Peace and the Environment

Peace and the Environment

Congratulations to FoE FNQ member Margie Pestorius who recently won the Local Agent for Peace Award from the Rotary Peace Centre of Queensland University. Here she writes about her peace work and how it relates to environmental protection.


"There is such a connection between stopping militarism and stopping climate disaster."

Here are three important connections:

  1. It's the threat of guns and bombs and terror from the military that keeps everybody doing what they are told: consenting and obeying this crazy system.
  2. The people with the military equipment and training enforce the extraction of fossil fuels for the companies. So if First Nations people say "No! No, you can't deforest my land. You can't rob my soils and steal the coal or gold or copper!" then those people are terrorised by the military or the militarised police.
  3. This already happened in this country to First Nations peoples - that's why people are scared to stand up.

'These are the most IMPORTANT connections between climate and militarism, I think. But there are more OBVIOUS connections .

  1. The US military are the biggest users of fossil fuels.
  2. The US military's and other military operation's carbon is not even counted in the Kyoto agreements and multi national agreements on climate. Yet they are equal to a whole country's emissions. If they were a country, they would be the 49th biggest carbon emitter. (Ref:
  3. The US military are massive poisoners and killers of ecosystems: agricultural land, rivers and destroyers of urban environments. ( Ref:

'I work on a campaign with West Papuan friends. West Papuan people know what they want on their land and have a huge nonviolence movement. Their land is being deforested and Indonesian Police and military are killing people - terrorising people so they can continue to take control of their land for the corporations. Like Aboriginal people they are perfectly capable of organising their rich resources in the way they want.  They are trying to stop the corporations stealing their resources and deforesting their lands. It makes sense that they control what they can. We are working to support West Papuans who have asked Australians to stop supplying Indonesia with weapons. '

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This article was first published in The Kuranda Paper.