Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Warming Wars

OMNI WARS AND WARMING NEWSLETTER #1, Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, 2-22-11

Earth Is Warming
Oil the Link
Barry Sanders, Environmental Costs of Militarism
Global Warring by Cleo Pascal
Vandana Shiva, War On Earth
Lincoln and Alice Day Film, Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives
Pentagon Conversion
Dyer vs. Shiva and Pentagon Planning
Dick Bennett, Cost of Gas

(from Prof. Steve Boss 12-31-10)
Here are some authoritative links:
(NOTE: This is an old paper - with data up to 1988. It states the '4 warmest years of the last century occurred during the 1980s)
(NOTE: This article states "...1990s were the warmest complete decade in the series [1961-1990]..."; then asserts the "...period 2001-2009 (0.43°C above 1961-90 mean) is 0.19°C warmer than the 1991-2000 decade (0.24°C above 1961-90 mean)".
2010 is looming as one of the warmest years in the record; , the complete decade of the 2000's (2000-2009) was the warmest complete decade of record; warmer than the complete decade of the 1990s, which were in turn warmer than the complete decade of the 1980's...the decadal trend is thus established - 1980s=warm, 1990s=warmer, 2000s=warmest yet...30 years of data don't lie.
Note also from the article above that 9 of the 10 warmest years on the climate record occurred in the 2000s.

“Landscapes of War” by Terry Tempest Williams, The Progressive (Oct. 2010). Similarities between the BP oil spill and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The BP blowout and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are the same story. It is a parallel narrative that encompasses our politics, our economics, and our spiritual malaise. The plot is oil. The arc of the story moves from our complicity to our complacency.”

Sanders, Barry. The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism. AK P, 2009. Exposes the environmental consequences of US military practices, from fuel emissions to radioactive wastes to defoliation campaigns. The US military is the single-greatest contributor to the worldwide environmental crisis. “The military produces enough greenhouse gases, by itself, to place the entire globe, with all its inhabitants large and small, in the most immanent danger of extinction.” Google author/title for fuller information. Buy, study, and report the book. Buy several copies for friends.

Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map
by Cleo Paskal As told by: Cleo Paskal
Key Porter Books | December 7, 2009 | Hardcover
The Cold War was never this hot!

We live in interesting times. The biggest western economic institutions are crumbling, what were once marginalized voices are now dominating international negotiations, and touchstone climate events, such as the monsoon, are failing. Everywhere you look economic, geopolitical and environmental assumptions are being shaken to the core. The world is changing. Fast.
Global Warring examines these trends by combining insightful economic and political analysis with the most likely environmental change scenarios. It identifies problem areas that could start conflicts (access to water and resources in Asia), economic trends that are shifting the balance of power (China's policy of nationalistic capitalism), and geopolitical realignments (the burgeoning strategic partnership between the United States and India).
Award-winning writer and geopolitical expert Cleo Paskal makes sense of this overwhelming topic by dividing it into five sections: how seemingly impervious western nations, such as the United States, are shockingly vulnerable to hurricanes, storm surges and rising sea levels, and what that could mean for their internal stability and economic development; how the thawing Arctic is opening up a whole new arena for power politics as some of the world's biggest countries wrangle for control over vast resources, strategic shipping routes such as the Northwest Passage and geopolitical leverage; how changing precipitation patterns, extreme weather and water shortages are creating severe disruptions in India and China, and how that could affect their relations with each other, and the world; how rising sea levels may shift borders and alter the very notion of statehood, potentially challenging international law to the breaking point; and, finally, what could happen in coming decades, and how to avoid the worst of it.
Paskal combines ten years of research; the latest findings from the Hadley Centre and the United Nations; and interviews with top political, security and economic strategists with her own extensive travel as a foreign correspondent. The result is a penetrating, accessible, compelling, and chilling reminder that Global Warring is not only coming, it's here.
"In a clear, comprehensive and alarming analysis, Cleo Paskal underlines the geopolitically disruptive potential of climate change. Arguably this is the biggest challenge to human society since the Ice Age or the Black Death and it is not clear we are any readier to respond adequately to ours than were our unfortunate ancestors to theirs." -- Guy Stanley, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University.
Winner of The 2010 Grantham Prize for excellence in Reporting on the Environment


Vandana Shiva: Sydney Peace Prize lecture

“Time to end war against the earth” VANDANA SHIVA
Sydney Morning Herald, November 4, 2010

When we think of wars in our times, our minds turn to Iraq and Afghanistan . But the bigger war is the war against the planet. This war has its roots in an economy that fails to respect ecological and ethical limits - limits to inequality, limits to injustice, limits to greed and economic concentration.
A handful of corporations and of powerful countries seeks to control the earth's resources and transform the planet into a supermarket in which everything is for sale. They want to sell our water, genes, cells, organs, knowledge, cultures and future.
The continuing wars in Afghanistan , Iraq and onwards are not only about "blood for oil". As they unfold, we will see that they are about blood for food, blood for genes and biodiversity and blood for water.
The war mentality underlying military-industrial agriculture is evident from the names of Monsanto's herbicides - ''Round-Up'', ''Machete'', ''Lasso''. American Home Products, which has merged with Monsanto, gives its herbicides similarly aggressive names, including ''Pentagon'' and ''Squadron''. This is the language of war. Sustainability is based on peace with the earth.
The war against the earth begins in the mind. Violent thoughts shape violent actions. Violent categories construct violent tools. And nowhere is this more vivid than in the metaphors and methods on which industrial, agricultural and food production is based. Factories that produced poisons and explosives to kill people during wars were transformed into factories producing agri-chemicals after the wars.
The year 1984 woke me up to the fact that something was terribly wrong with the way food was produced. With the violence in Punjab and the disaster in Bhopal , agriculture looked like war. That is when I wrote The Violence of the Green Revolution and why I started Navdanya as a movement for an agriculture free of poisons and toxics.
Pesticides, which started as war chemicals, have failed to control pests. Genetic engineering was supposed to provide an alternative to toxic chemicals. Instead, it has led to increased use of pesticides and herbicides and unleashed a war against farmers.
The high-cost feeds and high-cost chemicals are trapping farmers in debt - and the debt trap is pushing farmers to suicide. According to official data, more than 200,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide in India since 1997.
Making peace with the earth was always an ethical and ecological imperative. It has now become a survival imperative for our species.
Violence to the soil, to biodiversity, to water, to atmosphere, to farms and farmers produces a warlike food system that is unable to feed people. One billion people are hungry. Two billion suffer food-related diseases - obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cancers.
There are three levels of violence involved in non-sustainable development. The first is the violence against the earth, which is expressed as the ecological crisis. The second is the violence against people, which is expressed as poverty, destitution and displacement. The third is the violence of war and conflict, as the powerful reach for the resources that lie in other communities and countries for their limitless appetites.
When every aspect of life is commercialised, living becomes more costly, and people are poor, even if they earn more than a dollar a day. On the other hand, people can be affluent in material terms, even without the money economy, if they have access to land, their soils are fertile, their rivers flow clean, their cultures are rich and carry traditions of producing beautiful homes and clothing and delicious food, and there is social cohesion, solidarity and spirit of community.
The elevation of the domain of the market, and money as man-made capital, to the position of the highest organising principle for societies and the only measure of our well-being has led to the undermining of the processes that maintain and sustain life in nature and society.
The richer we get, the poorer we become ecologically and culturally. The growth of affluence, measured in money, is leading to a growth in poverty at the material, cultural, ecological and spiritual levels.
The real currency of life is life itself and this view raises questions: how do we look at ourselves in this world? What are humans for? And are we merely a money-making and resource-guzzling machine? Or do we have a higher purpose, a higher end?
I believe that ''earth democracy'' enables us to envision and create living democracies based on the intrinsic worth of all species, all peoples, all cultures - a just and equal sharing of this earth's vital resources, and sharing the decisions about the use of the earth's resources.
Earth democracy protects the ecological processes that maintain life and the fundamental human rights that are the basis of the right to life, including the right to water, food, health, education, jobs and livelihoods.
We have to make a choice. Will we obey the market laws of corporate greed or Gaia's laws for maintenance of the earth's ecosystems and the diversity of its beings?
People's need for food and water can be met only if nature's capacity to provide food and water is protected. Dead soils and dead rivers cannot give food and water.
Defending the rights of Mother Earth is therefore the most important human rights and social justice struggle. It is the broadest peace movement of our times.
Dr Vandana Shiva is an Indian physicist, environmentalist and recipient of the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize. This is an edited version of her speech at the Sydney Opera House lst night.

Regina Eisenberg
regina@stationrelations.com | 510.550.1706
January 18, 2011
The effects of war and war preparations on the environment, while profound, have been largely overlooked.
Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives. (1/60)
Alice and Lincoln Day
Fund for Sustainable Tomorrows
Dear colleague:
We are pleased to announce the release of Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War in time for your Earth Day programming. While the profound effects of war on our planet have been largely overlooked in Earth Day discussions, this one-hour documentary brings war explicitly into the environmental conversation.
The scale of environmental damage over the last half century is unprecedented. Falling water tables, shrinking forest cover, declining species diversity all presage ecosystems in distress. These trends are now widely acknowledged as emanating from forces of humanity's own
making; ironically however, war, that most destructive of human behaviors, is commonly bypassed.
In all its stages, from the production of weapons through combat to cleanup and restoration, war entails actions that pollute land, air, and water, destroy biodiversity, and drain natural resources. Yet the environmental damage occasioned by war and preparation for war is routinely underestimated, underreported, even ignored. The environment remains war's "silent casualty."
Using archival material from the Civil War and World Wars I and II, up to Vietnam, Bosnia, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and specialist and eyewitness accounts, Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives examines the impact of war and its toll on the Earth's ecosystems. It traces the variety of damage caused by weaponry at all stages, from production and testing, through combat, to cleanup. Revealing the many ways war pollutes and degrades the environment—from land mines and cluster bombs that destroy farm lands and disrupt agricultural practices to damage to water tables caused by the bombing of oil refineries and chemical plants, the documentary is eye-opening.
Reviewers of Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives invariably claim to have been greatly moved by the documentary and to have learned a lot from watching it.
Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives is produced by Alice and Lincoln Day, Fund for Sustainable Tomorrows. The documentary is distributed to public television stations by NETA. Funded by The Wallace Genetic Foundation, The Manna Foundation, and generous support of individual donors, local underwriting is permissible.
Please contact me if you have questions. I’ll be in touch with you about your carriage plans during the next months. A fact sheet follows.
Very truly yours,
Regina Eisenberg
R Eisenberg Presents
regina@stationrelations.com | 510.550.1706
2340 Powell Street, Suite 333, Emeryville, CA 94608
Regina Eisenberg
regina@stationrelations.com | 510.550.1706
fact sheet
Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives:
The Environmental Footprint of War
Program Summary:
The scale of environmental damage over the last half century is unprecedented. Falling water tables, shrinking forest cover, declining species diversity all presage ecosystems in distress. These trends are now widely acknowledged as emanating from forces of humanity's own making; ironically however, war, that most destructive of human behaviors, is commonly bypassed.
Broadcast: March 26, 2011 - March 25, 2013
Unlimited Releases/2 Years
Non-Commercial Cable: Granted
School Record: 7-Day)
SD 4:3.
NOLA Code:
SLWL )) K1
SD Feed for Record:
Saturday, March 26 , 2011, 1100 – 1200ET/SD 07
All of the 13 persons interviewed in the film are specialists in their fields, and in many cases also eye-witnesses to the environmental devastation of war and its impact on all living things. They include Lester Brown (an internationally acknowledged authority on global environmental conditions), Lt. General Robert Gard, Jr. (USA-ret., former President, Monterey Institute for International Studies and Director, Bologna Center of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies), Thomas Lovejoy (biologist and President, The Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, and founder of the public television series, "Nature") as well as: a prize-winning novelist and former combat medic in Vietnam, a forestry scientist with extensive experience working in Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia, Sudan, and Liberia with the United Nations Post-Conflict Assessment and Crisis Management Unit, a climate scientist, a professor of environmental history, a professor of environmental studies, a specialist in defense and environmental policy issues, an epidemiologist and a physician, both with research experience in war-related illnesses, and the director of a large-scale program assessing the clean-up costs of nuclear and chemical weapons programs around the world.
The public television release of Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives will be supported by several large, influential NGO's including:
Global Exchange, Global Green Doctors For Social Responsibility and Care2.com. In March and April 2011, the program's release will be the subject of e-blasts though newsletters of participating NGO's.
The documentary is Finalist for Wildscreen, the world's largest and most prestigious international wildlife and environmental film festival. It is, also, Official Selection of Filmanthropy Festival, which showcases films that inspire, educate, raise awareness and motivate so that the audience may, through their eyes, open their minds and their hearts to creating a better world for all.
Alice and Lincoln Day Fund for Sustainable Tomorrows

We Have to Trim the Bloated Pentagon Budget and Use the Cash for a 'Green Dividend' to Create Good Jobs
How can we come out of this recession with a manufacturing sector and a workforce that are globally competitive, that produce things that people need in the new green economy?

--Dyer, Gwynne. Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats. Interv. Democracy Now). Basic fact: planet warming. A 1 percent rise in temp will produce 10 percent reduction in food. Without drastic reduction in C02 the planet will heat 4 degrees by 2060. So Dyer recommends geoengineering (SRM: Solar Radiation Management) to give us time.. In contrast, Vandana Shiva (Soil Not Oil) urges drastic changes in economic system esp.from corporate to small agriculture. She urges agreement to Universal Declaration on the Rights of the Earth. Pentagon already has plans for warming wars over food and water. For example, because Turkey is controlling the Tigris and Euphrates at their sources, Iraq would be at war with Turkey were not Iraq so dysfunctional. The US Quadrennial Defense Review 2010 is the first QDR to evaluate warming’s threat to US security. That is, the Bush admin. denied climate change while militarily preparing for it.
See ecology refugees: Mexican and Central American refugees to increase, so the likelihood of a Soviet Berlin Wall across the US/Mex border and associated wars is increasing


In 1974, because of surging energy prices, the heads of 23 democracies lost their positions. Publics indifferent to the immense danger impending from global warming caused by coal and oil, get in a rampage over an oil price rise , and leaders’ electoral heads roll. This reality is an opportunity for decreasing militarism, empire, and wars.

A major remedy to the cost of gasoline at the pump is never mentioned, have you noticed? Reducing the militaries of the world, of which the USA has the largest. The US military is not only the largest single source of greenhouse gases and warming, it is also consequently and specifically the largest single user of oil. Except for the nuclear subs and aircraft carriers, the entire vehicle inventory runs on oil. It’s the world’s enormous gas-guzzling vampire. Barry Sanders in his recent book, The Green Zone, gives us the details. The Army, Navy, and Air Force have ninety-two different kinds of aircraft, for example, and aircraft fuel is both particularly polluting and expensive.

The pressure on the supply of oil to the US is sharply intensified by the demands of the military, especially as oil sources diminish. The US military has some 800 bases abroad in over 100 countries, and some 6000 in the U.S. and its territories. These bases are intended to ensure us energy resources necessary for empire, that is, for the military. But the military itself is a major cause of the need for the resources, and in addition our military inspires resentments everywhere they are.. Shrinking these bases would simultaneously reduce enemies, global warming, the demand for fuel, and the cost of gas.

The Green Zone makes a powerful case against the military as a major contributor of greenhouse gasses, CO2, and global warming. It also provides us with salient arguments and data for talking with people who are primarily concerned about their taxes and the prices of gasoline. Our slogan can be; Reduce the Military: Reduce Demand: Reduce Price.of Gas.
Llewellyn King. “Oil Could Decide 2012.” ADG (1-24-11).
Sanders, Barry. The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism. 2009.


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)