Earthcare not warfare highlights the interconnectedness between human well-being, global peace, and the health of our planet. The concept expands on an older peace slogan, “Healthcare not Warfare”, extending the care principle to the planet itself.
Militarism and extractivism are the twin pillars of colonial exploitation. Wherever militaries invade, ‘resource exploitation’ follows. Where extractivism is contested, militaries will arrive to enforce the exploitation. If extraction is the engine of capital accumulation, militarism is its power source. To turn our way of living around, and avert further climate collapse, both pillars must be dismantled.
We want to bring the peace and climate movements together,
because climate justice depends on climate peace
The concept of Earthcare not Warfare:
- understands the intersectionality of peace with climate well being
- foregrounds the experience of the global majority vis a vis armed repression
- recognises that climate collapse is the genuine security threat
Towards an intersectional global struggle
Earthcare not Warfare is a not so much a campaign as a philosophy, or overall strategic vision, we offer to unite movements for climate peace and justice. We need everyone if we are going to survive ‘global boiling’. We need visions and strategies that speak the realities of the global majority. We cannot achieve climate justice if we do not also disarm the militaries and paramilitaries currently enforcing dispossession and extractivism. Here are some of the many ways militarism presents the same intersectionality as climate destruction:
Arms dealers make billions exporting terror
Weapons sales directly cause immense human suffering. Occupying armies and police forces kill, rape and mutilate human beings and every other species in every part of the world. The arms industry is profiting from the misery of others in the most direct way possible. Weapons companies are literally making a killing.
Weapons turn public wealth into private profit.
A vast majority of traded weapons end up in the hands of state security institutions – armies, navies, police forces etc – and as such are paid for with public money. Hundreds of billions of dollars will be siphoned from working people, via taxes, into the bank accounts of weapons corporations – in the US, the figure runs into trillions. Climate breakdown, ecosystem degradation, forcible extraction, land alienation, famine and war itself form a vicious cycle that harms everybody – except the profit-seeking corporations – and we pay for it.
War causes famine
Weapons cause starvation and famine. Armies intentionally destroy crops and supply systems, starving cities. Occupying armies make it unsafe to farm, alienating farmers from arable land. Forests and waterways become unsafe, so that wild food is no longer available. Long after hostilities have ceased, contaminated soil and water impact food production. Wherever you see famine, there you will find weapons of war.
War creates refugees
War and militarism are what cause people to flee from their homes and seek refuge in other, safer countries. Warfare and persecution by armed forces cause millions of people every year to leave their homes and begin a risky journey into the unknown. After suffering through war, persecution, torture, famine, rape and terror, refugees finally reach ‘safe’ countries like ours, only to find themselves vilified and locked up. Most weapons in the world are exported from ‘safe’ countries like Australia, France, Korea, the UK and, overwhelmingly, the US. Let’s stop weapons exports where they start – right here where we live.
War = peak toxic masculinity
‘Take the toys from the boys’ was a refrain of the Second Wave Feminist movement from Greenham Common through to Pine Gap. Women and children are the most heavily impacted by war and its toxic aftermath. Feminists have pro-actively resisted conscription, militarization and the arms trade since Australian women successfully opposed the draft in World War One. Today, West Papuan (and millions more) women uphold this centuries-old resistance to the toxic masculinity of war when they assert their right to give birth to and raise children free from the threat of murder by the military.
Saya tidak melahirkan anak saya untuk menjadi sasaran TNI .
I didn’t birth my child to be a military target.
All humans will be better off when we can separate masculinity and manhood from weapons and violence.
War is a carbon bomb
The climate breakdown and emissions caused by weapons are appalling; the US military is the highest institutional carbon emitter in the world. Weapons have a massive carbon footprint, both in the manufacturing phase and in their deployment. Weapons are burning our planet, both with actual ‘firepower’ and with greenhouse gases.
Weapons devastate wildlife and ecosystems
Tanks, missiles, jets, bombs, grenades and chemical agents rip out forests, destroy ecosystems, pollute waterways and maim wildlife. The toxic waste warfare leaves behind can contaminate soil and water for decades.
Weapons are a waste product
There are no ‘eco-friendly’ weapons. The arms industry creates 100% waste products – products designed to destroy and to be destroyed. Warfare is the opposite of sustainable; it is the ultimate waste industry. Weapons are manufacture to lay waste and to be waste.
Weapons enforce resource extraction
Weapons in the hands of public and private security agencies enforce resource extraction, providing corporations with the coercive force they need in order to log rainforests, dig coal, frack farmland and burn the earth for palm oil.
Weapons enforce dispossession
Armed soldiers and police ensure that private corporations can ‘invest’ and extract against the will and without the consent of sovereign peoples. People who resist extractive projects are frequently murdered or arrested by security forces. Sovereign people lose access to the material and cultural means of survival and become outcast, alienated, dispossessed and impoverished.
Repression of resistance
Whether we live in a ‘safe’ country or in a war zone, the weapons traded by the rich and powerful will ultimately point at us. Police forces around the world are increasingly militarized, meaning that they use military grade weapons, uniforms, vehicles and surveillance technology. Weapons are used to suppress civil society movements with disturbing regularity, from tear gas and water cannons through to machine guns and sniper rifles.We have seen the police in Chile and Colombia aiming rubber bullets at people’s eyes, blinding many. At least 25 West Papuan civilians were killed by the army and police in 2023, on suspicion of being ‘separatists’. Two of those killed were under 12 years old. The Amazon is a particularly dangerous place to be an environmental activist, as is the Philippines, while Australia and the US are dangerous places to be black. There is no safety where there are heavily armed soldiers and police. Whoever and wherever we are, those weapons are meant for us.