Global Warming, Militarism and Nonviolence

Global Warming, Militarism and Nonviolence: The Art of Active Resistance

Marty Branagan

Palgrave Macmillan

June 2013


ISBN-10: 1137010096

ISBN-13: 978-1137010094

272 pages

Available from Amazon (

Militarism is the elephant in the room of global warming. Of all government sectors, 'Defence' has the highest carbon footprint and expenditure, yet has largely been exempt from international scrutiny and regulation. Marty Branagan uses Australian and international case studies to show that nonviolence is a viable alternative to militarism for national defence and regime change.

'Active resistance', initiated in Australian environmental blockades and now adopted globally, makes the song 'We Shall Not Be Moved' much more realistic, as activists erect tripod villages, bury, chain and cement themselves into the ground, and 'lock-on' to machinery and gates. Active resistance, 'artistic activism', and use of new information and communication technologies in movements such as the Arab Spring and 'Occupy' demonstrate that nonviolence is an effective, evolving praxis.

Michael Allen Fox, Queen's University, Canada, writes: "Marty Branagan's book is the first in the field of peace studies that links anthropogenic climate change with the staggering worldwide costs of war-preparedness. His spirited defence of nonviolence as an alternative to militarism is not only well-supported by historical and contemporary examples, but also features original perspectives on creative forms of activism and on contributions to the repertoire of peaceful methods for social and political change that have been contributed by campaigns in Australia and elsewhere. This is a very worthwhile addition to the literature on nonviolence by an author who is both a scholar and an activist drawing on personal experience."

Ariel Salleh, scholar and activist, editor of Eco-Sufficiency and Global Justice, writes: "This is the most accessible and lively introduction to contemporary politics I've read. It's also a 'how to' book about making social change. Global Warming, Militarism and Nonviolence will leave you with a natural high. At once visionary, empowering, and practical, we need to get a copy into the hands of every student, activist, and politician, without delay."

Frank Hutchinson, Tamkang University, Tapei, writes: "A particular feature of the work is that it challenges both fatalism and conventional ideas about power. Valuable local and international case studies are offered of the art of active nonviolent resistance to feared environmental futures. This work is strongly recommended for both its theoretical and practical insights."

Ralph Summy, Sydney University, writes: "This book is more than an important study of nonviolence; it is a call to action against militarism. There are many reasons why a democracy would want to curb the influence of its military. Marty Branagan highlights one of the most important – the fact that the military-industrial complex is the primary polluter of our planet. His object is not only to identify the problem of militarism and its effect on climate change, but to replace it with the realistic alternative of three major types of nonviolent action. Labeled 'active resistance', 'conflict resolution', and 'artistic activism', their theoretical viability is cogently argued and their strengths and weaknesses are demonstrated from past cases. Violence turns out to be a choice, not a fate."

Marty Branagan is Lecturer in Peace Studies at the University of New England. He coordinates the Master of Environmental Advocacy degree and annual Nonviolence Film Festival at the university.

Chain Reaction #119, Nov 2013,