The news program “Democracy Now!” spent one hour with the world-renowned linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky. He talked with Amy Goodman about climate change, nuclear weapons, North Korea, Iran, the war in Syria and the Trump administration’s threat to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and his new book, “Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power.”
These are a few sentences from Noam Chomsky:
“John Kasich said, “Yes, it’s true. Global warming’s going on. But it doesn’t matter.” He’s the governor of Ohio. “In Ohio, we’re going to go on using coal for energy, and we’re not going to apologize for it.” So that’s 100 percent commitment to racing towards disaster… But it’s not just—it’s not simply climate change. That’s bad enough. But there’s another huge specter that we’re kind of trying to survive under, and that’s nuclear war. That’s a whole other story. Here, both the Obama administration and, increasingly, Trump are radically increasing that danger. This—the threat of the new developments is captured very effectively in the best, simple monitor of the state of the world, established at the beginning of the nuclear age by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. I’m sure you all know about this, but the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists regularly brings together a group of scientists, political analysts, other very serious people, to try to give some kind of estimate of what the situation of the world is. The question is: How close are we to termination of the species? And they have a clock, the Doomsday Clock. When it hits midnight, we’re finished. End of the human species and much else. And the question every year is: How far is the minute hand from midnight?
Well, at the beginning, in 1947, beginning of the nuclear age, it was placed at seven minutes to midnight. It’s been moving up and back ever since. The closest it’s come to midnight was 1953. 1953, the United States and Russia both exploded hydrogen bombs, which are extremely serious threat to survival. Intercontinental ballistic missiles were all being developed. This, in fact, was the first serious threat to the security of the United States. There’s an interesting story behind that, but I’ll put it aside, unless there’s time to talk about it. But then, it came to two minutes to midnight. And it’s been moving up and back since.
Two years ago—2014, I think it was—the analysts took into account for the first time something that had been ignored: the fact that the nuclear age—the beginning of the nuclear age coincided with the beginning of a new geological epoch, the so-called Anthropocene. There’s been some debate about the epoch in which human activity is drastically affecting the general environment. There’s been debate about its inception. But the World Geological Organization has recently determined that it’s about the same time as the beginning of the nuclear age. So we’re in these two eras in which the possibility of human survival is very much at stake, and, with us, everything else, too, of course, all living—most living things, which are already under very severe threat. Well, a couple of years ago—I think it was 2014—the Bulletin began to take that into account and moved the minute hand up to three minutes to midnight, where it remained last year.
A couple of—about a week into Trump’s term, the clock was moved again, to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight. That’s the closest it’s been since 1953. And that means extermination of the species is very much an—very much an open question. I don’t want to say it’s solely the impact of the Republican Party—obviously, that’s false—but they certainly are in the lead in openly advocating and working for destruction of the human species. I agree that’s a very outrageous statement. So I therefore simply suggest that you take a look at the facts and see if it has any merit or if it just should be bitterly condemned. That’s up to you. My view, the facts are pretty clear…”
This new Infographics shows recently published SIPRI data on global military spending during 2016 in a visual way.
Click on the image to download the high quality pdf version of the Infographics:
There are plenty of reasons to renew, once again and for the 7th year running, our call for a cut in military spending (based upon SIPRI data), so that the world can move a little closer to the human security approach that would better serve humanity.
The Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) is an international campaign promoted by the International Peace Bureau. The aim of the campaign is to press governments to invest money in the sectors of health, education, employment and climate change, rather than the military. GCOMS includes the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), which in its 7th edition includes over 70 different actions in more than 20 countries, as listed on the CGOMS webpage.
According to the updated 2016 military spending data, published recently by SIPRI, world military expenditure has increased in 2016 by 0.4% in real terms, and is now estimated at roughly $ 1686 billion.
Kazakhstan renewed its call for a cut in global military spending on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) in an April 24 statement published by the country’s Foreign Ministry.
The statement starts with an affirmation that the world has entered a new and troubling era, with tensions and conflicts, suspicions and competition increasing between major powers. This, in turn, is leading to a new arms race and a greater use of force to defend national interests and expand spheres of influence.
Kazakhstan, therefore, supports such international initiatives as the GDAMS, saying that they are more important than ever. Launched in 2011, its aim is to encourage countries to reduce military spending, which, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), reached $1.7 trillion in 2015.
“Since independence 25 years ago, Kazakhstan has championed the cause of peace, co-operation and disarmament. Our own devastating experiences led us to give up voluntarily the world’s fourth biggest nuclear arsenal and shut down the Semipalatinsk test site. President Nazarbayev has urged the international community to make building ‘a world without nuclear weapons the main goal of mankind in the 21st century’,” the statement reads.
In his manifesto “The World. The 21st Century,” Nazarbayev also called for measures to eliminate the use of force as a means of settling disputes. Reducing military expenditure from its present high levels would be a step towards this goal and would help ease tensions and the dangerous competition between military blocks.
Kazakhstan also believes that a reduction in military budgets could release funds to tackle hunger and extreme poverty and build a fairer, more prosperous and stable world. These are the aims of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were agreed to by the international community in 2015.
And… visit the interactive SIPRI World Map on Military Spending:
According to the updated 2016 military spending data, published today by SIPRI, world military expenditure has increased in 2016 by 0.4% in real terms, and is now estimated at roughly $ 1686 billion. The top 10 spenders in 2016 have been the USA (with a small increase over 2015), China (showing a significant increase), Russia (a moderate increase), Saudi Arabia… Read more!
There are plenty of reasons to renew, once again and for the 7th year running, our call for a cut in military spending (based upon SIPRI data), so that the world can move a little closer to the human security approach that would better serve humanity. The Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) is an international campaign promoted by the International Peace Bureau. The aim of the campaign is to press governments to invest money in the sectors of health, education, employment and climate change, rather than the military. GCOMS includes the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), which in its 7th edition includes over 93 different actions in more than 22 countries.
Instead of a military budget, we need a Global Social Budget to address the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Instead of munitions industries and the militarization of borders, we should respond to the present humanitarian crisis with a budget to secure and promote human rights. We need to involve citizens and organisations more actively in an open and robust debate to challenge the counter-productive results of military expenditure. More than ever, we welcome new partners to work on the ongoing Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS), and to make the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) a great success!