June 7, 2011

Peace, Dude (It Pays)

By admin

Vision of Humanity released it’s annual Global Peace Index and found that in 2010, Canada ranked 8, a surprising improvement from 2009’s rank of 14.

This site is awesome, by the way.  All of the measures related to the index have been meticulously compiled and presented in an interactive format that’s easy to use and extremely intuitive.  If you’re a web designed, take note!

Here were some thoughts about global military spending in 2010:

Economically, the cost of violence and oppression is a bit more tangible. The GPI estimates that $12.62 trillion (US Dollars) is spent on industries that generate and contain violence. This is money that can potentially be channeled into education, health-care, or a wide variety of peaceful programs, but instead is used to promote violence and injustice.

This amount would pay for the 2% of global GDP per annum investment estimated by the Stern Review to avoid the worst effects of climate change, cover the cost of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, eliminate the public debt of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.  This is imporant information to be aware of as we advocate for peacebuilding infrastructure and prevention and intervention strategies.

So what structures contribute to sustainable peace? The GPI indicates that societies with less discrimination, more informed citizens, high levels of trust, and support for gender equality tend to be more at peace. The GPI states: “Societies underpinned by the presence of strong social institutions as measured by these factors are considered socially sustainable societies… [and] are also more resilient and better able to withstand eternal and internal political, economic, and environmental shocks.”

Back home in Canada, I unfortunately can’t stop thinking about what $35 billion would buy us here. Schools. Daycare. Retirement homes. Dignity for our elderly. Pharmacare. Social housing. Digital infrastructure.

Or a big pile of useless planes.