COMMENT 20 June 2015
Refugee week and another mass shooting in the USA
Refugee week brings to our attention once again the plight of refugees across the world. There are now some 60 million refugees. That’s an increase of 8 million in the last 12 months – the largest annual increase on record. Refugees are mostly displaced by armed conflict, or by the persecution associated with it. It is a blight on our species that in this day and age, where we have unprecedented access to information and to amazingly clever and beneficial technology, we allow our international security to be governed by primitive and damaging technology – by bullets and explosives.
This same week, in Charleston USA, nine people were killed by another disturbed civilian. The vast majority of American citizens wish for better controls on guns, but for whatever reason allow their politicians to be faced down by a relatively small but highly resourced gun lobby.
We have the knowledge. We don’t yet seem able to apply it.
If you haven’t seen it, here’s Nina Paley’s excellent animation of the history of lethal warfare in the Middle East:
This Land of Mine… (3min 30sec)
2015 – THE YEAR OF CLEAN GREEN NONLETHAL TECHNOLOGY IN WAR
2015 is the Year of Committing to Nonlethal Technology in War. Lethal weapons – like fossil fuels – are becoming obsolete. Weapons cause huge grief and quite often they don’t resolve conflict. ‘Clean green’ nonlethal technology will ensure peace across the world without killing people. Just as we’re changing from burning coal and oil to sustainable ways of generating energy we can start to move from bullets and bombs to devices which keep us safe but don’t kill. During 2015 we must start making the move to a new nonlethal technology of war.
1915 – the Centenary of Gallipoli – also saw the start of World War One’s industrial scale slaughter by rifles, machine guns and artillery: over 100,000 dead at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, over 420,000 at the Battle of Loos and nearly 120,000 at Gallipoli, including some 8,000 Australians.
In the century since then the weapons of war have become ever more deadly. There is less ‘major’ warfare at present, but the ongoing lethal conflict in the Middle East puts us at risk of a nuclear war, triggered by terrorists or failed states.
In this Centenary Year, we need a commitment by nations around the world to begin the serious development of nonlethal technologies which can protect us from aggression and ensure peace and justice without death and injury.
(See Media Release http://www.tamingwar.com/media-releases)
APRIL 2015 NEWSLETTER
The April 2015 Nonlethal Security for Peace Campaign Newsletter is now out.
AIMS of the NONLETHAL SECURITY FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN:
The overall purpose of the Nonlethal Security for Peace Campaign is to reduce the damage of war, specifically to:
- Reduce death and injury in warfare by promoting the use of non-damaging technology in conflict resolution
- Influence peace-keeping agencies (such as the UN) to move progressively from lethal to non-lethal weaponry
- Subsequently influence defence forces in nations around the world to make the same transformation to non-lethal defence
- Over the course of time, change world culture from lethal to non-lethal conflict resolution, with the result that the nuclear weapons that threaten our species will finally be eliminated
- By removing lethality from conflict resolution, help to lower the overall level of violence in society, promoting a more peaceful and just world.
TWO GOALS of the NONLETHAL SECURITY FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN
One day, except as curios, guns designed for killing people will be illegal
(Sporting guns – for responsible shooters – will be OK)
Explosives will only be used in mining, engineering and fireworks.
Comment at 14 November 2014
Just a day or two ago the Philae space probe landed on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The technology that achieved this is quite astounding. The Rosetta module had to journey over seven billion kilometres around the solar system, with a scheduled period of hibernation, before it was finally able to rendezvous with the comet and launch Philae.
If humans can successfully design and manage such a system, surely they can easily design technology to constrain international aggressors without killing them. In comparison to Rosetta/Philae nonlethal security should be a piece of cake.
8th EUROPEAN SYMPOSIUM on NON-LETHAL WEAPONS
The 8th European Symposium on Non-Lethal Weapons is scheduled for May 18-20 2015 at its usual location in Ettlingen, Germany. The theme for the symposium will be ‘obstacles still faced in fielding non-lethal technologies’. The closing date for abstracts is October 6th 2014. For the conference brochure go to www.non-lethal-weapons.com .
INTERESTED IN THE CAMPAIGN?
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