DVD Launch – Conflict and Climate Change

30th September 2013 - by Fr Denis Carter

ellen-teague-kevin-mayhew-and-bruce-kent
Ellen Teague Kevin Mayhew and Bruce Kent.
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The Movement for the Abolition of War (MAW), in collaboration with Kevin Mayhew Publishing, has produced a new DVD ‘Conflict and Climate Change’.

It will be launched this Wednesday at the headquarters of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in Central London. The DVD and accompanying resource booklet for schools and adult groups – such as Justice and Peace Groups – highlight the danger of climate change leading to conflict at regional and global levels.

The DVD is produced Bob Walters and executive producers Valerie Flessati and Ellen Teague of Columban JPIC. The booklet is written by Ellen Teague with an introduction by MAW Vice President Bruce Kent. Christian groups have given financial support to the DVD production, including Columban JPIC, Jesuit Fund for Social Justice, Religious of the Assumption and the Christian Peace Education Trust.

The DVD is timely in the light of last week’s UN report where Scientists said there will be more extreme weather and rising sea levels as a result of climate change, pointing out that they are 95% certain humans are the dominant cause. The report, from the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change, has prompted renewed calls for global action to control emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.

Several prominent political leaders, scientists and academics voice their concerns on the need to tackle climate change and reduce the risk of conflict and war in the 18-minute DVD. They include former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Saleemul Huq of the International Institute for Environment and Development, Stuart Parkinson of Scientists for Global Responsibility, Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, Indian environmental activist Dr Vandana Shiva, and Mary Colwell, an award winning broadcaster specialising in the natural world.

The DVD and booklet can be used in lessons or discussion groups covering issues such as: ‘Does climate change mean more conflict?’, ‘Is there a military solution to climate change?’ and ‘What can be done to prevent further conflict?’ It is pointed out that civil unrest in Syria started with food price hikes linked to water scarcity and an intensifying and increasingly regular drought cycle. The conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, which broke out in 2003, was stoked by drought and the advancing desert. The DVD calls for sustainable development, and an understanding of security which includes good stewardship of the natural world for the common good.

The launch of the DVD, at the head office of the National Union of Teachers in London on 2 October, will see MAW Vice President Bruce Kent say: “It is highly likely that that the struggle for resources and migration pressure will become more challenging as climate change takes effect. But we must resolve potential conflict by negotiating, not by picking up guns or dropping bombs.”

NUT General Secretary and MAW Vice President Christine Blower, will say at the launch that: “Many children and young people are concerned about climate change. This resource pack gives them some excellent ideas for classroom discussions on how to make sure that the effects of a changing climate aren’t made worse by war and violence.”

The DVD will be launched at 6.00pm on Wednesday October 2 at the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD.

The pack is published by Kevin Mayhew and costs £8.99 (DVD and Booklet) directly from www.kevinmayhew.com/conflict-and-climate-change-book-and-dvd.html or 0845 388 1634

www.abolishwar.org.uk

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