War, military spending and the Environment

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by Paul S. Graham

Canada has declared war on the environment. That is the only conclusion one can draw after viewing Tamara Lorincz’s presentation at the most recent annual meeting of Peace Alliance Winnipeg (of which I am a proud member).

In her talk, Tamara discusses the key lessons contained in three reports – the 6th Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Canada’s most recent federal government budget, and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) most recent report on the arms trade.

With the IPCC advising that the planet has to reduce green house gas emissions by almost half by 2030, it seems indisputable that Canada is on the wrong path. Over the past decade, Canadian military spending has increased by 70 per cent. We rank 13th in terms of military spending and Trudeau’s budget commits Canada to spending $55 billion on the military over the next 20 years. According to SIPRI, Canada is the 16th largest seller of arms on Earth.

This is not only a deadly misallocation of resources that could be better spend elsewhere, but war is bloody assault on Mother Earth and all living creatures that are caught in its path.

Tamara’s expertise is indisputable. Tamara is a member of the Canadian Pugwash Group, the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She is on the international board of Global Network Against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space. Tamara was a co-founding member of the Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network (now World Beyond War-Victoria).

Tamara has an LLB/JD and MBA specializing in environmental law and management from Dalhousie University. She is the former Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Environmental Network and co-founder of the East Coast Environmental Law Association. For several years she was on the national board of Ecojustice Canada and the Nova Scotia Minister’s Round Table on Environment and Sustainable Prosperity.

Her research interests are the military’s impacts on the environment and climate change, the intersection of security and peace, gender and international relations, Canadian defence and foreign policy, feminist foreign policy, disarmament, resistance to NATO, and military sexual violence.

Short story: she knows her stuff!

Now is not the time for Canada to increase military spending. We need to work for an end to the war in Ukraine, dial down the China bashing and work for a world in which nations share their wealth and lift each other up.

Please share Tamara’s report widely.

This article was reposted from paulsgraham.ca.

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