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Appeal to the Peace and Climate Movements

We are at a crossroads, faced with a climate crisis that threatens to end our world as we know it.

Melting ice, rising and acidifying oceans, permafrost thawing, increasingly severe weather (floods, heat waves, droughts, cyclones and wildfires) – the signs of climate change are all around us. If we pursue business as usual we face a world of famine, increasing disease and deaths, displacement from vast areas of flooded and uninhabitable terrain. We must do all in our power to stop greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate global warming.

But the developing climate emergency does not exist in isolation. And it cannot be successfully dealt with if we ignore the social and economic context that produced and accompanies it: war and unlimited military expenditures, corporate globalization, and vast social inequality.

  • The US military is the single greatest institutional producer of greenhouse gases in the world.

  • Wars by their very nature destroy the environment and burn and release massive amounts of greenhouse gasses. Recent military mobilizations are pouring huge amounts of new carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

  • The vast expenditures now consumed by our military machine are the very resources needed for a crash program to rapidly create a renewable energy infrastructure and put millions of people to work in green jobs.

  • Wars and military buildup are in large part dedicated to protecting the fossil fuel energy sources on which our present model of global economic development and endless growth depend. Resort to armed conflict is increasing as fossil fuels become more expensive and difficult to produce.

  • Corporate dominance and extreme social inequality are intrinsic to our expansionist global economic model.

  • The people most affected by climate change have been those with the fewest resources to deal with it.  With increasing environmental destruction, droughts, floods and famine, there will be massive displacement of impoverished and desperate people leading to regional hostilities. Rather than taking emergency measures to address climate change and the needs of those impacted now, our military is preparing to control these displacements to protect “US interests”.

  • There are eight acknowledged nuclear-armed nations and 17,000 existing nuclear weapons in the world. With ten wars and 34 limited conflicts now occurring, the chance of any one of them escalating to nuclear war and its unthinkable human and environmental impact is an ever-present specter.

As peace activists we call on all who want to preserve our planet to join the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21st and to form a Peace and Climate Contingent. We organize under the following principles:

  • We can’t effectively address climate change without ending war and militarism;

  • We can’t end war without ending the fossil fuel energy system;

  • We can’t address social injustice unless we stop using war to safeguard an economic infrastructure (based on fossil fuels) that requires vast social inequality.

  • We can’t end war unless we address the systemic inequality and corporate domination that requires it.

We call on our government

  • To undertake an emergency program to make all our cities energy efficient and to create a new energy grid based on renewable energy sources.

  • To re-direct military spending to the creation of millions of green jobs and to research for a rapid transition from fossil fuels to non-polluting energy sources.

  • To end federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industries

  • To stop the military protection of fossil fuel interests in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. 

  • To bring our troops home now from Afghanistan and reject military attacks in Iraq, Syria and Iran and to use the billions saved to invest in our schools, affordable housing and decent jobs.

  • To redefine the mission of U.S. military forces as defense of the United States instead of achieving “Full Spectrum Dominance” in the service of global corporations, the fossil fuel industry, and the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us against.

  • To join with all nuclear powers to abide by their treaty commitments and to move quickly toward mutual abolition of all nuclear weapons as required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

  • To stop building new fossil fuel infrastructure, including the Keystone pipeline project, and to rapidly end fracking projects and the awarding of any new offshore drilling contracts.

  • To lead the world in effective climate-change treaties giving effective aid to those developing nations that are victimized though minimally responsible for the growing climate crisis.

We can’t afford the greenhouse gas emissions arising from the way we live and from war and preparation for war. And we can’t afford the climate of mistrust and non-cooperation that military threats and intervention foster. 

To successfully avert worst-case climate disaster we will need international agreements and cooperation on a scale not seen in the past; we need new approaches to US foreign and domestic policy. 

We believe that most Americans will welcome these positive changes. Working together, peace, climate and social justice activists can help make this happen.

We see September 21st as the beginning of a groundswell of public involvement in the creation of a more peaceful, sustainable and just world.   To join us, contact Massachusetts Peace Action at 617-354-2169 or email info@masspeaceaction.org.

Rosalie Anders, Massachusetts Peace Action & 350 Massachusetts
Cole Harrison, Massachusetts Peace Action
Marty Nathan, Climate Action NOW!
Paul Shannon, American Friends Service Committee
Susan Theberge, Climate Action NOW!

(organizations for identification only)

July 15, 2014

  

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