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Peace activists mark Earth Day by connecting militarism to the climate crisis

militarism impact on climate
Scott Willis
Activists gathered in Thornden Park's amphitheater to call attention to the connection between militarism and the climate crisis.

Peace activists from Syracuse and Ithaca marked the occasion of Earth Day by connecting militarism and climate change. They say it’s often overlooked, even though militaries devour resources, emit tens of millions of metric tons of carbon emissions every year, and are exempt from many environmental regulations and international climate accords. Todd Sadler with Upstate Drone Action says a military approach is a major driver of the climate crisis.

"Those wars don't solve any problems. Every war is a war against Mother Earth. Every dollar spent on weapons is not being spent on the sustainable infrastructure we have to build in order to survive as a species. The US military is the single biggest institutional consumer of oil, and it emits more Co2 than most nations on Earth."

Meanwhile, Sadler says the pattern continues with the current war, as gas and oil continue to flow out of Russia, and the US sends weapons and other munitions to help Ukraine. The activists would prefer the US sit down with Ukraine to negotiate peace with Russia. They also protested outside Hancock air base on East Molloy Road. It's home to the 174th Attack Wing, which is a drone operation hub.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at