16 November

Following the recent Salafist-Jihadi terrorist attacks in Paris the leaders of the environmental movement are now reported to discuss whether it is wise to go on as planned with the large international demonstrations around the UN climate conference in that city on 30 November and 11 December 2015.

I really hope that the civic movements will not become paralyzed. A similar situation arose last winter before the World Social Forum in Tunis. A few days before the international big meeting had Salafists shot dead at least 20 tourists at the Bardo Museum. This violence certainly got many participants to thinking twice before departure to Tunis.

Fortunately most participants continued their thinking and drew the correct conclusion: if we stay at home, we recognize that violence is fruitful and efficient and thus, tat the Salafis have chosen the right method. And so the World Social Forum in Tunis 2015 had a great many participants and became a success despite the recently-concluded terror attacks.

If civic activists and movements let themselves become intimidated into retreat and passivity they will only fall in the hands of their opponents, these governments, which hardly can avoid to turn the climate conference in Paris into yet another fiasco. Because these governments, like the terrorists, prioritize violence as problem solving method. Just look at the French government's bombing raids in Syria in response to the recent shootings and suicide attacks in Paris!

The United Nations was founded "to save future generations from the scourge of war." In a few days, the UN is to deal with another plague, i.e. climate change. This can succeed only if citizens take courage and adopt a strategy, which addresses both these problems together.

17 November

''"This movement for climate justice has always also been a movement for peace--a way for people around the world to come together, no matter their background or religion, and fight to protect our common home."''

As happy as I am about the decision of the Climate Coalition to go on with its planned peaceful actions in Paris despite the recent terrorist actions there, I still do not share your conviction that "this movement for climate justice has always also been a movement for peace."

If you can pardon me for this disagreement, I am, however, ready to agree that this movement is close to becoming a real movement for peace.

The first thing we see today on the Facebook-page of the climate coalition is the logogram for solidarity with the victims of the terrorists in Paris; I mean the logo which combines the nuclear disarmament symbol (originally designed for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CND) with the Eiffel tower.


My point is that, in addition to expressing solidarity with the victims of terror, this symbol should symbolize a common demand for European Nuclear Disarmament. And that the climate movement ought to say so, clear and loud!

Does this require too much? Should we focus on "the climate crisis" now, and take up the issue of world peace later? Would the nuclear disarmament priority lead to a fragmentation of the movement for climate justice?

I hope you do not hesitate to give a negative answer to these questions. The general argument in support of the view that the climate movement ought to demand nuclear disarmament (without conditions) could be summarized as follows: The armies burn more oil than many nations. Wars in the Middle East are motivated in large part by a desire to control and profit from much greater amounts of fossil fuels. The continuing nuclear arms race (nowadays often disguised with the label of "modernisation") creates a serious climate threat. Those who do not count in the armament billions and war budgets in the climate equation will never solve it.

Consider, for instance, the probability of a "nuclear winter", following upon even upon a nuclear war that would be limited in scale. But then, could a war where France would launch its nuclear strike force against an enemy, remain limited? And, just to illustrate the mention of the billions spent on armaments, of wich the nuclear armaments are only like the top of the iceberg, take, for example, the French M51-missile.

But the present situation, after the most recent incidents of Salafist-Jihadi terrorism in Paris, also urgently require the climate movement to become an outspoken defender of disarmament and peace.

The temptation is great to agree with the reasoning that, in this case, we have to accept the use of air raids and bombs, and that, from now on, it is necessary to utterly destroy the IS by violent means. However, I tend to agree, instead, with the reasoning of Pierre Conesa, a former senior civil servant at the Department of Defence and lecturer at Sciences Po, when he says, in a recent interview: "The more we get stuck in a military logic, the more attacks we will face." (Read MiddleEastEye's interview Interview with Pierre Conesa: 'We've declared war first in the Middle East' ".)

The French general and military theorist Vincent Desportes, in his statement to the commission for foreign policy and defence of the Sanate in December 2014, argued that France should not deepen its military engagement in the fight against the Daech (ISIS). "Daech delenda est" (Daech must be destroyed, for sure) he confirmed, and added: "action is needed, but who is to act?"

Thereafter, he presented the following analysis:

''Quel est le docteur Frankenstein qui a créé ce monstre ? Affirmons-le clairement, parce que cela a des conséquences : ce sont les Etats-Unis. Par intérêt politique à court terme, d'autres acteurs - dont certains s'affichent en amis de l'Occident - d'autres acteurs donc, par complaisance ou par volonté délibérée, ont contribué à cette construction et à son renforcement. Mais les premiers responsables sont les Etats-Unis. Ce mouvement, à la très forte capacité d'attraction et de diffusion de violence, est en expansion. Il est puissant, même s'il est marqué de profondes vulnérabilités. Il est puissant mais il sera détruit. C'est sûr. Il n'a pas d'autre vocation que de disparaître.'' (link to source)

If General Desportes is right in his opinion that the ISIS is a creation of the USA, and that its mission is to disappear when it has done its job-and I believe he is-then we have a double reason not to support the air strikes and the bombings. Firstly, we are a citizens movement, and as such, airstrikes and bombings should not be our business; secondly, let the monster be killed by those who created it.

And remember this universal slogan, made in USA:

"Cut the military, save the climate."(link to source)

17 November, afternoon

Today, we have learned that France requests military help from the other EU states. Time to remember Altiero Spinelli, the author of the Memorandum sull'esercito europeo, arguing for a European federation and the creation of a common European army. But that was back in 1951, when the European Defence Community (EDC) was still on the table. Ironically, "the EDC went for ratification in the French National Assembly on 30 August 1954, and failed by a vote of 319 against 264."

To be honest, I think it is already too late. But we should always say: "Perhaps it is not too late!" Moreover, we must continue to act as if things were that way.

Nuclear disarmament, however, is an either-or issue, perhaps one of the very few issues that really are of that kind. Either one of the existing nuclear weapons states -France, for example-unilaterally proceeds to abolishing those weapons, thereby opening the Exit door for the rest of us, or... well, the alternative is "Exterminism." (See E.P.Thompson, "Notes on Exterminism, the Last Stage of Civilization", New Left Review I/121, May-June 1980.)