Det danske Fredsakademi
Kronologi over fredssagen og international politik 16. August
2012 / Timeline August 16, 2012
15. August 2012, 17. August 2012
Destroying The World For Profit
By John Scales Avery
Does it make sense to destroy the world for the sake of profit or
personal advantage? This is exactly what our governments and
business leaders are doing today. This is what very many ordinary
people are doing. But does it make sense?
Does it make sense to saw off the branch on which you are sitting?
Does it make sense to jockey for a place at the Captain's table on
board an iceberg-struck Titanic?
Whoever contributes to the destruction of the world has to live in
the world that they have destroyed. Perhaps a short-term advantage
can be gained; perhaps a small private Utopia can be created by
acts that harm the general future; but all individual fates will
sink like stones in a deep sea, if society as a whole sinks. There
will be no protection for anyone, if the world as a whole goes to
Our economic system is built on the premise that individuals act
out of self-interest, and as things are today, they do so with a
vengeance.There is no place in the system for thoughts about the
environment and the long-term future. All that matters is the
bottom line. The machine moves on relentlessly, exhausting
non-renewable resources, turning fertile land into deserts, driving
animal species into extinction, felling the last of the world's
tropical rainforests, pumping greenhousue gasses into the
atmosphere, and sponsoring TV programs that deny the reality of
climate change, or other programs that extol the concept of
never-ending industrial growth.
At the moment, there is a particular plan that has a good chance of
completely destroying the world.
The government of Israel, lead by Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud
Barak, seems to be planning to attack Iran militarily, perhaps as
soon as the autumn of 2012, at the height of the US election,
despite opposition from the people of Israel. If this unilateral
attack takes place (violating international law) it will lead to a
general war in the Middle East. Although the consequences of such a
war are unpredictable, it might escalate into a nuclear war, since
the United States would probably support Israel, while Pakistan,
Russia and China might enter the war on the side of Iran. At the
very least, such a war would lead to an great increase in the price
of oil, and thus to a general collapse of the world's financial
system, which is already in deep trouble.
It is certainly not in Israel's interest to attack Iran. As it is
now, Iran seems not to have weaponized it nuclear program, but an
attack by Israel might provoke it to do so. Furthermore, the damage
done by a general war in the Middle East would make life in the
future problematic for all the peoples of the region, including
citizens of Israel.
Should a general war in the Middle East escalate into a nuclear
war, it would be an ecological catastrophe that would affect all
the peoples of the world. Recent studies have shown that in a
nuclear war, the smoke from firestorms in burning cities would rise
to the stratosphere where it would remain for a decade, spreading
throughout the world, blocking sunlight, blocking the hydrological
cycle and destroying the ozone layer. The effect on global
agriculture would be devastating, and the billion people who are
chronically undernourished today would be at risk. Furthermore, the
tragedies of Chernobyl and Fukushima remind us that a nuclear war
would make large areas of the world permanently uninhabitable
because of radioactive contamination.
Our incredibly beautiful world is our common heritage; we must
cherish and protect it. It is the only place where we can live, and
no amount of profit or personal advantage can make the risk of
damaging the earth worthwhile.
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