The Global Warming Costs of the Iraq War

Wed, 2008-03-19 11:07Emily Murgatroyd
Emily Murgatroyd's picture

The Global Warming Costs of the Iraq War

Oil Change International has released an startling report today quantifying both the greenhouse gas emissions of the Iraq War and the opportunity costs involved in fighting war rather than climate change.

Here's a few the interesting (and disturbing) facts found in the report:

  • Total US spending on the Iraq war could cover all of the global investments in renewable power generation that are needed between now and 2030 in order to halt current warming trends. 
  • Just the $600 billion that Congress has allocated for military operations in Iraq to date could have built over 9000 wind farms (at 50 MW capacity each), with the overall capacity to meet a quarter of the country’s current electricity demand.
  • In 2006, the US spent more on the war in Iraq than the whole world spent on investment in renewable energy.
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Problems caused by climate change are likely already dangerous and global warming may be irreversible, according to a draft science report by a United Nations committee.

The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) report, leaked earlier this week to a number of major media organizations, said continued greenhouse gas emissions caused primarily by burning oil, coal and natural gas will probably increase the likelihood of  “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”

The New York Times...

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