Mike Townsley writes:

In the span of a decade global military spending has jumped by over 50 percent to 1,531 billion US dollars (1,255 billion Euros), according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute's latest year book

So now we know why certain world leaders are unwilling to invest in combating climate change, why they are unwilling to put cash on the table for climate change adaptation and mitigation for the most vulnerable countries. Why they are unwilling to pay for forest protection. Why they are unwilling to invest in the security of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

It is because they have already spent, every year, many times what would be required to avert the threat of catastrophic climate and secure a green and peaceful future. Many times what would be needed to invest in an energy revolution to wean the world off of fossil fuels and radically reduce geopolitical tensions.

The choice is clear, our governments need to stand back, look at the big picture and ask what is the real security threat? What is the real threat to their populations and where should they spend their limited funds in promoting security?

True security is not about projecting military force. It's about investing in the future, in reducing tensions over dwindling natural resources.

Take a look at the top ten military expenditure offenders and think what could be done with a fraction of the cash, and the wasted human potential squandered on designing more sophisticated ways to bomb the world to pieces.

  • USA $661bn
  • China $100bn (Sipri estimate)
  • France $64bn
  • UK $58bn
  • Russia $53bn
  • Japan $52bn
  • Germany $46bn
  • Saudi Arabia $41bn
  • India $36bn
  • Italy $36bn