Militarism as Cause and Consequence of Climate Change
Expulsion of Organizer from COP16 Leads to Cancellation of Press Conference
from Climate SOS, Biofuel Watch, and Global Compliance Research Project
(Cancun, Dec 10, 2010)
A press conference scheduled for today inside the COP16 had to be cancelled, because its main organizer, Dr. Maggie Zhou, a biologist with Climate SOS, was expelled from the UN climate conference, due to supposedly showing ‘disrespect’ to UN security by demanding an explanation when her badge was forcefully snatched away on Tuesday, following her very marginal participation in a peaceful, non-disruptive demonstration on the conference grounds. The majority of other participants had their badges returned. An interview with Zhou is still on the official UNFCCC website (http://www.climate-change.tv/maggie-zhou-december-2010), as of the time of this release.
According to Zhou’s article published in today’s Alter-ECO newsletter (issue #4, see www.climate-justice-now.org), USA alone spends well over $1 trillion/year on military related expenses, magnitudes higher than the climate ‘assistance’ of $10 billion/y for 2010-2012, or $100 billion/y by 2020, from all developed countries combined! Worse, these climate ‘aid’ pledges under the Copenhagen Accord will come mostly as loan guarantees, private investments for profit, and even recycled aid commitments. She added
“Using military force to control access to oil and other resources, at the expense of millions of lives and countless misery, is a clear violation of human rights, while refusing to take strong action on climate change and repay climate debt directly threatens with extinction-scale global human rights violation (the UN high commission has recognized climate change as a direct human rights threat)”, she continued.
The human toll of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere have been horrific, but extend even further than usually acknowledged
Dr. Rachel Smolker, an ecologist with Biofuewatch observed
The US military is also the world’s largest institutional source of greenhouse gases (equipping, manning, training, and transporting for military operations and bases, patrolling oil shipping routes for what’s dubbed “oil protection service”, etc.), while causing massive ecosystem destruction worldwide. According to rankings in the 2006 CIA World Factbook, only 35 countries (out of 210 in the world) consume more oil per day than the Pentagon, who refers to fuel consumption in terms of "gallons per mile," "gallons per minute," and "barrels per hour." Yet, none of this was discussed in any climate negotiations.
According to Dr. Joan Russow, of Global Compliance Research Project, “The US military operates in the shadows of climate negotiations, having demanded that their emissions be exempted from scrutiny or regulation. This absolutely cannot continue
Ironically, even the Pentagon recognizes that climate change is a “threat multiplier”, that will result in mass migrations, and far more wars and conflicts, threatening US “national security”. But their response is more of the same
“What the imperialist warlords don’t understand”, said Zhou, “is that no one nation or elite class can survive the climate catastrophe without saving the planet as a whole, given the multitude of interconnectedness of the earth’s eco- and geophysical/chemical/climate systems. In fact, allowing massive suffering in ‘unimportant’ regions will logically lead to further decimation of ecosystems and the transfer of their biomass carbon into the atmosphere, as people will be driven to seeking out the last of water and sustenance amid crop failures, droughts and wildfires… We are literally one people, sharing one fate. Human rights is not only a moral issue, it has very sound physical and existential basis.”
The groups demand an end to militarism, that the impacts of militarism be fully and transparently assessed, and that the multi-trillion USD world military budgets be redirected towards domestic and international obligations to ensure adequate human rights, and enabling real solutions to the climate crisis.
Contacts for media
-Maggie Zhou, Ph.D. Climate SOS firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-781-316-8283, 52-9981083832 skype
-Rachel Smolker, Ph.D. Biofuel Watch, and Climate SOS email@example.com, 1- 802 482 2848, 1- 802 735 7794
-Joan Russow, Ph.D. Global Compliance Research Project firstname.lastname@example.org