The projected full costs of the Iraq war (estimated $3 trillion) would cover “all of the global investments in renewable power generation” needed between now and 2030 to reverse global warming trends.
Some argue that the death of the people killed by war causes the emissions to even out, making the deforestation the actual environmental travesty, but I’m not convinced and even kind of angry about the suggestion. The remaining people have to rebuild which causes them to expend more energy than they would have and the people killed are usually not people living carbon intensive lives, but being killed by those people for the purposes of enriching themselves to live even more carbon intensive lives. I’m also perturbed that we don’t haven’t had any additional research in this area for 6 years.
But the Wikipedia article on it is also a good starting place for wrapping ones mind around what we continue to do to ourselves.