Dr Rosalie Bertell, 'Planet Earth The Latest Weapon of War: A Critical Study into the Military and the Environment'

IssueJune - August 2001
Review by Theresa Wolfwood

Dr Bertell believes it is vital for peace workers to be responsible for communicating knowledge, in every way possible, and also to be willing to seek out information, particularly from those most affected by policies and events. This book is a major contribution to this important exchange.

In Planet Earth, the internationally respected scientist states that the most urgent problem facing humanity really is how to sustain Earth, our life-support system. She goes on to say that we need to find a new model of global organisation, not based on force, in a world of hard and unbending capitalism.

She begins with a detailed and devastating analysis of the wars of the last ten years of the 20th century. In Part II she provides an acute scientific basis for the madness of war and the destruction that science, harnessed to the military, is planning for us and our world. She discusses so-called natural disasters that are linked to human-caused climate change, the “down-to-earth problems with Star Wars”, and the environmental crises spawned by war-making.

She examines the economic fallacy of the military providing jobs and prosperity. There is detail and fact here enough to convince any concerned citizen, particularly those who see saving the environment as a separate struggle, that the work of peace, economic justice and ecology is one struggle.

Dr Bertell argues that security will be achieved through the protection and responsible stewardship of the earth, calling this “ecological security”, based on a complex multi-faceted approach to the world's problems. Realising this vision is a big job and requires multi-faceted solutions Dr Bertell has many insights and ideas on how to create this solution. citing, in particular, the need to alter the core belief of military security.

This book is full of examples and ideas, a book to treasure and for repeated reference.

Topics: Green, War and peace
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