Focus is on the impact of climate change on war and war on climate change!

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The 60th annual NGO/DPI conference held at the United nations headquarters in NYC, September, 2007presented the world community with a formidable challenge, a conference on Climate Change. The overwhelming evidence of climate change and its threat to every aspect of life on earth was real and palpable. It had to be addressed now, not later. NGOs the world over too that challenge with energy and resolve. Peace Action, the largest peace grass roots organization in the United States, joined that struggle. It saw the need to combine the environmental and anti-war movements in t heir common goals for a sustainable future. This link has never been more urgent, the connections, never more visible.
But questions abound. Can global warming cause war? For many years the debate over global warming has focused on the big "Es:, environment, energy and economic impact. Recently it officially entered the realm of national security threats and avoiding war as well. Even US Generals, Admirals, some recently retired, warned that warming presents significant national security challenges in the United States. At last, the Un Security Council held its first debate on the impact of climate change on conflicts.

Many experts view climate change as the "three multiplier" that intensifies instability around the world. it creates water shortages, food insecurity, disease and flooding that lead to forced migrations. The chaos that will result can be an incubator of civil strife, genocide, and the growth of terrorism. Yes, wars will be fought over water, changing patterns of rainfall, fights over food production or lack thereof and once again a threat to peace and security.

The question for peace activists is 'What makes war start?" this question was raised by the UK's Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett and supported by EU colleagues was that the security Council's mandate to address issues that threaten international peace and security was broad enough to encompass the impacts of climate change.

Beckett continued with her question "What starts Wars?" The answer was self evident to her and many of her colleagues. Fights over water, changing patterns of rainfall, fights over food production and over land use. there are few greater potential threats to our economies, to peace and security.

Our chapter's proposal or main theme is to raise the awareness of the need for transformation from a culture of war to a culture of peace, a conclusion also reached by the DPI conference. We recognize that war and violence can easily be attributed to the impact of climate changes in many countries especially those already marginalized because of poverty and lack of resources, etc., connecting peace activists with environmentalists in alerting the world to the impact of war on climate change and visa versa.

In the United States Congress some legislators are already seeing these connections. Senators Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois and Chuck Hagel (R) of Nebraska would require all US intelligence agencies to conduct a comprehensive review of potential security threats related to climate change. Representative Edward Markey (D) of Massachusetts, is proposing legislation that would fund climate change plans by the Defense Department. he has called for action saying 'global warming's impact on natural resources and climate systems may create the fiercest battle our world has ever seen. If we don't cut pollution and head off severe global warming at the pass, we could see extreme geopolitical strain over decreased clean water, environmental refugees and other impacts."

These challenges are not traditional national security concerns, such as conflict of arms or ideologies. But if left unaddressed, they can threaten national security.

War is a big cause of man's destruction of life. The weapons and military industry leads to a culture of violence and war. global militarisms is a well-entrenched mindset that is hard to change because of the assumption that violence gives power resulting in domination over other, including their natural resources.

the Earth stands today in imminent peril and major changes are cried for! real security and international cooperation. So necessary for achieving freedom from weapons of mass destruction are a must in today's world if we are to survive. it is a time to bridge the divide between the peace movement and the environment/climate change movement. We must acknowledge the ways i which these issues are linked. people throughout the world need to take action to end both war and environmental degradation and global warming.

Acknowledgement that it is the critical link between war and climate change. This is evidenced in the countries that are engaged in conflicts and and/or have large military establishments. the military is the largest single consumer of petroleum. So as the military grows so doe sour addiction to fossil fuel. Oil consumption by military forces in the US accounted for 133 million barrels in 2005. more than the total consumption of oil in countries like Sweden or Finland.

It is clear that climate change could increase deprivation and risk of conflict would result in the engagement of military forces. one of the serious manifestation of climate change is accurate water shortages in various parts of the world. water "stressed" areas will experience mass migration and conflict over their natural resources. Adequate measures to address such situation are needed now not later. Even as we speak these things are happening. See Myanmar and China.

What to do: Activate. raise awareness. Lobby and provide information to government, re conflict over water, fossil fuel, fertile lands deforestation and its impact on global warming.

Make connections and point the way to wards a Culture of Peace.

Activate peace and environmental groups and other NGOs to coordinate their efforts in behalf of these changes.
Lobby and provide information to governments regarding conflict over water, fossil fuel, fertile lands, deforestation and its impact on global warming.
Make the connection between peace and environmental groups to point the way toward a Culture of Peace.
Emphasize change in lifestyle -- Conserve! Reverse disproportionate consumption of earth's resources, particularly energy by the industrialized countries and emerging countries.
Educate community about the causes and dangers of climate change. Provide information to the community at large through meetings, seminars and all other outreach techniques.
Make expert use of the media.
Most importantly, form collaborative efforts with other groups to strengthen the message.



Working Group icon is The Defeat of the French Fire Ships attacking the British Fleet at Anchor before Quebec, 28 June 1759 Painting by Dominic Serres