These are my comments on the second draft of the declaration of the ongoing Klimaforum09 in Copenhagen. (A preliminary version of the comment is also found here..)

I would like to sign the declaration as an individual, and I will probably do so, although I think this declaration is far from saying what needs to be said right now.

Yes, a system change is needed, and each of the dozen or so proposed "Concrete steps towards a sustainable transition" is desirable. However, the word 'military' occurs only once in the draft text. Are its authors at all considering what the realities behind that word mean to the climate and the global warming in addition to what it does to the peoples? What 'system change', or 'transition', can we hope for if we do not take on the world's military-industrial complex?

It would certainly be more politically effective to ask the negotiators at the COP15 to agree on a convention on nuclear disarmament than to require them to look for "a bright future beyond Capitalism" (I refer here to the text on poster for the demonstration 12 December). Hell, the nuclear weapons are precisely what has kept and continues to keep the global economic and political Capitalist system together ever since 1945. A break with Capitalism requires first of all a break with the WMD-powered great power syndrome. Each one of them - USA, Russia, China, France, UK and India (and maybe even Israel or Pakistan) - could actually initiate the necessary 'transition' and 'system change' just by unilaterally, without waiting for the others, abolishing their own WMD. The WMD are entirely human generated, their existence and development are totally dependent on our will. So what is more likely: that we get rid of the WMD, or that we stop the global warming? And then: how can we be so naive as to believe that we can stop the global warming without getting rid of the WMD, which are the wrongest of all our wrong habits?

The CO2 emissions from all fossil fuel burning are, of course, also very wrong. Between 2003 and 2007 the war in Iraq alone was responsible for "at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent"; this "equals the emissions from putting 25 million more cars on the road in the US" (quoted from the report "A Climate of War. The war in Iraq and global warming".) But the threat of nuclear war and of the climate change which be caused by the "nuclear winter" after the nuclear war has not gone away although the consciousness about the dangers of man-made global warming may have increased. The new genetics, robotics and nanotech based weapons systems which are underway may be still worse than the existing nuclear weapons and space war systems. However, the latter are already bad enough, aren't they?

How can those of us who live in Europe even imagine that the EU will reduce its CO2 emissions with one or another percentage, but at the same time let some of its members go on modernizing their submarine-launched missiles and 'Oceanic' warheads, while others make SOFA agreements with the USA about new military bases and missile defense systems?

What our European politicians say (1) is that our values are so high and our way of life is so superior that they have the right to wipe out as many millions of human beings as they like if needs be. Now that the Cold War between the USA and the USSR has ended, the European WMD are in fact exclusively directed towards the peoples of the global South. They are the purest expression of the European racism and imperialism. As long as those multi-billion (euro) European WMD, dual-purpose space industries (the EADS company, for instance) and missile defense systems continue to be maintained and modernized, we shall hardly be believed, or be able to believe in ourselves, when we speak of "climate justice"!

"All these social, political, economic and ecological issues are closely interrelated. A coherent strategy must therefore address them all, which indeed is the central idea behind the concept of sustainable transition", the draft declaration says. And rightly so.

Therefore, it is also necessary to speak about Europe, and the need to create a real European Union, which is based on the denuclearization of Europe. The European citizens must make a real contribution to the climate (both in the environmental and in the political sense of the word) namely, through unilateral nuclear disarmament. That might eventually kick off the sustainable transition and paradigm shift we are all dreaming of. That would indeed be a real revolution of the particular system of thought, which is criticized in the draft declaration. So, let us reform our "economic man"; however, that will most probably take quite some time. Therefore, as a preliminary step, let's at least strip him of his atomic bombs, which should be possible to achieve within a couple of years.

I am born in a European country, and I live in the part of the world which is called Europe. Therefore, I have to take a particular responsibility for the European nuclear disarmament; this is comparable to the duty in the preceding period of history to combat dictators like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. To some individuals it has been obvious ever since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945 that nuclear disarmament must be a primary task. For others, including the present writer, it took a longer time to understand. I wonder what Lady Ashton, the new foreign minister of the EU, thinks of the matter in these days. "CND was an organisation that democratically marched for what it believed in", she is reported to have said, recently, when she was accused by some British reactionaries for having functioned as the treasurer of the said movement at the beginning av the 1980s. Does Lady Ashton still believe in the necessity to campaign for nuclear disarmament? Or has she betrayed herself and us all?

I hope that Don't Nuke the Climate! will become the slogan which unites all of us who long for another political and economic system.

Greetings from Finland,

- Mikael

Reference:

(1) Cf, for instance, “THE UNITED KINGDOM’S NUCLEAR DETERRENT IN THE 21ST CENTURY”. SPEECH BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE. KING’S COLLEGE LONDON. 25 January 2007. (http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Politics/documents/2007/01/25/Nucleardeterrentspeech.doc)

Mikael Böök * book -at- kaapeli.fi * gsm +358(0)-44 5511 324 * http://www.kaapeli.fi/book/ * http://blogi.kaapeli.fi/book/ * http://blog.spinellisfootsteps.info/