Monday, March 5, 2018


Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology

What’s at stake:  At last the connection of war and warming has begun to receive the attention its importance demands.  Soon I expect to see a bibliography of books and articles on wars causing warming and on warming causing wars, the convergence particularly catastrophic.    

Contents of #1 at end
Contents of #2
Tamara Lorincz, “We Must Demilitarize to Decarbonize”
Cleo Paskal, Global Warring
Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos.
Gwynne Dyer, Climate Wars

RESISTANCE (All of the above oppose warming and wars and their ruinous convergence by exposing it:. Branagan provides an oppositional handbook.   Chomsky concludes the newsletter with a comprehensive assessment, returning us to Lorincz ) 
Marty Branagan .  Global Warming, Militarism, and Nonviolence: The Art of Active Resistance.
Chomsky and Polk, Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe. 

Tamara Lorincz, “We Must Demilitarize to Decarbonize.”   Space Alert! Winter/Spring 2018.    P. 4.
[This is a precisely organized essay, easily outlined.  I. Introduction: Global warming is worsening.  II. Instead of preparing to protect humanity from the consequences of warming, we are exhorbitantly preparing for war: US, Canada, UK.  III.  “These exorbitant military expenditures come at a direct cost to the climate.”  A.  Cuts in Environmental Budgets: US, Canada, UK.  B.  Military “one of the worst climate culprits.”  Etc.  --D
      Global warming is worsening. We see the wreckage all around us. Americans faced unprecedented forest fires and massive mudslides last year. Half a million Puerto Ricans are still without power months after the devastating hurricane. Canadians witnessed the worst forest fires ever in the west and a state of emergency was called last summer. Northern England again experienced severe flooding from excessive rainfall this winter. With all of these extreme weather events, we were woefully unprepared.
     Instead of adequately protecting people and the planet, we are preparing for war. In November, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act giving the Pentagon a budget of $700 billion, the highest in U.S. history.
     Last June, Canada released a dangerous new defence policy committing $553 billion to buy attack helicopters, fighter jets and armed drones and maintain “highlevel warfighting” over the next two decades. Repeating President Trump’s rhetoric, the Minister of Global Affairs Chrystia Freeland declared in Parliament that Canada had to increase military spending to project “hard power” and secure “the global order.”
      British Prime Minister Theresa May recently pledged to increase defense spending to meet NATO’s target of 2% of GDP. Last August, she hailed the new £3.5 billion aircraft carrier, the biggest and most expensive in the Royal Navy, as a symbol of Britain’s “global power.” This new aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, was built to carry Britain’s first order of F-35s purchased from the U.S. at a price tag of £6 billion. Britain, like Canada, plans to build more warships and buy more fighter jets.
        These exorbitant military expenditures come at a direct cost to the climate. Trump announced a 25% cut to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s paltry annual budget of $9 billion. The Trudeau-led Liberal government is also planning cuts to the miserly $1 billion annual budget of the Department of Environment and Climate Change over the next three years as described in the latest departmental plan. May’s Conservative government simply closed the Department of Energy and Climate Change and moved some of its functions to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
     As well, the military is one of the worst climate culprits. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest institutional consumer of oil in the world spending between $10-17 billion a year. In the report, Fueling the Energy Balance: A Defense Energy Strategy Primer, it was estimated that the DoD uses more energy, primarily petroleum, than any other private or public organization and more than 100 nations. Among all federal departments in their respective countries, the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) consumes the most fossils fuels at a cost of approximately £1 billion per year and the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) consumes the most petroleum products amounting to $500 million per year. Military vehicles like tanks, warships and fighter jets are notoriously energy inefficient and have long life-cycles with locked-in energy platforms that are difficult to alter.
     Worse, all the carbon emissions from military vehicles and overseas operations are excluded from national greenhouse gas inventories and country reports required by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In testimony before the Senate in 1998, U.S. Under Secretary Stuart Eizenstat who led the American delegation at the Kyoto Protocol negotiations explained:
     “We took special pains, working with the Defense Department and with our uniformed military, both before and in Kyoto, to fully protect the unique position of the United States as the world’s only super power with global military responsibilities. We achieved everything they outlined as necessary to protect military operations and our national security. At Kyoto, the parties, for example, took a decision to exempt key overseas military activities from any emissions targets, including exemptions for bunker fuels used in international aviation and maritime transport and from emissions resulting from multilateral operations.”
     These military exemptions became entrenched in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 2006 reporting guidelines. Thus, governments do not have to fully account for their military’s outsized carbon ‘boot print’.
     It is no surprise then that the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) found in their latest Emissions Gap annual report that there is a serious discrepancy between what states have committed to as their reductions targets under the Paris Agreement and what reductions are required to limit the global mean temperature increase. UNEP urged states to take immediate and more ambitious action to reduce carbon emissions.
     How can we expect to decarbonize when we exempt the military, one of the main culprits of the climate crisis? The IPCC and the Carbon Tracker have estimated that there are approximately 700 GtCO2 of greenhouse gas emissions that can be released to stay within the carbon budget and still limit the global mean temperature increase to 1.5°C. Leading scientists have determined that 80-90% of fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Why are we using the bulk of the remaining fossil fuels for warfighting instead of transitioning to a clean, green economy?
      In 2014, the Campaign Against Arms Trade released a report entitled Arms to Renewables: Work for the Future about how British defence industries could be converted into manufacturing renewable energy technologies. This report is an example of the transformative change we need. In his book Global Warming, Militarism and Nonviolence: The Art of Active Resistance, peace scholar and activist Marty Branagan advocates for creative nonviolent resistance and direct action. Codepink’s campaign to Divest from the War Machine is an inspiring example of this resistance.
     Alongside climate mitigation and adaptation, we need a parallel process of peace and disarmament. There is no way we can continue to conduct costly, carbon-intensive warfare and stay within the carbon budget. If we are serious about decarbonization, we have to demilitarize.
Tamara Lorincz is PhD student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Ontario and member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and the Board of the Global Network. We must demilitarize to decarbonize.   To stop global warming we have to stop war.
To subscribe to Space Alert contact Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space,,, (207) 443-9502.  The US is arming to control space, instead of international control under the UN.  Global Network (GN) is one of several organization trying to stop this expansion of US domination of the solar system.

PASKAL’S GLOBAL WARRING: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map (2010) AND CHRISTIAN
PARENTI’S TROPIC OF CHAOS: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011)
 Gwynne Dyer’s CLIMATE WARS:  The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats (2010)

Cleo Paskal, Global Warring  (2010):  WARMING CREATING CONDITIONS FOR WAR
These authors assume readers who already accept the facts of warming.  Their concern is with future effects of more extreme and intense weather globally; for example, Paskal pays attention to India’s droughts and flooding monsoon rains.
     Thus Paskal seeks to “use the best science available to understand the implications of the inevitable [climate change] in order to minimize the geopolitical, economic, and security fallout.   That is what this book is about.”  “Environmental change” is her encompassing subject, of which climate change is a part.   Consequently she has read large-scale assessments, such as the Pentagon’s 2007 National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, and she studies such problems as “massive population and consumption increases” which have resulted “in major environmental change” (groundwater depletion, deforestation, etc.).   In her search to understand the carrying capacity of the planet, she factors in all aspects of environmental change for global stability.   Katrina is a recurrent topic “to show how poor regulations, planning, and emergency response [“the myriad ways we interact with our environment”] can aggravate the crises that will almost certainly increase as a result of climate change.”   Each nation, state, city must know its vulnerabilities:  New Orleans was struck by a hurricane made disastrous by large-scale subsidence, caused in part by wetland drainage and extraction of groundwater, and caused also by poorly designed waterways, faulty levee design and implementation, poor town planning, incompetent emergency services, and a breakdown in chain of command.   Only knowledge of all conditions will enable us to minimize the fallout; only such knowledge can “create a solid base upon which we can start to build a sound analysis of what the future may bring.   I hope very much that others will then take a more detailed look at the range of specific implication.”
     She divides her book into four parts:  I. How the West might be affected by rising sea levels and storm surges, and how major nations are “shockingly vulnerable.”   II. The:  importance of transportation routes and how climate change is changing those routes.  III. Changing precipitation patterns and resulting national relations.   IV.  Rising sea levels especially as they affect China and Pacific nations.  And the Conclusion “assesses various national adaptation programs, with a view to finding out which nations have the best chance of making it….”  All sections touch upon internal and cross-borders disruptions and conflicts, access to natural resources, and changing political alliances and opponents.
      Her hope?  If we have some idea of what is coming, we can plan for it.
       But she stops short of assessing the violence, the wars resulting from the dislocations she describes.   --Dick

Parenti’s Tropic of Chaos (2011): WARMING, EXTREME WEATHER, AND WARS TODAY.
      Ominously, the book’s epigraph is from Sven Lindqvist’s Exterminate All the Brutes, the title alluding to Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.   Climate wars are upon us.  Global warming—extreme weather—is “unleashing cascades of unrest and violence across the globe.”  
   The book opens with the corpse of Ekaru Loruman, a member of the Turkana tribe in northwest Kenya, killed by members of the Pokot tribe during a cattle raid by the Pokot.   Rising temperatures and drought have pushed the tribes closer together in already inadequate grazing lands .    To Parenti, profound social and climatological forces killed Ekaru.    “Ekaru’s death was caused by the most colossal set of events in human history: the catastrophic convergence of poverty, violence, and climate change” (my italics).  “This book is an attempt to understand the death of Ekaru Loruman, and so many others like him, through the lens of this catastrophic convergence.”    
      Parenti divides his book into four Parts: I.  “Last Call for Illusions,” II. “Africa,” III. “Asia,” and IV. “Latin America.”   In Part I. he spend only a page on the facts of warming:  it’s happened, happening—the present 390 ppm is the “highest atmospheric concentration of C02 during the last 10,000 years.”  Another page summarizes “The Social Challenge”:  the UN estimated that “all but one of its emergency appeals for humanitarian aid in 2007 were climate related.”   Several pages on the “catastrophic convergence” by which traumas and disfunctions accumulate to eventuate in bad climate adaptations—particularly Cold War militarism and economic pathologies of neoliberal capitalism (social stability destroyed by CW military interventions, economic stability by radical privatization and economic deregulation).  Two pages on mitigation and adaptation, giving higher priority to mitigation—specifically decarbonizing our economy—because the rising seas, desertification, storms, and flooding precede and cause the social and political violence.  
     Even more than with Paskal, take a deep breath for what’s ahead.   Chapter 2 examines the Pentagon’s plans for a world remade by the catastrophic convergence, including permanent counterinsurgency, massive movement of asylum seekers and refugees, and massive surveillance and repression-- “armed lifeboats”  (instead of the cooperative societies we need). Chap. 3:  “Adaptation As Counterinsurgency.”    The essences of “militarized adaptation to climate change”?   “Dirty war forever”?   Dick 5-25-12.   --Dick

 Gwynne Dyer.  CLIMATE WARS:  The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats.  2010.
Unsettling scenarios depicting the world in the next 50 years, similar to the current planet but significantly hotter.
Rising from 280 parts per million at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, atmospheric carbon dioxide has now reached 390 ppm. Journalist Dyer (After Iraq: Where Next for the Middle East?, 2008, etc.) gathers interviews from global experts who agree that serious efforts to reduce carbon emissions—which are not happening—cannot prevent a further rise to 500 ppm, which will increase global temperature nearly five degrees Fahrenheit by 2150. Warming will reduce rainfall over the tropics, expand mid-latitude deserts, eliminate mountain snowpacks and glaciers—thus reducing flow in great rivers used for irrigation—and melt arctic permafrost. To illustrate the major consequence, a diminished food supply, Dyer delivers fictional accounts of how nations may respond in the coming decades. According to these scenarios, lack of food destabilizes South America and Africa, producing mass starvation. India and Pakistan fight a nuclear war over the shrinking rivers they share for irrigation. Russia is the only great power that prospers, but China can no longer feed its population, who migrate north, and its leaders remember that China has a historical claim to Siberia. After absorbing millions fleeing starvation, the United States successfully seals the Mexican border, adding minefields and remote-controlled machine guns to the wall. Despite these alarming forecasts, Dyer remains confident that, as difficulties increase, nations will organize to vastly reduce carbon emissions. However, he warns that if matters are delayed for more than a decade [i.e. beyond 2020 --D], civilization will pass through a catastrophic time.
A reasonable but not rosy view of a subject that too often produces hysteria. -- Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2010

 By Bruce Gagnon.  [Arctic warming, oil and gas profit “opportunities” for US corporations, Pentagon Global Strike Planning to protect them, threatening Russia  --Dick]

I was recently sent an email alerting me to a conference at the University of Maine that appears to be about dragging us into another one of the oil-i-garchy's latest chaos zones.  I inquired about attending but was told it was "sold out".  Here is a bit from the invite:

The University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs and the Maine Army National Guard will co-host a conference May 20 to 21 to explore challenges and emerging opportunities in the Arctic. The free conference, "Leadership in the High North: A Political, Military, Economic and Environmental Symposium of the Arctic Opening," will be held at the Maine Army National Guard Regional Training Institute in Bangor. Speakers will address global, national and state issues and implications related to diminished sea ice in the Arctic, including the changing environment, trade, geopolitics and policy.

Scheduled speakers include: Gen. Charles Jacoby, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command; Rear Admiral Jonathan White, oceanographer and navigator of the Navy, director of Task Force Climate Change; Paul A. Mayewski, director of the UMaine Climate Change Institute; Major-General Christopher Coates, deputy commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command, National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces; Philippe Hebert, director of Policy Development for Canadian Department of National Defence; and John Henshaw, executive director of Maine Port Authority. And officials from the U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School will share experiences and display cold-weather operations equipment.

The words "emerging opportunities" jumped right out at me.  The Arctic region is loaded with oil and natural gas and with extreme melting of the ice the oil corporations are itching to get at it.  But look at a map to see which country has the largest land border with the Arctic... it is Russia.  Thus we see this intense US-NATO move toward militarization.  In order to build public support for this new "strategic plan" they are throwing out some financial incentives - the only job creator in town anymore, the military industrial complex.  America is being hollowed out and turned into a garrison state for global capital.

The Pentagon has created the "US Navy Arctic Roadmap: 2014-2030".  The plan includes such gems as the Navy needing ways to distribute fuel in the [Arctic] region to air and surface platforms.  Fuel allocation needs to be staffed and protected which means bases will be built.  How close would they be to Russia and how would that go over?  The current US-NATO movement of major offensive forces along the Russian border, having used the Ukraine crisis as a pretext, helps the military more “effectively control" the Russian bear in the event of future conflict over Arctic resource extraction.

Late last March the Navy took New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Sen. Angus King (I-ME), and others for a submarine ride below the Arctic ice.  
Friedman wrote:

“In our lifetime, what was [in effect] land and prohibitive to navigate or explore, is becoming an ocean, and we’d better understand it,” noted Admiral Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations. “We need to be sure that our sensors, weapons and people are proficient in this part of the world,” so that we can “own the undersea domain and get anywhere there.” Because if the Arctic does open up for shipping, it offers a much shorter route from the Atlantic to the Pacific than through the Panama Canal, saving huge amounts of time and fuel.

Our Sen. King here in Maine sent around an email called 
Impressions from the Arctic.  He told his constituents that there has been "a 40% reduction in ice as a result of global warming"  He reported that "previously inaccessible" gas and oil reserves were now going to create "new opportunities".  King concluded, "I am convinced we need to increase our capacity in the region, something I intend to press upon my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee as we work on our military priorities for the coming years."

King's state of Maine builds destroyers, armed with so-called "missile defense" (MD) systems that are key elements in Pentagon 
Prompt Global Strike planning.  After a US first-strike attack is launched at China or Russia, the MD "shield" helps take out any retaliatory capability.  It's a gun to the head which sometimes does not need to be fired to be effective - the threat in and of itself is bad enough.

I’m sad that I couldn't get a ticket to get into the Arctic event in Bangor.  Funny that a public institution like the University of Maine would limit participation.  But then again I'm not surprised at all.
 Bruce K. Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652, Brunswick, ME 04011, (207) 443-9502 ;   (blog)

Leah Samberg .   World Hunger Is Increasing, Thanks to Wars and Climate Change.” Scientific American .  Reader Supported News (October 21, 2017).
 Samberg writes: "Around the globe, about 815 million people - 11 percent of the world's population - went hungry in 2016, according to the latest data from the United Nations.”  Population increase: conflicts over water increase: increasing hunger. 


Dr Marty Branagan.   Global Warming, Militarism and Nonviolence: The Art of Active Resistance.  Palgrave, 2013.  272.
See Bertel, Parenti, Paskal.

Militarism is the elephant in the room of global warming. Of all government sectors, 'Defence' has the highest carbon footprint and expenditure, yet has largely been exempt from international scrutiny and regulation. Marty Branagan uses Australian and international case studies to show that nonviolence is a viable alternative to militarism for national defence and regime change. 'Active resistance', initiated in Australian environmental blockades and now adopted globally, makes the song 'We Shall Not Be Moved' much more realistic, as activists erect tripod villages, bury, chain and cement themselves into the ground, and 'lock-on' to machinery and gates. Active resistance, 'artistic activism', and use of new information and communication technologies in movements such as the Arab Spring and 'Occupy' demonstrate that nonviolence is an effective, evolving praxis.
Table of contents (7 chapters)
Introduction: Global Warming and Militarism Pages 1-36
Fighting Fire with Water: Nonviolent Alternatives to Militarism Pages 37-73
Australian Eco-Pax Activism Pages 74-110
Active Resistance: We Shall Never Be Moved  Pages 111-142
Internetworking  Pages 143-175
Artistic Activism  Pages 176-216
Creating Campaigns and Constructive Programmes  Pages 217-242  by R Tucker - ‎2016
Book Review. Marty Branagan, ed. Global WarmingMilitarism, and Nonviolence: The Art of Active Resistance. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Author. Richard Tucker. Close author notes. University of Michigan. Search for more papers by this author. First published: 30 March 2016 Full publication history; DOI: ...
By Marty Branagan Global WarmingMilitarism and Nonviolence: The Art of Active Resistance [Hardcover] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Noam Chomsky and Laray Polk.  Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe.  2013.
 “There are two problems for our species’ survival—nuclear war and environmental catastrophe," says Noam Chomsky in this new book on the two existential threats of our time and their points of intersection since World War II.
While a nuclear strike would require action, environmental catastrophe is partially defined by willful inaction in response to human-induced climate change. Denial of the facts is only half the equation. Other contributing factors include extreme techniques for the extraction of remaining carbon deposits, the elimination of agricultural land for bio-fuel, the construction of dams, and the destruction of forests that are crucial for carbon sequestration.
On the subject of current nuclear tensions, Chomsky revisits the long-established option of a nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East, a proposal set in motion through a joint Egyptian-Iranian General Assembly resolution in 1974.
Intended as a warning, Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe is also a reminder that talking about the unspeakable can still be done with humor, wit and indomitable spirit.
Preface by Polk:  Because (quoting Parenti’s Tropic of Chaos) wars and cc perpetuate each other, we urgently need “collaboration and creative adaptation.” 
Chap. 1: “Environmental Catastrophe””: Because the US corporate-market- profit-inequality-Koch brothers-fossil fuels-warming denying system produces war and warming, we must reject it and find alternatives.   Later on pp. 67 and 83 Chomsky applauds the Magna Carta, especially its section on the Charter of the Forests defending the Commons from privatization and ruthlessness in acquisition.   Chap. 2:  Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex (MICC); 3: war crimes; 4: nuclear dangers; 5:US and China; 6: denial, wealth gap, greed and fear; 7: world peace, Bertrand Russell, Russell/ Einstein Manifesto, Linus Pauling, Peggy Duff, A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority, MLKJr., importance of memory, “persistent danger of nuclear war, and the threat of environmental disaster”; 8: critique of US business culture of profit, short term gains, Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute, mainstream media--all down-playing “the big twin threats of nuclear weapons and climate change”, and US double standards by which it rules the world.
     The dense little book ends p. 87, followed by 39pp. of 9 appendices of salient documents regarding nuclear and chemical war and global warming cited by Chomsky, including an effort to cover up lethal effects of radiation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki; report of thousands of US scientists protesting use of chemical and biological weapons; and Senator Inhofe’s denial of warming at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, S. Africa, Dec. 7, 2011. 

Contents: War and Warming Newsletter #1
One Consequence of Empire:   Refugees from US Wars
Add Warming Wars:
Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos
Gwynne Dyer, Climate Wars
Joseph Romm, Warming and Wars
Prud’homme, Wars For Water and Food Affected by Warming
Krauthammer on Warming and Responses


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