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The Environmental Impacts of Militarization in Comparative Perspective: An Overlooked Relationship

Andrew K. Jorgenson, Brett Clark and Jennifer E. Givens

Keywords: CLIMATE CHANGE; CONFLICT; ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY; GLOBALIZATION; MILITARIZATION; RESOURCE CONSUMPTION; SUSTAINABILITY; TREADMILL OF DESTRUCTION

Drawing from emergent areas of sociological research and theorization, the authors consider the environmental impacts of militaries from a comparative-international perspective. The article begins with an overview of treadmill of production and treadmill of destruction theories, the latter of which highlights the expansionary tendencies and concomitant environmental consequences of militarization. This theoretical overview is followed by a narrative assessment of military growth and energy consumption, with a particular focus on the US military over the past century. Next, the authors detail the various environmental impacts associated with the growth and structure of national militaries, briefly discuss potential future research directions, and conclude by calling for scholars in future studies on society/nature relationships to seriously consider the environmental and ecological impacts of the world's militaries.

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