today intended to carve out a spot for his legacy as climate change warrior. You can see the content rendered here as an infographic on the White House website. You will look in vain to see the Pentagon and its energy gobbling NSA data centers acknowledged as part of the problem.
Propaganda works most effectively by framing our discussions, excluding what must not be noticed or mentioned. This strategy has the effect of enlisting everybody -- not just corporate media and infographic designers -- to enforce the dominant paradigm. Today everyone will be talking, tweeting, blogging and commenting on the President's allegedly bold intention to #ActOnClimate with a #CleanPowerPlan.
|NSA Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah Source: Wired.com|
But how could this be possible without addressing the branch of government that uses more than 80% of the energy consumed by the federal government? Ok, ignore fuel consumption if you want to embrace the President's focus on power plants. How much power does the NSA use at its super facility for data storage in the Utah desert? How about its similar facility in Maryland? (We'll leave their massive use of increasingly scarce water supplies out of the discussion for the moment.) One researcher found these facilities will be 7 times larger than the Pentagon.
Last Saturday in the Planet Earth tent of a local Peace Fair, I offered people information on how much carbon pollution will be emitted when the Navy's Blue Angels air show comes to town over Labor Day weekend. Another peace fair worker who was collecting names for future participation in an environmental fair shied away from a list of contacts to protest the show as if I had offered her a rattlesnake. "I don't go in for that sort of thing," she said, and then fled before I could find out more about what she meant by "that sort of thing." I'm left to assume she meant, criticize anything the Pentagon does in this age of creeping militarization.
Another man at the fair welcomed my signature on letters to Maine's congressional delegates pleading with them not to pull federal funding for SNAP and other feeding programs that benefit hungry children. He did not welcome my pointing out that there always seem to be enough funds for the Pentagon budget, which burned napalm for "entertainment" last time the Blue Angels came to our area. He told me he had been a Navy aviator so he could not oppose this polluting waste of resources. Because, no need to connect any dots.
Heck, even the President doesn't connect the dots. Join him in chanting: USA! USA! USA! when it's convenient to get more weapons contracts out of Congress. Then, adopt a pious green smile while ignoring the climate changing pollution that those contracts belch into the planet's atmosphere 24/7. Or maybe cancel your air travel to a vacation or to visit family. Because the President really cares about that source of pollution, too.
|The President and family disembarking from one of their many, many flights on military aircraft.|