Environmental Impacts Of Modern War

Filed Under (Environmental Pollution) by admin on 04-06-2010

Wars have a devastating effect on the environment. Environmental destruction has been used as a punishment for defeated opponents in war. Military activities cause damage to the landscape, soil, ground water and other natural resources.

The environmental impacts of modern war can be grouped into three areas:

1. The consequences of preparing for war.

2. The immediate effects of war

3. The aftermath of war.

Whilst preparing for war military bases, especially airfields require large areas of land. Much of this area is ecologically valuable. Establishment of military bases leads to the destruction of any fauna perceived as hindering such activity. e.g. Birds congregating on runways.

For training purposes large tracts of land are set apart for military exercises, missile exercises, bombing and artillery practice. Large areas for testing warfare products and nuclear weapons are used. Millions of tons of unused weapons and ammunitions await destruction as fresh land is used to store newer weapons. All of these activities degrade

the natural ecosystems.

Repair and maintenance of many installations and gear are seriously not enough. Nuclear waste is a worldwide problem that won’t go away, without causing environmental tragedy on a vast scale. Toxic chemicals which go together with all weapon production have travelled round the globe in the atmosphere and ocean currents; as well as water and air, they harm earth, plants that grow in it, and subsistent domestic animals and wildlife. Human exposure to nuclear and chemical tests and factories, or via the food chain, has resulted in miscarriages, malformed fetuses, high infant death and inborn disorders, and complex disturbing and life-shortening syndromes.

In order to cripple an enemy’s ability to wage war, industrial facilities are being targeted. This increases the chances of ecological damage by using chemical weapons. When a heavy bomb goes off, it destroys not only the flora and fauna but the soil as well which takes thousands of years to regenerate.

The urgent danger of life and property and the prospect of long-term hazards of war lead to the movement of people to safer areas. This has put a remarkable strain on the resources of the entire region. Despite the long inheritance of ecological destruction caused by war, the standards set by most conventions and protocols have proven not as much as necessary in preventing and redressing environmental dreadful conditions brought on by war.

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