Magazine article USA TODAY

Will Reduced Outlays Improve Environment?

Magazine article USA TODAY

Will Reduced Outlays Improve Environment?

Article excerpt

Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Laureate, believes that the true security of a state depends less on its military than on the quality of life of its people. He feels that the triple challenges of peace, development, and the environment demand immediate action.

Arias travels the globe spreading a message of peace and applying the lessons garnered from the Central American peace process to topics of current global debate. One of his key recommendations for improving global environmental health is international cooperation to reduce military spending.

Moreover, he is a staunch advocate of environmental protection. He calls modern warfare "an environmental catastrophe" and thinks the effects of the global arms trade on the environment are direct and disastrous. For example, military forces are the largest polluters on Earth, responsible in peacetime for more carbon dioxide emissions than any other industry. In addition, conventional arms and light weaponry impose a tremendous burden on the security and well-being of humanity, especially in the developing world, where military spending saps precious resources from development. …

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