Tuesday, 15 January 2008

War and the environment

photo "Firefight" from pzzz.tripod.com
This is not an in-depth analysis, but a brief survey of the many environmental impacts of war.

Human consequences
- Racism in war: when "you" are the enemy, interviews with Asian American Vietnam vets by Tony Chan. See his blog
- PTSS aka shell shock affects a generation of civilians and veterans
- civilians maimed by mines, children by cluster bombs
Depleted Uranium weapons in Kuwait (Gulf War I) Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq; see also Gulf War Syndrome, cancer epidemic in Basra; US rejects cleanup in Iraq
- British germ warfare tests on their own population

- the downwinders in Utah
- cost of
wars in Africa: child mortality +50%, illiteracy +20%, undernourishment +15%, impacts that will last for a generation or more (p.5, Africa's Missing Billions). Equivalent to "all international aid from major donors", says Oxfam, the $300b wasted on war since 1990 could have stopped epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, funded education, clean water and sanitation (p.3).

Toxic and nuclear pollution
- toxics in Vietnam: Australian reports 1993 and 2005.
- toxic military bases in the USA: Bay Area, North Carolina, Alaska , Hawaii. See also the maps in Bob Feldman, War on the Earth
- in Canada:
Agent Purple at Camp Gagetown NB, Dene natives of Yellowknife
Russian and US nuclear dumps in the Arctic

Reliable information
Climate costs of the Iraq war from oilchange.com 19 Mar 08
Project Ploughshares, Center for Defense Information USA, SIPRI in Sweden,
Learn Peace UK, Sierra Club USA

Dangerous new trends
3-block war: new US doctrine ends the distinction between blitzkreig of civilians / peacekeeping / humanitarian aid; doctrine adopted by Canadian army
- WF Engdahl on the "doomsday seed bank"
- tactical nukes aka "theater war", shifting to "first strike"

DU map posted in a SF Bay area blog May 2007
click on map to see in full screen

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