Joe Murray recently attended a conference in London, organised by the Movement for the Abolition of War entitled ‘Save the Earth, Abolish War’. Below is a short report on the meeting.
Save the Earth, Abolish War
The first speaker was Peter van den Dungen of the International Network of Peace Museums, who referenced the title of a book he recently bought entitled ‘the end of the world generation’. He described as ‘diabolical’ and ‘the road to destruction’ the philosophy based on the theory ‘if you want peace, prepare for war’. He argued for the abolition of war and rejected the notion that it was not achievable – in the same way as people in the past rejected the notion that slavery could not be abolished; that women should not have the vote; that child labour was acceptable and that the dreadful practise of duelling was an honourable pursuit. Our ideas of right and wrong change, over time – and it is now well past time that the very idea of war was consigned to the dustbin of history.
The Second speaker was Dr Stuart Parkinson of Scientists for Global Responsibility, who outlined the impact of war and militarism on our Planet in clear and graphic terms.
Human activities emit GHGs and cause global heating and climate disruption.
60,000 US Military vehicles run at 6 miles to the gallon
F-35 fighter planes do 0.6 miles to the gallon – 100 times the pollution level of a new car
B-2 long range bomber does 0.3 miles to the gallon – 250 tonnes of C02e per ‘mission’3.2 million tonnes of CO2e emitted by UK military in one year – higher than the carbon emissions from Iceland
BAE Carbon emissions were 1.2 million tonnes of CO2e 2017/18
The pentagon is the world’s largest Institutional consumer of petroleum.
US military emits 59 million tonnes of CO2e
US arms industry emissions for 2017 – 280 million tonnes CO2e
War on terror has caused 3000 million tonnes of CO2e
Military responsible for at least 5 to 6% of emissions compared with cars which cause Cars 15%;
Farming 15%; Civilian airlines 3%
Reducing the military boot-print
US negotiators successfully argued for military carbon emissions to be excluded from targets under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol (Clinton Administration) but they were included under Paris agreement.
Military emissions are going downwards (slightly) under slogan “more fight – less fuel”.
Highlight the high military carbon bootprint
Highlight the huge imbalance between military and climate spending
Point out that security goals are better served by shift from military to climate spending
Make link between climate and peace (war)
Arms conversion – successful examples
Factory making windmills in Hull – Centre for Green industry in Hull – taking jobs from the military
Make war history
Shift to public transport
Shift towards plant –based farming and consumption