By Paul Buchheit
07 October, 2006
Americans have 5% of the world's population but use 25% of the world's
oil. The average American home has increased from 983 square feet to
2,349 square feet since 1950. Our big vehicles average less miles per
gallon than 20 years ago, yet we're driving more. According to the New
Economics Foundation, if everyone in the world consumed at the U.S.
rate we would need five planet earths to sustain us.
To maintain this lifestyle
we need to intervene in other countries. A quarter of a million U.S.
troops are stationed in 135 countries around the globe. We supply about
half the world's arms, and while the overall number of conflicts in
the world has fallen, the U.S. has been involved in MORE wars since
the fall of the Berlin Wall.
There is a well-documented
connection between intervention and terrorism. A study of 71 terrorists
by University of Chicago professor Robert Pape concluded that suicide
attackers are motivated more than anything else by their aversion to
foreign occupation. A recent assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies
revealed that the occupation of Iraq has contributed to an increase
in the overall terrorist threat.
If we were to accept the
recommendation of military experts to cut the military budget, eliminate
a tax cut that benefits the rich, and end a controversial war, we could
free up about $300 billion for alternative energy research. With American
ingenuity and this kind of money, we'd have a good chance of overcoming
the dependencies that cause people to want to attack us.
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