Wednesday, July 6 2016

The strong interconnection between militarism and climate change

It is difficult to say whether the climate change and global warming or the intermediate threat of war and the war system as a whole pose a bigger threat to our planet at the moment. Both issues are serious problems, and if the human population wants to survive and accomplish world peace, the only way to do that is to make peace with earth as well as on earth. Both are interconnected in every way, and the only way to ensure prosperity and peace worldwide is to deal with both militarism and climate change.

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The way militarism and climate change are interconnected and need to be dealt with, can be seen in the following proven facts and issues, according to the Peace and Justice Studies Association:

  • The military of the US is the largest single source of the harmful greenhouse effect on Earth, but ironically it is exempt of requirements for reporting about these harmful emissions.
  • The access to fossil fuel (oil) is actually the leading motive for all of the ongoing wars around the world. And burning this oil is what a leading factor causing the dramatic climate changes.
  • Climate change as well as the ongoing wars are the main reason for the mass emigration and is leaving large areas uninhabited while others are over flooded with refugees. This too is causing problems for the environment.
  • The imminent climate change and all the results from it will likely cause more wars, because people and countries will soon need access to water, food, normal temperatures and land.
  • The Pentagon spends more oil than 175 of the 210 countries in the world.
  • The money spent on the military and war by the US Federal Government is not used to tackle climate change instead.
  • Military spending in the US is 48% of the total world military spending. 87% of the money for national security goes for the military and wars.
  • A third of the spending by the US military is for energy supplies around the globe.
  • Even the military missions abroad are exempt from reporting their emissions
  • One out of 10 US residents lives near a Superfund priority military site which poses a huge risk on the health and the environment.
  • The Department of Defense produces more hazardous waste than the 5 biggest chemical companies in the US produce together. In fact, it is the largest single polluter in the world.

Calls are being made that the necessary measures and actions are taken in order to prevent the further destruction of the environment and to confront the root causes for militarism and wars. Also for reducing, closing down and cleaning up the US military bases abroad and cleaning them up in the US as well. Plus a call is made for dramatic reduction of the military funding and redirecting it for environmental preservation and as compensation to those countries most affected by the acts of militarism and the climate change

All and all, the activists all agree on the fact the education is crucial for de-militarization and abolition of violence.

Monday, July 4 2016

Opposing militarism through peace education

Peace activists around the world are looking for ways to tackle militarism with education, because they consider the illiterate, the young and those with lower income to be much easier targets for recruitment by the military. The right of people to be educated to object to militarization and the creation of “military-free schools” is what the activists are striving for. Also the activists are opposed to the fact that peace activists have a limited access to schools, and members of the military do, and schools and universities is were a lot of military recruitment goes on. Also, promoting military research in universities is something they are deeply disturbed by.

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To promote their ideas and beliefs, the peace activists organize events such as International day of action for military-free education and research, or other protests and campaigns in many countries around the world.

Activists keep asking questions and discussing issues such as how to protect the vulnerable members of the communities from targeted recruitment by the military. It is a fact, that in some countries joining the army is considered a privilege, and in others it is accepted as a way to succeed and grow in society.

In many countries, especially in Africa the rate of unemployed people is growing, there is lack of access to education which can make people more vulnerable as well.

The way to tackle this problem, according to the activists is to make basic education mandatory and promoting job training for the young people, which will allow the young people in these countries to be more informed, have more opportunities and to be able to make an informed decision about joining the army.

But such measures require powerful lobbying, and for this partners and allies in the political and social leadership in the different countries is needed. Another powerful way to promote the de-militarization idea according to a lot of peace activists is through media. The problem is that the military and the military production corporations have very powerful lobbies in the highest places as well.

This is why activists have been setting up more pro-peace websites, and have been organizing more online discussions and events, so that they can reach a wider audience of people around the world, and especially the young people who have not recruited yet. This counter-recruitment is done by sharing information in the social networks and blogs, as well as during different, peaceful community events. Activists around the world are setting up educational programs for peace, some of them created for educating the teachers themselves. In Chicago for example, activists have the Chicago public schools equal access decision to get the same access to the students and teachers as the military.

All and all, the activists all agree on the fact the education is crucial for de-militarization and abolition of violence.