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The War on the Planet
Presentation by Gary Goff at the Brooklyn Museum, as part of a “Perspectives Talk” in conjunction with its exhibit on War and Photography.
We usually think of violence as something that is abrupt and explosive-a bomb going off, a bullet finding its mark. The photos on exhibit here tend to reinforce this view. But there is another kind of violence that is increasing worldwide-the violence of climate change. Because it is incremental, it’s mostly invisible or at least not perceived as violence. But we need to reassess this view. Climate change is both violent and largely caused by human activity. It’s as violent as war. People’s homes and livelihoods are destroyed, their countries devastated, their lives taken. According to the UN there have been more than 4 million climate-related deaths since the 1970s.
As starling as that number is, the relationship between war and the environment is more than the high casualty rates they share. Environmental disasters cause wars and wars cause environmental disasters. Let me explain.
Climate Action Rally in Washington, D.C.: Feb. 17, 2013
We came by the tens of thousands – to the nation’s capitol. Our demand was “Save Our Planet.” It was a protest to demand immediate and urgent action to reverse the course of climate change; to change the path of dependency on fossil fuels which is slowly but surely leading to destruction and decline of what has become a fragile environment. (See photos here.)
It was a bitterly cold and windy day but that didn’t us from marching around the White House to tell the President to be true to his words and reject the ominous and hazardous Keystone XL pipeline. Continue reading →
Another World Is Possible: Rethinking the Energy Paradigm: See it on YouTube
What will it take to get rid of dirty fuels and make renewable energy possible?
This was the topic at the forum hosted by Climate Action at the Brooklyn Peace Fair on April 28, 2012. Panelist Lisa DiCaprio, associate professor at NYU and founding member of RenewNEWYORK, says we have the capacity to solarize 165,000 rooftops in New York, but we’re held back by short-sighted funding mechanisms. “We’re facing a planetary emergency,” says Sean Sweeney, director of Cornell’s Global Labor Institute, and the only way we’re going to be able to make the switch from dirty energy is through a democratic planned process. “The movement against fossil fuels needs to embed into its arguments the need for public ownership.”
See Highllights of the Forum on YouTube (28 minutes)
The press release stated: “This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people.” Continue reading →
Task Force on War and the Environment
This task force will focus on strengthening the nexus between war and the environment.
As climate change accelerates and increasingly diminishing supplies of fresh water and arable land, resource wars for oil and gas are becoming more frequent and more global in nature. The anti-war movement and the environmental movement have common ground in seeking to change U.S. policy: to conserve precious resources and promote more effective, less destructive, and more peaceful solutions to the effects of climate change. Continue reading →
Who We Are
This task force will examine the nexus between war and the environment. Read more
We invite you to join the Climate Action and get involved.