Doesn’t the US bear the lion’s share of the blame in climate change?

ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU,  Sunday 10:22, 15 August 2021

The American Military-Industrial Complex is funneling money into lobbies, so-called think tanks, and politicians to protect or advance the interests of the U.S.’s biggest arms companies. 

The complex, which enjoys bipartisan support, is also making sure that "reputable" names are assigned to critical positions in consecutive American administrations. 

As was the case during the Trump era, senior executives from large arms companies, or lobbyists working for them, are now part of the Biden administration. 

According to this method, which is known as the "Revolving Door," generals who retire from the Pentagon hold positions in arms companies for a while, they are then assigned to critical positions in U.S. administrations. 

For example, Lloyd Austin, who retired from the Central Command (CENTCOM) in 2016, was a board member at Raytheon, an arms company, before being appointed Secretary of Defense.

In the U.S., the mechanisms used to influence government, politics, and public institutions also apply, of course, to fossil fuel companies. Donald Trump, who withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, appointed tightly-knit senior officials to fossil fuel companies to key “energy” and “environmental” positions. Known as a blatant climate change denier, Trump's appointments were much discussed at the time.

Why do we still have to suffer through this, even though the truth about climate change or global warming is undeniable now? In fact, fossil fuel companies are responsible for 71 percent of greenhouse gas emissions that induce climate change. 

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual revenue of the 14 largest oil companies in the world exceeded $2 trillion. 

Fossil fuel companies that dominate the industry, which rakes in trillions of dollars every year, are reluctant to give up their profit margin. For this reason, they waged wars, broke out civil conflicts, and military coups over the last century. The Military-Industrial Complex and petroleum companies acted in unison. They also benefit from the U.S.’s “endless wars.”

In fact, big oil companies have known full well since the 1950s that they are the cause of global warming. 

Scientists hired by these companies had determined the role of the fossil fuel industry in global warming even then. Yet, companies elected to cover up this fact to protect their profits. To add insult to injury, they hired pseudo-scientists to raise suspicions about climate change, and they continued to funnel money into lobbies and donate to politicians to protect their interests.

As things currently stand, large oil companies are acting differently behind the scenes, even though they ostensibly accept the reality of global warming. As a matter of fact, it is no secret that the American Petroleum Institute (API) receives large donations from companies that are disturbed by the laws related to climate change. API also made donations to politicians who oppose the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump's first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was both the CEO of energy company Exxon Mobil and an executive at API. With a budget of more than $200 million a year, the API works like a lobby to block or weaken laws related to climate change.

Big oil companies are trying to shield themselves from having to bear the cost of public investments needed to stop the catastrophe of global warming. The losses incurred by the companies that generated the financial crisis in 2008 were also footed by public resources. 

Like the financial sector, American energy companies that favor a "small government" do not like the restrictive, regulatory and supervisory role of the state. There is a nice chunk of change involved, so they are in bed with Financial Capitalism.

In my previous column, I had pointed out that "environmentalism" could be one of the strongest ideologies of the future due to the global climate crisis. How this ideology will take shape is another matter altogether. Meanwhile, will the “Green-Industrial Complex” or the “Green New Economy” lead to the establishment of a more humane, more social, safer global system, or will it reproduce a new watered-down form of capitalism? This is the million-dollar question.

#climate change
#Donald Trump
#Joe biden
#global climate change
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