Sunday, October 25, 2009

Peace activism = climate activism

 by Ann Garrison

"Militarism is the way corporations maintain their access to their food supply — the planet."     --Steve Martinot, Militarism and Global Warming

The best thing Copenhagen climate talks could produce would be protest.  Not more ineffective international standards and protocols.  Protest.

So it's no wonder that UK border police, on October 14th, invoked anti-terrorist law to arrest Chris Ktichen, a British climate change activist attempting to cross into mainland Europe for events leading up to the talks.

The Danish government is also preparing new "turmoil and riot" law to control expected protest.

Two days before Kitchen's arrest, Denmark's top climate negotiator, Thomas Becker, resigned and "could not be reached for comment."  Some speculated that Becker was too determined to fight for agreements with real consequence, but the Danish government called it "purely an administrative matter," then claimed that Becker had put too many bottles of red wine on his state funded restaurant tab.

Reuters and most other outlets all published the same unattributed report, including this conclusion:

Although the host's chief negotiator can wield influence as a broker behind the scenes, Denmark's own position is tightly tied to European Union policy, and Becker's absence was seen as unlikely to change an outcome which will be decided primarily by the big powers.  - --Reuters, 10.12.2009

But, no matter how much control, including police control, Denmark and the big powers organize between now and December's climate talks, there will no doubt be considerable angry protest.   I hope that it will include anti-war protest, because, broadly understood, the wars for fossil fuels and other resources, are the greatest cause of global warming.  Steve Martinot makes this argument with irrefutable logic in "Militarism and global warming," where he argues that "militarism is the way corporations maintain their access to their food supply --- the planet."

The U.S. military is the world's largest single consumer of fossil fuels---and uranium, to generate nuclear power and maintain the nation's nuclear weapons stock.  We fight in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa, to secure the fossil fuels, fossil fuel transport corridors, uranium, and other military industrial minerals that we must have to keep fighting for more of the same, and, that U.S. military industries must have to continue to manufacture for war.

So, although there were rallies against global warming all over the world, yesterday, the most powerful, in effect, was the London protest against the Afghanistan War led by Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, who now faces court martial for refusing to return to fight in Afghanistan:

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