Veterans For Peace’s Executive Director, Garett Reppenhagen took action today for climate justice with #FireDrillFriday. The environment has long been a silent casualty of war and armed conflict. If we are going to win on climate, Veterans For Peace knows that we all must make the connections between the environment and militarism.
Climate change and militarism are deeply interconnected issues from airbase water pollution to the effects of Agent Orange to the total destruction of communities. As global temperatures rise, there will only be more ecological disasters, more mass migrations and more wars.
Last week Fire Drill Friday focused specifically on the links between military and climate. However just as climate affects every aspect of our lives, so does war. This week Fire Drill Friday is all about WATER.
Last week Fire Drill Friday focused specifically on the links between military and climate. However just as climate affects every aspect of our lives, so does war. This week Fire Drill Friday is all about WATER. There will be many impacts of climate change, but among the most important are impacts on water resources. The key impacts will be changes in rain and snow, rising temperatures and hence rising demand for water, especially to grow food, worsening water quality, and worse extreme events including floods and droughts that overload systems built for more stable weather patterns–all of which could contribute to increased militarization as the climate becomes more unstable and access to resources are limited. Watch the Teach In: Water Can’t Wait.
Garett highlighted these connections when he spoke at today’s rally. Watch Garett’s speech: (YouTube or Facebook)
“War in general is destructive to our planet in so many ways. In Iraq I saw firsthand total demolition of utility infrastructure. Destroyed plumbing made available clean water scarce and further damage to waste systems contaminated water supplies. The fertile crescent was nurtured by the Tigras and Euphrates Rivers, now too polluted to swim in. Today, precious few can even now count on something so simple as a safe cup of tap water.”
At the end of his speech, Garett shared an experience that many of us can relate to:
“When I came home I became very self destructive. I was a sniper in Iraq and because I perpetuated those crimes I felt a heavy weight of grief and guilt and finding my way into activism started to save my life. Repurposing myself and finding a new identity in the movement to serve this country in an HONEST way and protect my community in a REAL way that allowed me to start healing my moral injury.
If activism can save my soul then activism can save the soul of this country”
Veterans For Peace knows that it is critical to continue making these connections between war and the environment and to stand up for climate justice.
Will you stand with us?
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