Sustainable Brands 2011 conference in Monterey, CA
Filmmaker Robert Greenwald estimates that we’re currently “wasting $2 billion a week on a senseless war’ in Afghanistan. And that doesn’t include the billions still being spent to maintain a “noncombatant’ force in Iraq, or those million-dollar missiles we’ve been firing at targets in Libya.
How far would those billions go, do you suppose, in helping to clean up the oceans? I recall Prince Charles having estimated it would cost a total of $40 billion to totally restore the world’s rain forests. So my question is: why isn’t protecting the ecosystems we depend on for the very oxygen we breathe considered as worthy of our financial support as military operations we continue to maintain for the highly elusive and questionable purpose of preventing terrorists from using certain countries as havens (as if they couldn’t simply go elsewhere)?
What we really need is a major redeployment of some of those funds now lavished on the Pentagon to a budget to be used in support of initiatives aimed at addressing environmental emergencies, such as ocean pollution and climate change. But such drastic reforms in how we allocate resources would require getting millions of Americans involved in to taking up the cause and demanding that our government alter long-established priorities.
That might sound like an impossible dream — until we remember how successful those Egyptian students of the “Arab spring” were in harnessing social media to overthrow a long-entrenched, corrupt government. If they could use Facebook and Twitter to bring that about, why couldn’t we employ these same “revolutionary” communications tools to overturn policies that are costing us so much while diverting our resources from problems that may well threaten our planet’s ability to support life on Earth as we know it?
Let’s make waves – not war.