November 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to the November 24, 2015 edition of this Peace/Justice action email!

This newsletter contains two topics of note.  The first is a brief comment on the recent Paris terrorist attacks.

The second topic contains a global action for November 29 and is why the newsletter must go out now.  The overall topic is the upcoming world Climate Change conference in Paris.  While this newsletter has touched on the climate issue several times, the complexity of the topic itself is beyond the scope to address.  No one can predict accurately what impact humanity will have on our climate (due primarily to carbon dioxide emissions, as well as methane, etc.).  But the overwhelming consensus leans heavily toward a negative long-term impact if emissions are not reduced.  Long before such a consensus (though noting it is not scientific unanimity) this newsletter voiced a stance of using the Precautionary Principle, whereby the greater the risk, the greater the need to fall on the side of caution (and thus in this case to take mitigating action).  The blog link, below, was created particularly for issues such as this, that gives rise to many perspectives and thoughts – so please feel free to share respectfully your views.

Also included are articles on the recent Myanmar elections and such topics as antibiotics concerns.

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Pour la traduction française: cliqueter ici; et cliqueter alors le bouton de traduction sur la page Web.
Para la traducción española: clic aquí; y entonces hace clic en el botón de traducción en la página web.

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GLOBAL CLIMATE MARCH (NOVEMBER 29!)

Global climate change talks take place in Paris, November 30 – December 11.  While many people do not feel that substantial progress will be made, a signal of grassroots support – in the form of a global march – is a critical component to show that a large constituency for such change exists.

Paris was going to be the centerpiece of the Global Climate Change march, which will take place around the world on Sunday November 29.   However the Paris rally was cancelled due to the recent terrorist attacks.

Thus it becomes more essential that people around the world bring a strong, vibrant voice supporting a robust action plan on climate change!  Please consider attending by checking the link below (thus far over 2300 events worldwide)

Find An Event Near You:
http://globalclimatemarch.org/en/
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/event/globalclimatemarch/?blog

Add Your Name to the Global List:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_the_date_nov29_loc/?cl=8930374888&v=68264

 

 

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BRIEF REFLECTION ON PARIS ATTACK

For the Western world, the Paris terrorist attacks were extremely jarring.  They also evoked wide sympathy for all those affected by such a senseless loss of innocent lives.  I will defer analysis here – the attacks have already resulted in a massive stream of commentaries.

Instead I will simply voice a hope based on the “well-being of all.”   Such senseless loss is rightly an affront to one’s sense of humanity.  The hope is simply that everyone might use the above sense of sympathy to expand or refresh our sense “of all”.

It is hard to break through the typical narrow news that comes to us and recognize how tragically prevalent such loss is encountered through various forms of barbarism.  For instance using our longitudinal study, on a typical day (Nov. 22) in Darfur two children and others were burned to death in a militia raid while in a separate militia attack six women were raped.

May we continue to expand our sense of who is affected by any senseless loss of life.  And may it lead us to advocate for solutions better grounded in the well-being of all and thus less susceptible to any influence of undue fear-based reactions.

 

 

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SAVE INDONESIA’S FOREST AND PEOPLE’S HEALTH

Most environmental issues impact several other domains.  In this case people are burning areas of rainforest and peatland so they can grow palm oi and for paper products.  This impacts climate change both in the release of CO2 and for the peatland, methane which has a 100-fold greater impact.  It also destroys the habitat of some endangered species. The smoke and smog also affects the farmers’ health. Plus mono-culture farming is the worst on the ecosystem and least sustainable.  For all these reasons please consider sending a letter to Indonesia’s President and the CEOs of the companies in question to tell them to stop such destructive practices.

Take action:
Tell Indonesian President and CEOs to end crisis  [Greenpeace]

Background:
Effect of Palm Oil production in Indonesia

 

 

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=== FOLLOW-UP TO PREVIOUS ISSUES ===
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Burma (Myanmar) Elections Provide Hopeful Direction

The November 8 elections resulted in a landslide for the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, even though she is barred from being president.  As noted earlier there has been a hopeful shift in the last couple of years.  Now begin the delicate dance among Suu Kyi, the newly elected representative and the military who retain control over security and have a fixed minimum 25% of the seats.  The path exists for a better country overall.  It may be quite uneven since for instance Suu Kyi has ignored the plight of the Rohingya, though it is not known if that is a terrible blind spot or political calculus that such an embrace would be one step too far.

https://www.hrw.org/blog-feed/burma-elections-2015

 

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=== ARTICLES OF INTEREST ===
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The Future of Conflict:

On the 20th anniversary of the International Crisis Group they have produced a set of 20 articles about the future of conflict by significant world leaders and thinkers.  It can provide nothing more than interesting glimpses including “The Failures of Democracy”, “Globalistan’s Challenges”, and “Faith in Islam & Faith in Women: Why Gender Justice is Key to an Islam Without Extreme”.  To further enliven this set, it should be noted that some counter critiques would name some of the authors as part of the problem not the solution.
https://medium.com/the-future-of-conflict

 

Serious Alarm: World Running Out of Antibiotics

A recent Lancet report has raised serious alarm about a turning point where our top antibiotics will no longer work.  In short an infection could become lethal.  The basic concern, echoed for decades, has been the overuse of antibiotics, particularly in animals and in not keeping antibiotics for animals and humans separate.

Our last current top antibiotic – colistin – now has a mutation that renders it ineffective and is easily spread.  It is in Southeast Asia and is spreading.  While science may come up with another answer, leading scientists depict a highly troubling future of staying ahead of superbugs, and of doctors having to simply say to patients with an infection, “There is nothing more I can do.”
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34857015

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