(L-R) Joe Murray of Afri with Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire and Rob Fairmichael of INNATE at the lauch of The Downpatrick Declaration. 07.12.21 (Photo by Roger Whelan) Continue reading “Downpatrick Declaration”
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
The theme of our education programme is ‘Just a Second’ and it focuses on the absurdity of the choices that we make – or that are made on our behalf by governments and corporations. For example, it is a fact that in excess of €40,000 is spent every second on war and weapons while a billion people suffer from hunger, lack of clean water and adequate housing. Recently the Afri team visited Galway as part of the ‘Just A Second!’ schools project, holding a number of events including a Famine Walk to the Celia Griffin Memorial in Salthill, a book launch and a development education seminar. This short film (above) produced by Dave Donnellan gives a flavour of that visit.
A second film (below – also by Dave Donnellan) focuses on the launch of an educational resource (Just A Second! Exploring Global Issues Through Drama and Theatre written by Pete Mullineaux in the course of the project) which offers teachers, school groups and facilitators an accessible guide to exploring global issues through drama and theatre. This book is available to buy from Afri – please contact Afri (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 8827563) to find out more.
The third film in the Just A Second! series is made by RoJ Whelan and this takes a look at an event held at the Celia Griffin memorial in Salthill as well as a development education workshop, which was the finale of the project. It includes contributions from Mark Kennedy (who championed the idea of the Celia Griffin memorial), Choctaw artist Gary White Deer, Sakhile Heron (South Africa), music, graphic harvesting, the words of Malala Yousafzai, as well as reflections from teachers and students involved in the project.
Funded by Irish Aid’s World Wise Global Schools
Statement from the Triennial Conference of the International Peace Bureau
September 13th – 15th 2013, Stockholm , Sweden
“The World is Over-armed and Peace is Under-funded”
– Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
There was a new hope expressed at the IPB Triennial Conference, welcoming the agreement between Russia and the USA on chemical weapons in Syria. Hopefully this will lead to negotiations to put an end to the terrible civil war.
The forming of international coalitions for military intervention is now much more difficult as public opinion against war has become so strong. People are weary of war and the deceit and rhetoric that go with it. They are suspicious of double speak and are tired of ‘humanitarian’ statements which end with actions that simply generate more human suffering. Continue reading “Putting an End to Militarism”
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon: “Disarmament cannot be considered in isolation from other global challenges. The world spends more on the military in one month than it does on development all year, and four hours of military spending is equal to the total budgets of all international disarmament and non-proliferation organisations combined. The world is over-armed. Peace is under-funded. Bloated military budgets promote proliferation, derail arms control and detract from social and economic development. The profits of the arms industry are built on the suffering of ordinary people in Mali, Syria, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Global Day of Action on Military Spending, April 17th 2012
Over 130 different actions will take place in 40 countries worldwide, with participation in over 50 cities in the United States alone. The events, which coincide with Tax Day in the United States, emphasize the staggering amount of taxpayer money that goes toward military spending. Amidst global economic and climate crises, groups will be calling for a shift in spending from war and militarism to expenditures on human need. An annual report on global military spending will be released on the same day, and is expected to show an increase.
Approximately 70 students took part in Afri’s ‘Education for Liberation’ event in Blanchardstown Institute of Technology on Thursday March 8th. Following an introduction by Rose Kelly, Joe Murray gave a presentation on the theme of ‘militarization and famine’, which looked at the Millennium Development Goals agreed by the UN in 2000 and how world leaders have failed to make progress towards achieving them by the target date of 2015.