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Workshop: Advancing the Right to Health on a Sick Planet

May 14, 2011 - May 15, 2011
Iowa City, Iowa

Advancing the Right to Health on a Sick Planet
Redefining Security & the Role of Militarization within a Changing Climate

SAVE THE DATE:  Septermber 9-11, 2011 for the upcoming Symposium

The May 2011 Workshop was successfully held as part of planning for the upcoming
September 9-11, 2001 Symposium

The September Symposium will be held in Nebraska City, NE at the Lied Conference Center

Full Symposium description and registrations information coming soon.

Registration for the May Workshop is closed

Registration Fees

Professional / Academic $50
General Public $35
Students $20

This workshop was the kickoff event setting the stage for a multi-year cross-disciplinary project to develop tools, talking points, and educational materials to help stem the dangerous impacts of militarism on our imperiled global environment.  The project organizers feel an urgent need to direct human energies to a more sustainable, secure and healthy future.  The next stage is the September 9-11, 2011 Symposium that will be held in Nebraska City, Nebraska at the Lied Conference Center.  The larger project will evaluate the ways military policy and its resulting actions, in times of peace as well as in times of war, degrade the environment, contribute to our dangerously changing climate, and thus in turn degrade the human right to health, often severely.

The May workshop, initiated the call for an original examination and evaluation of the intersections between militarization and global health, particularly as militarization impacts harshly on the environment both locally and globally.  Participants in the workshop did:

  • Elucidate and evaluate the likely impacts of militarization on the degraded environment and changing climate.  To date the carbon footprint of military actions has been intentionally exempted from scientific analysis and thus this vitally important line of inquiry has been overlooked by essentially all mainstream environmental scientists;
  • Identify data gaps and areas needed to further needed evaluation/research;
  • Help to advance development and distribution of a white paper cum annotated literature review exploring this original social and scientific line of inquiry.

The format of the workshop included both plenary panels featuring respected experts exploring key questions followed by breakout working groups.  The workshop was open to the public and public comments were sought during plenary panels and breakout groups.

This workshop was sponsored by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, the Iowa Chapter Physicians for Social Responsibility, and interested student groups. 

Further information on the May Workshop can be obtained by mail from the  Iowa PSR office 20 East Market St. Room 200, Iowa City 52245 or to the UICHR office 1120 UCC University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.  Also you may, contact Liz Crooks ( 319-335-3900) at the Center for Human Rights or Dr. Maureen McCue ( 319-828-4789) at Iowa PSR.

Workshop Program

Sat May 14

9:00 - 9:15 AM Opening, Welcoming Comments
John Rachow PhD MD President National PSR; Amy Weisman JD Deputy Director UI Center for Human Rights

9:15 - 9:30 AM Introduction to White Paper & Workshop Process
Maureen McCue MD PhD

9:30 - 10:00 AM

Setting the Stage, Reviewing the Urgency
Health and Human Rights Challenges of Global Climate & Environmental Degradation

Andrew Jorgenson, Professor Sociology, Salt Lake City Utah

10:00 – 10:45 AM Plenary Panel #1

Constraining Militarism on a Resource Constrained Planet:
Prioritizing Health & Survival

Speaker: Greg Foster Professor National Defense University

10:45 - 11:30 AM First Breakouts—choose one to discuss the following suggested organizing questions:
a.   Conveners:  Greg Foster
What is our vision of the role of militaries in a resource challenged future? What is a reasonable size/role for militaries moving forward?
b.   Conveners:  Maureen McCue
How do we change frames for “Peace Making” to environmental and survival reasons from the thus far failed efforts for ethical, moral or economic reasons?
c.   Conveners:  Mackenzie Magnus, Elliot Adams
How do we begin to prioritize nonviolent responses to increasingly complex global problems? 

11:30 - 11:45 AM Short Reports from Breakouts – Contributions to White Paper

11:45 - 1:00 PM Lunch in Room 2520 D Mix and Mingle
Please bring your own table service as we tread lightly on the environment!

1:00 - 1:45 PM Plenary Panel #2

Calling for an Accounting: Determining the Global Military Environmental Impact

Speakers: Dot Sulock Founder & Director Nonproliferation Institute UNC Ashville, Andrew Jorgenson

1:45 – 2:30 PM Second Breakouts—choose one to discuss the following suggested organizing questions:
a.   Conveners:  Dot Sulock
Making summary numbers accessible and persuasive given military exemptions, exceptions, and obfuscation.  What indirect means of assessment are available—who can/how can we put them together?
b.   Conveners:  Greg Foster, John Rachow
How big is our net of inquiry? Can we/should we account for Contracts, Mercenaries, and Private Militaries?  Are they a significant or insignificant part of the larger militarism picture?
c.   Conveners: Andrew Jorgenson and Maureen McCue
How does militarization’s climate/environmental footprint compare to that of other sectors?  (energy, auto, construction, agriculture, etc)

2:30 – 2:45 PM Short Reports from Breakouts – Contributions to White Paper

2:45 – 3:30 PM Plenary Panel #3

Redefining Security:
Prioritizing health, environmental sustainability and human rights

Lead Speaker:  Robert Gould MD, President San Francisco PSR, Invited

3:30 – 3:45 PM Coffee/Tea Break

3:45 – 4:30 Third Breakouts—choose one to discuss the following suggested organizing questions:
a.   Conveners:  Dot Sulock
How do we articulate the relative costs of BAU Militarism to health, environment and human rights, do we need a new calculus or frame? 
b.   Conveners:  Greg Foster and Andrew Epstein
Redefining security, priorities, effective vs. ineffective frames?
c.   Conveners:
What is the role of war profiteering in defining and directing our engagement with militarism?

4:30 - 4:45 PM Short Reports from Breakouts – Contributions to White Paper

4:45 - 5:00 PM Concluding Remarks Adjourn

Sun May 15

9:00 AM Welcome Back; housekeeping, reminders about the White Paper--Maureen

9:10 – 10:00 AM Plenary Panel #4 

Perspectives on a Secure Future by 20 Somethings:
Our Vision - How we hope to Get There

Speakers: Machenzie Magnus, Junior International Studies; Andrew Epstein, Junior Health Promotion; Tom Miner, Graduating Senior, Environmental Studies

10:00 – 10:45 AM Last Breakouts
a.   Conveners: Mackenzie Magnus
What tools do today’s youth require to achieve a viable healthy future?
b.   Conveners:  Andrew Epstein
What frames are most effective in motivating youth action?
c.   Conveners:  John Rachow
What actions do we want with what actors aimed at what audiences?  For example, can the Kucinich Peace Department concept be resurrected, expanded upon, with which redirected resources?

10:45 – 11:00 AM Short Reports from Breakouts – Contributions to White Paper

11:00 – 11:30 AM Final Plenary

Moving Forward.  Framing the Issues. Engaging Media, Youth, & New Audiences

Speaker: Elliott Adams, President National Veterans for Peace

11:30 – 12:00 Noon Audience Responses.  Suggestions re. Moving Forward, Advancing the Process. Making best use of the White Paper and/or other position paper(s)?