July 2, 2008

Turning Weapons into Windmills

The Spring 2008 edition of the Simultaneous Policy newsletter has a policy supplement. This lists the policy suggestions that have been submitted and survived the annual rounds of voting so far. There are also some new suggestions (including one of mine which I'll write about another time).

Space is given in the newsletter to issues or policies gaining a high proportion of support in annual voting rounds. In this policy supplement there are a couple of guest articles on the theme of peace and disarmament. As it is the nature of SP to prompt cross-cutting ideas, the issue of climate change is linked in by one of the authors.

The theme of the supplement is: Turning Weapons into Windmills.

Nuclear disarmament received 61% support. The proposal referred people to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) website for further information. For further details and discussion, see the board dedicated to it at:

The CND site is promoting a proposed Nuclear Weapons Convention, which was launched by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in 2007. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was launched at the same time to promote adoption of the Convention.

Marion Birch of Medact - the UK member of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War - writes about the Convention and campaign in the policy supplement. Those who are in favour of the Convention could also promote it to Simultaneous Policy Adopters to add substance to the nuclear disarmament proposal and provide a parallel route for gaining publicity and support. If Adopters vote to keep it in the process then implementation of the Simultaneous Policy could see the Convention introduced more quickly than by other means.

The other proposal given space in the policy supplement is for a 'Defensive Defence Policy', which gained 54% last time around. See:

The proposer, Barbara Panvel, gives an update and references other sources of information, including a briefing called 'Oceans of Work' by
Dr Steven Schofield.

She writes:

It was good to see Defensive Defence included as a Simultaneous Policy proposal in 2007 and to see that 54% of voters liked the suggestion and hoped it would be developed further - enough to keep it ‘in play’ but far below the front-runner, which was Contraction and Convergence with 80% of the votes.

Dr Steven Schofield also felt that, “Global warming is an emergency far greater than any other we have faced. This is the real war and it is the one we are losing.” He pointed out that sufficient resources to construct a postcarbon economy would be available if major industrial powers co-ordinate a programme of arms conversion on an international scale.

The illustration included in the supplement suggests this would make it possible to turn weapons into windmills.

You can download it by clicking:

Whether you agree with these proposals or not, you can join in the policy discussion and voting, sign up as a Simultaneous Policy Adopter on the site of the organisation that promotes the campaign (Simpol).

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