Conversion Campaign Aims To Turn BIW Toward Halting Climate ChangeStatewide groups will gather to call on Bath Iron Works to shift its industrial power to addressing climate change at a news conference for the Conversion Campaign on June 21. The conference will take place at 11:00 am in the Portland Public Library, Room 3.Environmental, faith, labor and social justice leaders will be on hand to share their views on conversion, including Nickie Sekera of Community Water Justice and Barry Dana, past Chief of the Penobscot Nation.Dana commented, “War will soon be seen by all as a waste of time. We will soon be too consumed with basic survival due to our climate no longer providing life.”He went on to say, “Our actions of CO2 emissions, of which the military is the largest emitter, along with the millions of people flying, buying goods transported thousands of miles all in the interest of profit margins, comfortable life styles and feeding the rich, will no longer be possible.”“Survival will consume our every thought and action. Is this the world we want to leave to our grandchildren?”A 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report has projected at least a six inch sea level rise by 2050.Bruce Gagnon of Brunswick, a member of Veterans for Peace (VFP) said, “Our real security needs as a nation are to urgently address climate change and plan for sea level rise that is already underway. How will this affect BIW’s shipyard in Bath?”“Continuing to build expensive, provocative and polluting weapon systems like Aegis destroyers ignores climate change as the biggest threat to our collective safety.”Gagnon has helped organize protests at BIW for the past several years. In 2018 he fasted for 37 days to oppose a tax giveaway by the state of Maine to BIW owner General Dynamics.“Endorsing the Conversion Campaign addresses these truths and provides a rational lens through which to see an apocalyptic reality,” says Dud Hendrick of VFP, one of a dozen organizations sponsoring the BIW Conversion Campaign.“The absolute imperative of conversion is all the more undeniable to us in Maine, having the longest coastline in the nation. And, a widely predicted collapse of the lobster fishery in Maine waters due to the associated rising water temperatures would be cataclysmic in every conceivable respect for my home town of Deer Isle.”“Conversion” should influence every decision our Congressional delegates make in the conduct of their work as our representatives,” concluded Hendrick.
See Brown University’s definitive 2017 study, “Job Opportunity Cost of War” by Heidi Peletier
Organizations sponsoring the Conversion Campaign: Americans Who Tell the Truth, Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST), Durham Quaker Meeting, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Island Peace & Justice, Maine Natural Guard, Maine Veterans for Peace, Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center, Midcoast Peace & Justice Group, Pax Christi Maine, Peace Action Maine, Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, Peace & Justice Group of Waldo County, PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick, Peninsula Peace & Justice and 350 Maine.
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