We need a PEACE DIVIDEND!
We have good news. Two months ago, you contacted your representatives in Congress and asked them to support the request by Senator Sanders and Representatives Cori Bush and Jason Crow for President Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to create a rapid transition to renewable energy. Last week Biden did just that, increasing investments in five green energy technologies (solar energy, heat pumps, insulation for buildings, hydrogen, and grid components) and waiving solar tariffs.
This is a solid start, but there’s more that must be done. Act now!
You might be wondering what the Defense Production Act is, so let us explain: Originally passed in 1950 in response to the Korean War, the DPA provides support for domestic production of materials deemed essential to national defense, which unfortunately has too seldom been translated into the peace and sustainability projects that meet human needs and prevent and end wars.
After the Cold War ended, there was a sharp reduction in defense spending. It created a peace dividend which then-President Clinton promised to invest in the workers and communities losing defense-oriented work. Ultimately, an overwhelming majority of the dividend - around 81% - ended up going to reducing the federal deficit, and the federal government provided substantial subsidies to defense companies that aided them in reorienting their defense production. While this peace dividend did not fully succeed, this time could be different. It’s up to us to make it so!
A peace dividend is when a country shifts resources from war to social or economic programs after a conflict ends. Now that we have finally ended the U.S.’s longest war, rather than boosting the Pentagon again — as Biden is proposing for FY2023 — for the Ukraine war, the cold war with China, and new wars, we need a climate justice peace dividend for the people, planet, peace, and a future. Sign the letter to President Biden now!
The climate crisis is worsening, and it’s starkly clear that an energy transition from fossil fuels to green energy is necessary both for a liveable future and to end our reliance on such oil-rich countries as Saudi Arabia.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Biden’s use of the Defense Production Act sets a precedent for using defense industrial policy to invest in sustainable, life-affirming sectors instead. At a time when many Americans are struggling with inflation, debt, and the continued hardships caused by COVID, this move shows us what might be possible if we treat climate change like the urgent crisis it is while prioritizing the creation of sustainable, local manufacturing jobs. There is a massive amount of resources, funding, and infrastructure that we can invest in peace, sustainability, and human needs - it is just a matter of shifting our priorities. Tell Biden #WarIsNotGreen. CUT THE PENTAGON and create a climate justice peace dividend for the people, planet, peace, and a future.
Towards a sustainable and peaceful future,
Jodie, Shea, and the entire CODEPINK team: Ann, Ariel, Clay, Danaka, Emily, Farida, Justina, Jodie, Kelly, Leonardo, Lola, Marcy, Mark, Medea, Michelle, Nancy, Olivia, Paki, Sam, Sophie, Sophia, Samantha, Teri, Tim, Shea, and Suzie
P.S. Sign up now to be part of the anti-militarism contingent of the Poor People's Campaign convergence June 16-19 and wear your message for peace and start the conversation anywhere!