The Third World War has already started, writes eco-designer J.C. Scott, and it’s all around us — in our air, our water, our land.
Ever since I could think adult thoughts, I’ve worried about war — World War. Who doesn’t? Maybe it was because my grandfather was in the army in World War One, and my father was in the air force in World War Two. As a student I studied and read history, and determined that the inevitability of conflict as part of the human condition is undeniable.
I wondered what my conflict would be: could I live in peace or would I also experience a World War? When I was introduced to the environment and the challenges facing my world, I realized that this could be the global war that my generation would face. Even then, the war did not seem very winnable, and although there has been a growing mobilization, we have lost many battles since the Silent Spring of our awareness.
At least in the retelling, wars always involve good and evil, bravery and cowardice, bravado and espionage. Perhaps that is why so many stories are told. The war going on today all over our world has all of these elements and, just as in previous wars, our survival depends on winning. To win World War Three we will need bravery and every tool at our disposal against the evil that threatens the planet and our lives.
If you don’t believe me, read anything by anyone who you consider to be intelligent and who has absolutely nothing to gain from lying to you about the future of the globe. The forces of good (just as in most stories) are smaller but they have the people on their side; the forces of evil are big (they always are) and they have profit and power on their side. The brave are standing up for the environment, making personal sacrifice and acting on their beliefs. The cowards are hiding behind screens of misinformation and controlled media.
World War Three is real. It is economic, environmental and militaristic all at the same time. Leaders of the Chinese government told Richard Nixon when they welcomed him to China in the 70s for the first time that they were doing so because they had realized decades earlier that the Third World War would be economic, and that they had put enough financial wheels into motion that they could see they had already won the global war for economic world domination. Decades later, we are seeing that victory dance unfolding as we watch from the sidelines.
Gwynne Dyer, one of the world’s leading military analysts, is now an environmental activist because he has seen how the changes already happening to the global climate are precipitating military conflicts. See his book Climate Wars or listen to his radio lectures.
Putting your head in the closet about running out of water or running out of food is going to be about as good for your survival as going to the basement would be for your actual survival in a nuclear conflict.
The fact that old rich men who don’t care at all about future generations can deny climate change, that they can own and control enough media outlets so that disinformation and doubt can soften reason and resolve, is simply a corollary of the lead-ups to the last two World Wars. Have you read or seen anything about the complacency and denial that Hitler faced? How about the same denials that preceded World War I?
The canaries in my coal mine are a male naval architect who works in the North Atlantic and a female artist who just returned from Antarctica. The naval architect has seen drastic climate change which is making him face up to our impact; the artist has seen changes to the ice and environment that some of us hear about but, because we can’t see them and no-one can profit from, we are not able to gain a clear view. For me, these people are like spies who have just returned from “the other side” with information that could save my life if I act in time and know what to do. They are both scared of the evil we are allowing.
So if you can deny all of this and decide that I have no facts upon which to base my case — that there simply is no World War III and that you are safe under the protection of your government — simply ask yourself, “Are you willing to bet the lives and health of your kids on me being wrong?” Do you think that the Chinese government, the one with the human rights track record you don’t want to be part of, will be the best stewards of the environment when enough of your WalMart dollars tip the global scales in their favour?
World War III is doing evil to our planet. Your weapon in this war is your wallet and how you put it to use.
“Tar Sands, Fort McMurray” The Understory
“China Water Pollution” Understanding China, One Blog at a Time