The Earth Armistice (updated)

| December 5, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Statue in front of New York UN

Media Type: Article - Recent

Date of Publication: December 5, 2018

Author(s): Thomas Boudreau

Categories: ,




The following article outlines a call for the UN Security Council (UNSC), consistent with Articles 25 and 26 of the UN Charter, to pass a resolution that is legally binding on all member-states to devote from 10-20 percent of their annual or projected defense budgets to the critical security issue of restraining and then reversing climate change. Such a resolution is also fully consistent with Article 34 in Chapter Six of the Charter that permits the Security Council to “investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.” Numerous scientific studies have indicated the rising correlation, and even causation, between increasing ravages of climate change and violent human conflict. In view of this, Article 34 provides the Security Council with the preventive power and authority to investigate and address climate change before it significantly endangers international peace and security. [Emphasis added]  A summary of the Earth Armistice proposal, with supporting sources and footnotes, can be found here.  


In order to address and reverse climate change, the Earth Armistice requires that all states, following the appropriate UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC),[1] to set aside from 10% to 20% of their current and projected defense budgets yearly, and invest these funds domestically as well as internationally to: cut carbon consumption to near zero; develop and deploy green technologies to rapidly transition from carbon based energy or technology to sustainable energy and technologies; use negative emissions to develop and deploy carbon sequestration (Earth-based on land or in oceans) or geo-engineering (aerosol or in the atmosphere) technologies,[2] as well as engage and support massive conservation and –in honor of Wangari Maathai of Kenya– reforestation efforts on every inhabited continent in the world.[3]

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), “total world military expenditure rose to $1739 billion in 2017, a marginal increase of 1.1 per cent in real terms from 2016.” [4] In view of this massive expenditure for war, or preparations for war, states can redirect a certain percentage—to be negotiated in the UNSC—to be devoted to addressing effectively and ultimately reversing climate change as an integral new mission of UN member states’ defense establishments that contributes to self defense against a massive threat, as well as to the “common security” of each state and all peoples.[5]  Make no mistake about it—climate change if continued unabated and unchecked, is a possible extinction event for all or most of humanity.[6]

So, with climate change accelerating and devastating greater areas of the Earth, leading to, wildfires, flooding, extreme weather events as well as species extinction events,[7]  the time is ripe for the UNSC to pass the appropriate resolution calling for an “Earth Armistice” and devote from 10 to 20 percent of each member states’ defense budget to addressing effectively climate change. If the larger percentage of 20% becomes mandatory, due to UNSC action, then this will release almost 350 billion dollars immediately to address and reverse climate change.  If this amount proves insufficient to the task of stopping and reversing climate change, then the UNSG can adjust the percentage to ensure that effective action is finally achieved.

The Earth Armistice also provides “comparative advantage” to all the permanent members of the Security Council, especially when each member considers the possible members of a potential coalition against it. In particular, many of the permanent powers on the UN Security Council are planning nuclear weapons modernization programs in the next ten years, and committing over a trillion dollars to these efforts.[8]  As part of the Earth Armistice, all development, testing or deployment of new or “modernized” nuclear weapons, any related technical components as well as their delivery systems should cease immediately for the duration of the Armistice.  The Earth certainly doesn’t need one more nuclear weapon in the world.[9]

Such  an Earth Armistice is also essential to insure sustainable development for all developing states and that the goals of the 2030 Agenda Action Plan are met as well;[10] in fact, the funds set aside will help create hundreds of thousands of jobs around the world in developing and deploying green technologies, helping economies transition to carbon free economies, developing and deploying large scale negative emissions technologies and reforesting the six inhabited continents of the world. In short, these funds must be shared with and directed towards developing states as well if international efforts to overcome climate change are to finally succeed.

The immediate goal of the Earth Atmosphere—still humanly possible—would be to reduce CO2 gases in the global atmosphere to below 400 ppm. We will need to every possible mitigation strategy, policy and method including negative emissions to accomplish this. 11 The ultimate goal must be to reduce CO2 to 350 ppm, the figure that leading atmospheric scientists state is the necessary level in order for life to survive and flourish, promising sustainable development for all in the future. [12]


There is no longer any doubt that climate change is a profound threat to the maintenance of international peace and security; numerous studies and books have already demonstrated that the growing effects of climate change are already adversely affecting, directly or indirectly, international peace and security. [13]  This adverse impact is anticipated to increase dramatically in the future as well.  For instance, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Princeton University in the United States, “shifts in climate are strongly linked to human violence around the world, with even relatively minor departures from normal temperature or rainfall substantially increasing the risk of conflict.” [14]

The UN Security Council has unique responsibilities and primary powers to maintain international peace and security as called for in the Charter of the United Nations. Furthermore, the Charter unequivocally gives in Chapter V, Articles 24 and 25 the Security Council, the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security as well as the legal power to make binding decisions on all member-states of the United Nations. [15]

Furthermore, the very next article in the Charter, Article 26, speaks directly  to the purposes of an Earth Armistice and specifically states: “In order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources, the Security Council shall be responsible for formulating, with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee referred to in Article 47, plans to be submitted to the Members of the United Nations for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments.”  [16]

Since the Earth Armistice calls for, at first, the automatic reduction of all member-states’ defense budgets from 10-20%, Article 26 in the Charter provides a precise road-map for addressing climate change with the “least diversion of armaments;” specifically, it provides for the role of the Military Staff Committee in helping the UNSG in formulating plans for the joint regulation as well as reduction of armaments needed to provide the massive funding needed to address climate change and thus help preserve international peace and security.

Finally, in terms of the legal powers and responsibilities of the UNSG, Chapter Six of the Charter of the United Nations goes further and specifically states in Article 34 that the: “The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.” [17]

The term “situation” is intentionally broad, general and permissive.  As Goodrich and Hambro state in their book on the UN Charter: “this Article of the Charter gives the Security Council ample authority to concern itself with any dispute or situation well in advance of the time that it threatens the peace of the world with a view to determining whether its continuance ‘is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security. [Emphasis Added] This may be considered as one of the key provisions of the Charter since it permits the Council to make the inquiries and factual determinations necessary to the exercise of its preventive functions.” [18] (p. 145-6)

As argued above (See footnotes 13-14), scholars, policymakers and even health officials are increasingly investigating the growing links between climate change and violent human conflict. Thus, it is certainly time that the UN Security Council does so as well and try to act far enough in advance in order to prevent the very worst of potentially violent, even catastrophic, human conflicts from emerging and occurring due to global climate change.

Rampaging climate change will only increase, causing greater and more catastrophic droughts, flooding, fires, severe weather events, agriculture failures, vast migrations and inevitably human conflict and even interstate war as states seek more control over shrinking vital natural resources. In view of this, the Security Council has to act proactively, and address this fundamental threat to the maintenance of international peace and security. Not to do so would be to betray the very purposes and principles of the United Nations, one of the key promises and results of the bloodiest war in human history. [19]

In short, as we have seen, Article 34 in Chapter Six of the Charter of the United Nations gives the UN Security Council ample, even extraordinary legal powers and authority to do so and investigate and specifically address any “situation”—such as growing, global climate change—that threatens the maintenance of international peace and security.  Furthermore, only the UN Security Council, under Articles 24 and 25 of the Charter has the legal power to bind all member states to its decisions in one vote.  The Conference of the Parties (COP) process can’t do this effectively or as quickly nor the UN General Assembly; this is the role and responsibility of the UNSC especially when the peace and security of the world is involved. Without a doubt, the growing threat of global climate change to the maintenance of international peace and security is certainly one such “situation;” as we have seen, this wording in Article 34 was permissively provided by the framers of the Charter and intended to be used in a broad application by the UN Security Council to insure the maintenance of international peace and security. Thus, the UN Charter legally provides the Security Council with the requisite authority, power and responsibility to investigate climate change and act upon what it discovers– namely the inevitable and increasing threat of climate change 20– by approving an Earth Armistice without delay. With the increasing catastrophic effects of climate change growing almost daily, we have no more time to lose……


 As the Paris Agreement (2015) clearly states, there is a “significant gap” between what was promised and what is needed, so that the current commitments made during COP 21 to cut carbon emissions are simply not enough to prevent increasing global temperatures and thus catastrophic climate change. [21] Extreme weather events, increasing global temperatures and eroding shorelines indicate the effects of climate change are already occurring. In view of this, there is an urgent need to accelerate efforts in every forum available that can contribute to concrete and effective action that reverses the heating up of the Earth’s atmosphere as well as restores it to a sustainable level for life and development.

In view of the IPCC alarming 2018 report, among others, there can be little or no remaining doubt that reversing climate change, collectively as well individually, to insure human survival and sustainable development for all is the greatest and most urgent challenge of our time. [22]   In short, we have to insure a sustainable global atmosphere first in order to achieve sustainable development for all present and future peoples.  At the same time, green technologies can promote sustainable development by creating thousands of new jobs throughout the world. Yet, Time is rapidly running out so we have to take decisive and effective action NOW, building on the Paris Agreement’s call for capacity building, beginning with the developing states who, frankly, have the most to lose.

So the Paris Agreement, while absolutely necessary, must not be the end but the beginning of enhanced and accelerated collective efforts to cut emissions, restore the atmosphere and insure a viable global environment for future generations.  In short, building on the work embodied in the Paris Agreement (2015), much more still needs be done, beginning with the legally BINDING Earth Armistice passed by the UN Security Council to insure life on this planet for present and future generations.


An Earth Armistice that includes restoration efforts, broadly defined to include negative emissions and the needed research and development of Green Technologies, as well as subsequent implementation, can create thousands of jobs throughout the world. [23][10] China and Germany are already well advanced in developing appropriate green technologies but much more needs to be done. Specifically, we must begin to seriously experiment with, and deploy carbon sequestration methods and technologies to lower the Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.

Other potentially large scale carbon sequestration methods must be implemented as well. Untried ways to achieve the massive carbon of carbon should be as varied and innovative as the human imagination and following policy initiatives allow.  For instance, vastly expanded and added efforts must include, in memory and honor of Wangari Maathai, the continuous planting a billion trees per year on each of the inhabited mainland continents; there should also be massive and accelerated conservation efforts with energy or electricity as well as recycling, especially throughout the developed world where the waste is greatest.

Yet, TIME IS RUNNING OUT as the danger of irreversible climate change is rapidly growing; so we need to accelerate global climate consultations, continuous negotiations and lasting action. As a global organization, the UN can help mobilize the necessary research and development of policies, programs and technologies especially during these special sessions to accomplish greater efficiencies in all possible mitigation methods, including healthy carbon SUCH AS LARGE SCALE DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT OF THE “Iron Hypothesis to pull CO2 out of the global atmosphere. 24   In short, every possible mitigation method or every Gandhian “experiment with Truth” must be tried until one or more mitigation method proves effective.  Only in this way can we hope to arrest climate change and eventually restore the global atmosphere for present and future generations.


The Earth Armistice can be initiated by either the member-states of the UN General Assembly passing a resolution calling on the UN Security Council [25]  [11] to consider and pass such a legally binding resolution, or for the NON-permanent members of the UN Security a Council to bring up the issue immediately for negotiations and a vote within Council proceedings.  Since climate change, if continued, will undoubtedly cause vast human migrations and resulting ethnic or actual inter-state wars, the issue is certainly related to the maintenance of international peace and security. [26]  [12]  So, the issue of an Earth’s Armistice is critical to prevent future conflicts and even wars and thus maintain international peace and security, an area that the UN General Assembly(UNGA) is empowered by the UN Charter to address as well. [27] [13] Thus, the resolution calling for an Earth Armistice can be originated in either the UNGA or the UN Security Council (UNSC), but it must be ultimately passed by the UNSG to become legally binding on all states.

The first few attempts to pass such a resolution may fail; but each attempt will educate the global public and policy elites that a very powerful way to address climate change now exists, and thus insure its passage. In short, the UN Security Council can decisively help to address climate change in in one vote.   So, in view of the great and growing danger caused by climate change, there is no time to lose; the UN Security Council must pass an Earth Armistice to begin the massive, sustained and global efforts to roll back climate change as a critical way to preserve peace, security and life itself on this planet.


The great Gandhi’s had a critical insight and idea that, when facing a crisis, a person must be willing to experiment flexibly with a variety of ways to seek the truth in action, and not simply be fixed on one way forward. He called this approach “Experiments with Truth.” [28]  [14] In fact, his method included learning even from his opponents, knowing that they contained part of the truth as well. He was never willing to throw away any possible avenue to greater insight, understanding and thus effectiveness.  This extraordinarily experimental and innovative mindset embodied by Gandhi’s life is exactly what is needed among the globe scientific community, policymakers and citizens as we confront the unparalleled crisis of climate change. Specifically, at this late date, we simply cannot rely upon one method alone, such as carbon cuts—as important as these are—to roll back climate change. In the spirit of Gandhi, each state—especially those that have contributed the most to the greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere–to develop a portfolio of mitigation methods that includes carbon cuts, carbon sequestration, and conservation, as well as intense Research and Design (R&D) efforts to develop new green technologies. [29] The Earth scientists and policymakers need to begin to “experiment” with a whole host of mitigation methods on a potentially vast scale if we are going to succeed in reversing climate change, and thus survive.

But we are simply running out of time, so we must begin now or the growing wildfires, floods, extreme weather events and inexorable rise in global temperatures will soon degrade and then destroy our capacity to enact an Earth Armistice until it’s too late.  So, the UN diplomatic community needs to act NOW, and thus begin the historic efforts to protect all of life on this planet for present and future generations by recommending and then for the UN Security Council adopting a legal binding Earth Armistice.


Respectfully submitted to the UN diplomatic community,
c/o Thomas Boudreau Ph.D.
Interdisciplinary Professor of Conflict Analysis
-Former Consultant to the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General,
Salisbury University
Salisbury Md.


Appendix: Ethical Consideration of using Negative Emissions


So, in passing an Earth Armistice that calls for or subsequently involves support for the deployment and use of negative emissions, the rather obvious ethical rule of application is that such mitigation or sequestration technologies should not be deployed if the actual damage that they cause is greater than the growing danger and increasing devastating consequences of continuing, unabated global climate change.

In short, there is now a cruel yet unavoidable ethical calculus of cost-benefits calculations concerning the benefits and inevitable negative consequences of simply doing nothing, such as droughts, wildfires migrations and increasing extinction events. For instance, critics of carbon sequestration in the oceans often cite the unintended potential consequences of large scale deployment of technologies based on the Iron Hypothesis; yet, there is a massive and growing toxic orange algae bloom growing off the coast of California RIGHT NOW (2016) caused by increased temperatures and unabated climate change. This toxic bloom is causing a massive and growing kill-off of fish, the seabirds or mammals that rely upon them. [30] So, not doing anything—and thus allowing such unintended consequences to GROW– has to be calculated against the possible and still hypothetical unintended consequences of carbon sequestration methods.

In the almost three decades since the Rio Earth Summit (1992), the deadly costs of doing nothing more — while waiting upon the “promissory notes” of voluntary carbon cuts at some future date to work– are very steeply increasing; so, the time is NOW to embrace diplomatic policy pluralism towards climate change and adopt an Earth Armistice, or we may never again have such a promising opportunity to arrest and reverse climate change leading to the restoration of the Earth Atmosphere to livable levels for all living beings on this planet. [31] [15]

Such diplomatic policy pluralism means using every relevant intergovernmental or non-governmental forum available to take effective and differentiated multilateral actions simultaneously to address climate change. In short hand, we need plan A, B C.D….etc until one or more are proven to work in curbing and reducing the steady increase of CO2 or other greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the global atmosphere.  To relay simply solely on voluntary carbon cuts, as “Plan A”  hasn’t and can’t work in time to help us, if this is the only plan available…. We need immediate policy pluralism and the resulting diversification of efforts to address climate change effectively. Carbon cuts must be part of this policy pluralism, but it can’t now be the only one—we are simply running out of time. A very good example of this policy pluralism with great time pressures, though in another context, was the Chilean rescue of the trapped miners which thrilled the world with the eventual success of the operation in 2010.


When thirty three Chilean miners were trapped over 2,000 feet below the surface in 2010, the Chilean government  wisely initiated rescue operations by using three different drill operations, actually called “Plan A,” “Plan B,” and “Plan C.”  In doing so, the Chilean government and people displayed an extraordinarily experimental and manifold policy response to rescuing the trapped men. Specifically, in sharp contrast to current international climate negotiations or efforts— focused mainly on the COP diplomatic process and Paris Agreement– the Chileans very wisely decided very early to fund as well as employ a variety of operational policy options and thus deploy several alternative ways to rescue the miners.  In fact, two drills failed to reach the miners—Plans A and C. Fortunately, the Chilean government had the foresight not to place all its hope in simply one drill or plan, and so the second drill, Plan B, finally broke through and created the  escape shaft that rescued the trapped miners.  The key lesson from this dramatic rescue seem to be:  Any wise policy that wants actual results has to employ backup and alternative policy options in case “Plan A” falters or fails. The Chileans’ very astute decision was to deploy several “live” though expensive options simultaneously and make each fully operational; this multi-prong approach was critical to the rescue of the miners; as such, this is a vivid example of powerful policy pluralism that that uses several options simultaneously; in doing so, the Chilean example is a powerful and inspiring illustration of what the great Mahatma Gandhi would describe as enduring “Experiments with Truth.”

As stated above, the great Gandhi’s had a critical insight and idea that, when facing a crisis, a person must be willing to experiment flexibly with a variety of ways to seek the truth in action, and not simply be fixed on one way forward. He called this approach “Experiments with Truth.”  His example should inspire all of us; specifically, at this late date, we simply cannot rely upon one method alone, such as carbon cuts—as important as these are—to roll back climate change. In the spirit of Gandhi, we need to develop a portfolio of mitigation methods or “experiments with truth,” that includes carbon cuts, carbon sequestration, and conservation, as well as intense Research and Design (R&D) efforts to develop new green technologies. The Earth scientists and policymakers need to begin to embrace and “experiment” with a whole host of mitigation methods on a potentially vast scale if we are going to succeed in reversing climate change, and thus survive.

After over twenty years of negotiations, (since Rio in 1992), the Paris Climate Agreement (2015) is Plan “A.”   It’s the only Plan that is “alive.”  It’s a good start, but –by its own admission- even if all carbon cuts are achieved, more will need to be done to save us and the planet from the ravages on oncoming climate change. In view of this, the crucial question must be raised: What if the Paris Agreement doesn’t work, or–more likely—proves absolutely necessary but not still not sufficient?  Most alarming, what options will we have in five or ten years, despite all the promises and meetings dedicated to cutting carbon, if  Plan “A”—the Paris Agreement–simply isn’t enough to prevent irreversible climate change? This is not an academic question; if the Chileans had relied on only “Plan A”—the first drill—the miners would have perished.

Specifically, we now need the highly innovative and experimental mindset that Gandhi brought to the problems he faced, which he described as “Experiments with Truth” to the global effort to restore the Earth Atmosphere and thus survive. Specifically, the current UNFCCC plans and post Paris Agreement (2015) to cut carbon emissions are important and must continue.  At the same time, different issues require different forums to be addressed successfully – lest complex issues become hopelessly intertwined. At the very least, we need multitrack efforts—consisting of diplomatic, policy and ultimately technical steps to develop and deploy carbon sequestration methods around the globe. In particular, we need to mobilize much more human energy, commitments, more ideas and resources to insure our own survival; the urgency of the issue is growing by the hour.

So, leaders, diplomats and citizens need to commit themselves to a vast mobilization to overcome climate change; as such, there should be a variety of forums or (as Gandhi states) “Experiments with Truth,” that provide a variety of possible ways forward.  In short, the UNFCCC must continue to focus on carbon cuts, UN general Assembly could focus on strengthening international law, and calling for the rapid development of carbon sequestration and other mitigation methods designed and developed to remove CO2 from the global atmosphere, while restitution efforts could be pursued through the ICJ. 32 Simply stated, we need to Experiment with the Truth, and not risk all on the possibly erroneous idea that we have, at least discovered the one true way to address climate change.

Like the Chileans in 2010, we must now develop a portfolio of operational policies and methods — Plans A, B, C, etc.—until one or more are proven to work successfully. This pluralistic approach to remedial plans and policies must include, as a priority–prolonged and experimental deployment of iron in the Southern or even other oceans, as well as other methods, to insure the long-term effectiveness of the “Iron Hypothesis” to lower C02 levels, (even partially or marginally) in the Earth Atmosphere…….In the spirit of Gandhi, the scientific “best practice” must involve constant “experimentation” in all aspect of possible applications, study of the inevitable though often unseen consequences and then subsequent technical corrections rather simply giving up on the idea due to  one shot ”scientific” studies, which has been the pattern in the past.

Once successful methods are carefully tested and applied, then all member-states must then become fully engaged in ongoing efforts to restore the Earth’s atmosphere to, at the very least, the immediate goal of stable Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) below the level of 400 PPM of CO2 and the ultimate goal being restoration of the atmosphere to 350 PPM of CO2 (Hansen et al, 2008).  The collective or regional ability to do this via a portfolio of mitigation methods currently exists, or can be ideally developed in vastly accelerated Research and Design (R&D) programs; yet, if we wait any longer, our collective or regional ability to do so will undoubtedly degrade due to environmental changes or destruction –not to mention the possibilities of economic decline or even wars occur as a result. In short, we must be inspired and infused with the Gandhian idea of “Experiments with Truth” until the grave danger of global climate change is successfully addressed and overcome, and thus intensify our collective efforts immediately.  In this regard, global political, religious and local leaders must call forth their peoples a vast “Restoration” mobilization to overcome climate change until the grave and growing threat facing humanity is past. [33]


Additional Footnotes

**We are not fully mobilized yet; so, for an elaboration of this idea, see:

[1] Charter of the United Nations, Chapter V, Articles 24-25. As we shall see, Article 26 is critical in this regard as well.

[2] The distinction between carbon sequestration and geo engineering technologies is made in: Boudreau  T. (2017). The Earth’s Atmosphere As A Global Trust: Establishing Proportionate State Responsibility To Maintain, Restore And Sustain The Global Atmosphere. Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ), 7(1), 2.

[3] Maathai, W. (2010). Replenishing the earth: Spiritual values for healing ourselves and the world. Image.

[4]See: SIPRI,

[5] The concept of “Common security” that goes beyond simply the nation state was pioneered by Willy Brandt and the Brundtland Report in the 1980s; see: Keeble, B. R. (1988). The Brundtland report:‘ Our common future’. Medicine and War, 4(1), 17-25. This report pioneered the link between human security and sustainable development.  See: Kates, R. W., Parris, T. M., & Leiserowitz, A. A. (2005). What is sustainable development? Goals, indicators, values, and practice. Environment(Washington DC), 47(3), 8-21. Also:  Dresner, S. (2012). The principles of sustainability. Routledge

[6] See, for instance, Gala Vince, A Looming Mass Extinction Caused By Humans, BBC (Nov. 1, 2012),; S.A.
Rogers, Human Beings Could Go Extinct Within 100 Years, Says Renowned Scientist,
MMN (Jun. 25, 2010, 12:53PM),
Clive Gamble et. al, Climate Change and Evolving Human Diversity in Europe During
the Last Glacial, 359 The Royal Society (2009) (discussing an evolutionary perspective
on human existence).

[7] Ibid.,  Also see: Boudreau, law journal article on “Earth Atmosphere,” supra, note 2

[8]  Once again, SIPRI is an excellent source on this issue: see: Also See:  Or see:  Arms Control Associations projections in the US at: Also see: Kristensen, H. M., & Norris, R. S. (2017). Russian nuclear forces, 2017. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73(2), 115-126.  Finally see: Goldstein, A. (2000). Deterrence and security in the 21st century: China, Britain, France, and the enduring legacy of the nuclear revolution. LIT Verlag Münster.

[9] See SIPRI, once again, at:

10 See “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” at:

[11]      See Boudrea, “Earth Atmosphere,” supra, note 2.

[13] These possible and, now, increasingly probable, adverse effects concerning climate change’s increasing threats to the maintenance of international peace and security have been known for some time. See, for instance: Hsiang, S. M., Burke, M., & Miguel, E. (2013). Quantifying the influence of climate on human conflict. Science, 341(6151), 1235367. ;Burke, M., Hsiang, S. M., & Miguel, E. (2015). Climate and conflict.; Gleditsch, N. P., & Theisen, O. M. (2010). Resources, the environment, and conflict (pp. 221-232). New York: Routledge. ;Bowles, D. C., Butler, C. D., & Morisetti, N. (2015). Climate change, conflict and health. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 108(10), 390-395.; or, Parenti, C. (2016). War and Development in the Age of Climate Change [Video] which summarizes, in part, his book, Parenti,C. (2012) The Tropic of Chaos, Reprint Books; or Barnett, J., & Adger, W. N. (2007). Climate change, human security and violent conflict. Political geography, 26(6), 639-655.; Raleigh, C., & Urdal, H. (2007). Climate change, environmental degradation and armed conflict. Political geography, 26(6), 674-694. Also see: Alvarez, Alex. 2017. Unstable Ground: Climate Change, Conflict, and Genocide. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield; Bretthauer, Judith M. 2017. Climate Change and Resource Conflict: The Role of Scarcity. New York: Routledge. Brown, Lester R. 2012. Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity. New York: Earth Policy Institute. Welzer, Harald. 2012. Climate Wars: Why People Will be Killed in the 21st Century. Cambridge: Polity Press.

[14] Ibid., Also see: Hsiang, S. M., Burke, M., & Miguel, E. (2013). Quantifying the influence of climate on human conflict. Science, 341(6151), 1235367. Also see:  Hsiang, S. M., Meng, K. C., & Cane, M. A. (2011). Civil conflicts are associated with the global climate. Nature, 476(7361), 438.  Finally, see: Nordås, R., & Gleditsch, N. P. (2015). Climate change and conflict. In Competition and Conflicts on Resource Use (pp. 21-38). Springer, Cham.

[15]:   See Goodrich, L. & Hambro, E., (1946), Charter of the United Nations: Commentary and Documents, Boston: World Peace Foundation. Articles 24 bestows the primary responsibility for the maintence of interanational paece and security with the UNSC, Articles 24 and 25 requires members to follow the UNSC decisions, and Article 26 gives the UNSC jurisdiction over the “regulation of armaments,”  among other things. Also see: Russell, R. B. (1958). A history of the United Nations Charter: the role of the United States, 1940-1945. Brookings Institution.

[16] UN Charter, Chapter V, Art. 26.

[17] Ibid., UN Charter, Chapter VI, Art. 34.

[18] See Goodrich, L. & Hambro, E., (1946), supra, note 15, p. 145-6

[19]See Boudreau and Foutz, B., (2018). Minimalist International Legal Order: Enforcing Jus Cogens Norms Through the Fiduciary Jurisdiction of National Courts. Journal Jurisprudence, 36. Also see:  Boudreau, (2017) “Promises to Keep: the Law of Nations and the New International Legal Order,” in Boudreau and Sainz-Borgo, Advances In International Law: Enhancing the Role of the Judiciary in Upholding the Rule of Law, Elias Press.; Finally, see: Boudreau, T. E. (2012). The Modern Law of Nations: Jus Gentium and the Role of Roman Jurisprudence in Shaping the Post World War II International Legal Order. Dig.: Nat’l Italian Am. B. Ass’n LJ, 20, 1. 

[20]   The UNSC must do this process of investigation “of the obvious” in order to be seized of the issue, which some members doubted it could do as late as the summer of 2018……  If the obvious nature of the increasing and indeed potentially catastrophic effects on the maintenance of international peace and security be doubted, simply consult the numerous studies of the IPCC, especially the latest (2018) and perhaps most alarming at:  Also see supra, notes 13-15 for simply a sampling of the scientific and popular press on the coming catastrophic consequences if nothing is done……

[21] Agreement, P. (2015). United Nations framework convention on climate change. Paris, France. For an in depth discussion of this point, see Boudreau, “Earth Atmosphere,” supra, note 2

[22]      Ibid. Also see supra, notes 20 and 2.

[23 ][10] Boudreau, supra, note 2.  This section is largely from the article “The Earth Atmosphere as a Global Trust.”

[24]  Ibid.

[25]  ( old [11]) UN Charter, Chapter IV, Art. 11, para 2 and 3.  Article 11, Para. 2 states: “The General Assembly may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations, or by the Security Council, or by a state which is not a Member of the United Nations in accordance with Article 35, paragraph 2, and, except as provided in Article 12, may make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the state or states concerned or to the Security Council or to both. Any such question on which action is necessary shall be referred to the Security Council by the General Assembly either before or after discussion

[26]    This conclusion was raised by the groundbreaking work of Thomas Homer Dixon, then at the University of Toronto and his colleagues, back in the early 1990s.  See: Homer-Dixon, T. F. (1994). Environmental scarcities and violent conflict: evidence from cases. International security, 19(1), 5-40.and more recently: Homer-Dixon, T. F. (2010). Environment, scarcity, and violence. Princeton University Press.  Also see supra, note 13-14.

[27]  [13] See supra, note 25.

[28] [14] Gandhi, M. (1983). Autobiography: The story of my experiments with truth. Courier Corporation.

[29]   Also See, supra, note 2, Third Section, for an elaboration of this vital point; we are a protean people, gifted with protean brains and hands, and we are acting like dinosaurs without thumbs……

[30]  Quoted from “Earth Atmosphere as a Global Trust” at surpa, note 2

[31]  Ibid., See Boudreau, “The Earth Atmosphere as a Global Trust,” supra, note 2.  Also see:  or at:  or, finally:

[32] Ibid. A. Also see supra, note 2.

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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • Greeley Miklashek

    Lovely neoliberal rationalization for individual humans to do nothing in order to save humanity and the biosphere. When the fundamental cause of environmental decline, human overpopulation, is left entirely out of any plan for mitigation, that plan is just so much hot air and only adds to global warming. Humans will not lift a finger to save themselves or the planet until they have a dog in the fight. Look how well the perfectly rational effort of the current French government and President Macron to institute a carbon tax by increasing gasoline taxes is going. However, what if we all understood that POPULATION DENSITY STRESS IS KILLING US AND OUR LOVED ONES RIGHT THIS MINUTE? Population density stress is a very simple concept that encompasses the animal crowding research of 70 years, the undeniable social disruption of our modern world (i.e., families are falling apart), our alienation from the natural rhythms of nature in the raw, and the stress inducing man-made physical environments we’ve thoughtlessly created, particularly in our urban centers and more subtly in the rural countryside. Mother Nature is trying through all of our myriad “diseases of civilization to thin our species, but we spend enormous amounts of money ($3.5T in the US alone annually, so twice the worldwide military expenditures!) to keep ourselves alive in spite of Her efforts. She has a Plan B, however, and that is infertility, which has increased 100% over the past 34 years in the US, and includes falling sperm counts of 59% over the past 38 years in the West. We are crowding, socially isolating, spiritually starving, and stressing ourselves into extinction. Feeling motivated to limit our family sizes to one-child yet? Would you rather just have more children so you can watch them suffer and die from a massively growing disease load? If the UN would wise-up and get this message out to the world along with adequate support for women to have free choice of contraception, education, and work, we could bring our total worldwide populations back down to sustainable, more ecologically balanced, and less polluting 2.5B by 2,100. Until this message reaches the world’s citizens, all the feel good BS about what others should do is just that, BS. Stress R Us