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This task force will examine the nexus between war and the environment.
As climate change accelerates, resource wars – for oil and gas, but increasingly for diminishing supplies of fresh water and arable land – 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.
With the establishment of the Peace and Economic Justice Committee, BFP clearly recognizes the connection between the domestic economy and the war machine, and the importance of working in both spheres. With the acceleration of climate change and a U.S. energy policy that is based on “extreme fuels,” (fuels derived from tar sands, deep-water wells, hydrofracking, mountaintopping), it is equally important for the peace movement to develop close ties with the young, dynamic environmental movement. War abroad, social and economic injustice at home, and theft and destruction of the global commons are all part of the whole. A strategic understanding of this interconnection will help BFP broaden its tactical outreach in Brooklyn.
The task force will examine aspects of war and the environment, for example:
- The connection between U.S. energy policy and U.S. foreign policy: e.g., the extent to which U.S. military interventions in the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere are driven by the need to control access to fossil fuels.
- The direct impact of war on the environment: e.g., the wholesale destruction of forest regions (Southeast Asia; Congo), resulting in a dramatic increase in CO2 emissions; the irradiation of desert areas through the use of depleted-uranium bullets (Gulf War).
- The intensifying use of diminishing planetary resources in order to supply the war machine: e.g., in World War II, the U.S. military consumed 1 gallon of oil per soldier per day; during the Gulf War, this rose to 4 gallons per soldier per day; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are consuming 16 gallons of oil per soldier per day.
The committee goals will include:
Developing an analysis of the interconnection between war and the environment through study (suggested initial readings: Michael Klare, Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet; John Bellamy Foster, The Vulnerable Planet)
- Educating the broader membership of BFP about war and the environment
- Preparing fact sheets that may augment the work of other BFP committees, notably, the PEJ and the Nuclear Zero committees
- Developing working relationships with relevant sections of the environmental movement
Adopted by BFP Board of Directors 2011-10-06
If you’re interested in working on the Enviromental Task Force, or if you have any comments or questions, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org