The Broken Rifle

Issue number
Environment, climate, and militarism

“We knew that this decision has been announced in light of heightened tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, but we thought it was the right thing and so I made the decision to move forward with it”, told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at a press conference this last September, on the decision to lift the 1987 US arms embargo on Cyprus.

What can a feminist lens bring to our understanding of war and to climate change? And, more importantly perhaps, in what ways can feminism help us respond?

Unbridled exploitation of nature brings with it socio-environmental impact, violation of rights, expropriation of land and violence. One of the most aggressive activities affecting the environment, people’s bodies and territories, is mining extractivism.

Faced with this "catastrophic convergence", when considering climate change, the “elephant in the room” is the military apparatus with all its institutional and private affiliated corporations... It follows that the fight against climate change happens if no more wars are prepared, and that it cannot be done without coherent disarmament policies based on nonviolence.

In peace times as in war times, environmental damage occurs due to activity and the very existence of armies.