Climate Change Impacts on Peace
(Sao Paulo, Brazil) My name is Bruce Gagnon and I live in the state of Maine in the United States. I work for the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. A recent U.S. military report called "Transforming the way the Pentagon looks at energy," says that in order to ensure a "reliable" source of oil for the long term the military will increase its efforts to maintain control over foreign sources.
Soaring global demand for dimishing resources means strong international competition in the coming years.
Global power, the Pentagon says, will reside in the hands of those who control the distribution of declining natural resources.
One way to keep control of the global economic system is by holding the keys to the world's economic engine - oil.
During the two terms of the Bush administration, George W. Bush has doubled military spending. The U.S. military now controls just over 50% of every federal tax dollar.
The U.S. Congress is now sharply cutting remaining social programs, public education, and environmental programs.
To fund the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan the U.S. is spending more than $14 billion a month. The U.S. now spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined.
The Republicans and the Democrats are partners in funding and promoting the U.S. military empire that consists of more than 750 military bases around the world.
The weapons corporations are now giving more campaign donations to the Democrats than the Republicans. The two Democratic party presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama, have pledged to expand the U.S. military by adding more soldiers and building a new generation of weapons.
And now the weapons industry wants to move the arms race into space. Weapons corporations say that weapons in space (Star Wars) will be the largest industrial project in the history of the planet Earth. The new arms race will be so expensive that the U.S. can't pay for it alone and is bringing its allies into this new space weapons arms race. Many European countries have become partners as has Japan and Australia.
The Pentagon says that under corporate globalization every country will have a different role. There will be no significant industry in the U.S. (except weapons production). No automobile manufacturing, no clothes or shoe production. Instead, the military says our role in the U.S. will be "security export" which translates to endless war to benefit the corporate interests.
Today the U.S. is surrounding Russia with the help of an expanding NATO alliance. Why Russia? Russia has the largest supply of natural gas on the planet and also has huge supplies of oil.
The U.S. is also attempting to deploy so-called "missile defense" interceptors in Poland and a space warfare radar system in the Czech Republic. We need Green parties in Poland and the Czech Republic, and throughout Europe, to speak out louder against these new U.S. bases.
The U.S. today is militarily surrounding China with the help of a military alliance with Japan, South Korea, and Australia. The Washington Post newspaper several years ago reported that the U.S. is moving to "manage" China by doubling its military presence in the Asian-Pacific region and by deploying missile defense systems throughout the region. This will create a new and expensive arms race.
The U.S. Space Command for the past several years has been war gaming a first-strike attack on China, set in the year 2016. The attack uses the military space plane, now under development, that would fly from one end of the Earth to the other in one hour and drop a devastating attack on China and then return to space.
Space technology coordinates all war on the planet today. When the U.S. launched the "shock and awe" invasion on Iraq in 2003 over 70% of the weapons used in the initial attack were directed to their targets by military space satellites. Thus the Pentagon says, whoever controls space will control the Earth below.
In addition the U.S. is now preparing an attack on Iran in order to control their oil and natural gas.
The U.S. is demonizing Venezuela because they had the audacity to nationalize their oil.
And the Pentagon has just recently created a new military command called AfriCom. The Pentagon says we will be fighting in Africa in 20 years to control the oil of Nigeria, Angola, and Algeria.
Everyone acknowledges that the U.S. is a major contributor to global warming and that we in the U.S. must immediately change our entire consuming culture if the planet is to survive. But where will the massive investment for solar, wind, rail, and conservation come from when the U.S. is instead preparing for endless war?
In fact, if the U.S. successfully draws Russia, China, the European Union, and Japan into a new arms race in space, how will any of our societies be able to afford to produce the alternative technologies we will need to avoid the coming global energy crisis?
Global Greens must make a unified demand for the conversion of the global war machine, or as we call it, the military industrial complex.
We know that conversion of the global war machine will create more jobs than we currently get from military spending. We know that if we don't convert the military industrial complex then the future generations will suffer even more.
In the proposed 21 Point Declaration I would like to comment on point number 20. I believe that two key items must be added. The first is that a statement is needed calling for the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS). This new space arms race will be what the weapons industry says will be the most expensive industrial project in human history.
Secondly, there must be a specific call for the conversion of the global war machine in the Declaration so that our global budget resources can be dramatically and quickly used to deal with climate change.
The Native Americans, the Indian people, in my country say that the sacred hoop, the sacred circle, has been broken. It is our job to heal the broken circle.
Political power means little if we don't show the determination to stop the madness of endless war and successfully deal with climate change.
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011