War — What is it good for?

War is good for focusing our attention. For getting everyone to understand that we can chose to live together, or to die alone.

In 1939 (and 1941, for US readers), our forebears united to fight fascism, and a to prevent the world from sinking into a darkness so deep that we might not have escaped.

Can we assume that same nobility flows through our veins? Can we become The Greatest Generation?

I believe we can.

I believe that we’re at war now. The problem is that most people in North America simply don’t realize it. And that’s because politicians like US President George Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper are hiding the truth from us, trying to distort reality for political advantage.

We have to fight World War III. We have to recognize that if we don’t start fighting this war immediately, if we don’t enact comprehensive and meaningful environmental change over the next 25 years, it will be too late. Catastrophic, runaway global warming is that close, putting billions of lives at risk. Close enough to touch us, and close enough ruin the world we leave to our children and our grandchildren.

After the bombing at Pearl Harbor, this is how car manufacturers reponded.

From a standing start in late 1941, the automakers converted — in months, not years — more than 1,000 automobile plants across 31 states… In one year, General Motors developed, tooled, and completely built from scratch 1,000 Avenger and 1,000 Wildcat aircraft… GM also produced the amphibious ‘duck’ — a watertight steel hull enclosing a GM six-wheel, 2.5 ton truck that was adaptable to land or water. GM’s duck was ‘designed, tested, built, and off the line in 90 days’… Ford turned out one B-24 bomber every 63 minutes… Barely a year after Pontiac received a navy contract to build anti-shipping missiles, the company began delivering the completed product to carrier squadrons around the world.

Taken for a Ride
by Jack Doyle

My point is not to frighten, but to ensure that the same steely resolve will flow in your veins, as it did in others three generations ago. We need to become our parents and grandparents, to sacrifice personal gain for political, social and environmental justice.

For now, every time Harper and Bush lie publically, call them on it. Write to your newspaper, to the White House, to your Member of Parliament. Be calm, be rational, but be resolute. Let’s put the fear of God in our leaders.

After all, we’re at war.