Anti-war veterans and progressives call for action against global warming and for end to wars.

By Candice Bernd, Truthout

Antiwar and progressive veterans organizations across the country are marking the first Earth Day after the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and Russia’s subsequent invasion of Ukraine by highlighting the ways in which militarism fuels the global climate emergency, and how the planetary crisis, in turn, impacts service members.

The U.S.’s role as the world’s largest weapons dealer, they say, is bad for the planet. True climate action, in their view, means ending new weapons shipments to Ukraine and instead deepening diplomatic channels toward a negotiated settlement to end the conflict.

Antiwar and progressive veterans

Echoing Earth Day’s historically antiwar roots, they are pressuring Congress members to pass a new climate and social spending package, and fund a just transition away from fossil fuels that includes good jobs for impoverished veterans and fossil fuel-sector workers. Such a plan, they say, would also ensure energy independence from petrostate dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin. The veterans are also pressuring politicians to remediate land polluted by U.S. military bases around the globe and support a Department of Defense accounting and reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions.

In West Virginia, a state with one of the highest densities of veterans and rates of veteran poverty in the nation, climate justice organizers with the progressive veterans group Common Defense have been meeting with Sen. Joe Manchin and his staff to encourage him to support legislation that would invest in green jobs for low-income West Virginian veterans.

Read More