I’m back from a blogging break during National Novel Writing Month aka nanowrimo in November. I met the challenge of writing a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days; the jury is still out on whether or not it was time well-spent. If you’re interested in being a reader who will provide feedback on Comfy Underpants (working title) depicting the effects on children of grinding poverty in late stage capitalism, leave a comment.
During November I collaborated on a few COP 26 related projects, including a virtual presentation for the People’s Summit on behalf of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. I teamed up with Koohan Paik-Mander (GN board member in Hawaii) and Veterans for Peace members in the US (president Adrienne Kinne) and UK (David Collins) plus sponsoring organization the Institute for Policy Studies (Ashik Siddique) to present on US Militarism, Space Tech & Climate Crisis: the role of militarism in climate justice.
My presentation in the 90 minute webinar focused on Information Control and Perception Management Around Climate Impact of Space Programs.
To prepare I learned more about the parallels between US military programs and space programs, and their interconnection. For the TL,DW crowd (too long, didn’t watch) I’ll summarize my key points:
- The role of military in driving climate crisis has been hidden successfully up to now, but COP 26 was a turning point for climate activists if not for national governments.
- The role of space programs in harming climate is similarly hidden.
- Space programs are portrayed as non-military in nature despite the fact that NASA develops technology which is then used by the military.
- Focus on space programs’ climate harms is confined in the press to private space programs.
- Both the military and space programs are portrayed as victims of climate crisis in the corporate press and in their own communications to the public.
Koohan’s presentation on the militarization of the ocean around Hawaii including space and with disastrous effects on marine life was powerful and new information for many.
In the runup to COP 26, Peace Action Maine invited David Swanson of World Beyond War and Janet Weil of VFP’s Climate Crisis & Militarism Project to speak on How the Pentagon Fuels Climate Crisis.
I did the intro giving the context of the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow and what it might mean for our work, and PAM board member Devon Grayson-Wallace facilitated. Link to video here.
COP 26 was a dismal failure in terms of halting runaway climate crisis.
The non-binding agreements reached would, even if observed in full (highly unlikely), not keep carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions at safe levels.
Greta Thunberg mocked the empty promises of elected officials (I can’t bring myself to call them leaders): “Net zero, blah blah blah. Climate neutral, blah blah blah.”
Youth and indigenous climate activists staged numerous actions to draw attention to the urgency of the crisis while world leaders went through the motions of taking meaningful action. Wealthy countries will continue to pollute with others bearing the brunt of the dire effects. What else is new?