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War & The Environment

Published:

Last Edited: November 11, 2007, 5:32 pm

I won't even begin to tell you I'm an expert on global warming or its effects on the environment.  We all need to be conscious of the mess we've made of our beautiful planet and the amount of garbage we dump on its land, water and into the air.

However, every time I watch the news and hear about another bombing somewhere, I wonder how many trees, plants and animals have been destroyed or poisoned.  I guess because the toll on human life is so devastating, many of us are concerned that such a statement might sound insensitive. After all, if your son or daughter died in Iraq, why would you give a hoot about all the pollutants that will be inhaled or ingested for the next several months, years or even decades? 

After the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Iraq burned over 11 billion gallons of oil, releasing immeasurable amounts of toxins into the air. Since then the leukemia rate in Iraq has increased by more than 600%.  Coincidence?  Maybe it was from the tons of shell casings, bullets and bomb fragments laced with depleted uranium that the British and USA planes and missiles left behind.  Who cleaned it up?

More recently the United Nations estimated that United States and British forces have used as much as 2,000 tons of shells made of depleted uranium since we invaded Iraq in 2003. Maybe because it's happening in a land so far away, most people don't care about the children who are the main victims and whose mortality rate from cancer is close to 100% due to inadequate medical care.  But that toxic air will continue to blow and blow in our direction until someday, when you open your windows or turn on your air conditioner, it seeps into your home.  When I was at Walmart I didn't see any filters that said "filters small radioactive particles." 

Maybe that's why when everyone is screaming "global warming" and telling us to change our light bulbs, drive hybrids and take shorter showers, I sometimes turn a blind eye and shrug my shoulders. Of course I care about planet Earth.  But all the conservation in the world won't mean diddley squat if someone drops the big one on us. 

I just started humming a song and it struck me that it's from the musical Hair from 1968. 

Welcome sulphur dioxide,
Hello carbon monoxide
The air, the air is everywhere
Breathe deep, while you sleep, breathe deep

Bless you alcohol bloodstream,
Save me nicotine lungsteen
Incense, incense is in the air
Breathe deep, while you sleep, breathe deep

Cataclysmic, cataplasm
Fall out atomic orgasm
Vapor and fume at the stone of my tomb
Breathe like a solemn perfume
Eating at the stone of my tomb

Welcome sulphur dioxide,
Hello carbon monoxide
The air, the air is everywhere
Breathe deep, while you sleep, breathe deep

Does anyone know who said "the more things change, the more they stay the same?"

 

Entry #96

Comments

1.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 11, 2007, 5:19 pm
if you have a moment, please watch this video

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/042007B.shtml
2.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 11, 2007, 6:20 pm
The bees dying is what gets me.
3.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 11, 2007, 7:30 pm
Thanks for bringing that up, Tenaj. Bees are so important for our ecosystem.
4.
spy153Comment by spy153 - November 12, 2007, 2:19 pm
Corine Bailey Rae sings " the more things seem to change the more things stay the same, aint it strange?" in her hit Put Your Records On. Since I have heard this saying all of my life, I don't know who originally said it or where the saying came from.

And, the U.S.A. usually cleans up anything we leave behind. It is a condition we have to honor so we may have occupation in other countries. Whatever we tear down and destroy, we have to build back up when our mission is complete. Don't forget, our sons and daughters are occupying those places way after any crisis or war is done.
5.
JAP69Comment by JAP69 - November 12, 2007, 4:52 pm
A little side note on war and the enviroment.
After the peace tray in Korea hey fenced boyh sides of the DMZ beteen North and South Korea.
I read within the last couple years that the area between the two fences is one of the most pristine nature preseves.
Obviously no one dare step foot in that area.
6.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 12, 2007, 5:55 pm
Spy, did you watch the video? Our own soldiers are developing cancer from the weapons we use.
7.
spy153Comment by spy153 - November 12, 2007, 8:17 pm
I don't need to see any videos on it or be told anything more on the effects of war and the chemicals we use. I'm well aware of it. Anytime you put people in those situations, there are going to be consequences, whether it be emotional, mental or physical. Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning it. I'm just as mad about as you. But I realize, just as does any other soldier that went into the military, there is a price to pay for our freedom and guess who gets to pay for it? Did you watch the movie "home of the brave?" That is only a glimpse of what our soldiers have seen. And if you really want to hear some gruesome stuff, talk to a vietnam vet. I know several. Most will not talk about it. But the ones that do have some pretty interesting things to show. But justxploring, there are backlashes from everyday life too. Look around you. There are hazards everywhere. At least those men got it fighting for something they believed in. Not just merely trying to survive in their own home town. And don't forget, it is a voluntary military that we have now. There is no such thing as a draft anymore.
8.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 12, 2007, 11:49 pm
Spy, yes it is a dangerous world. I originally posted this blog entry to discuss the environment, and how dropping bombs and nuclear testing has such a negative effect on it. We keep hearing about global warming how we need to make sure we stop using plastic bags and recycle everything. I'me all for doing my part in cutting down on the amount garbage we keep growing, but just one bomb can do so much more harm, not to mention what it does to human life.

Actually, regarding "no such thing as a draft" I'm not so sure. In 2004 a special handbook was published for military recruiters explaining how to entice high school students to join the service. Bush signed an act to allow the Dept of Defense to obtain any & all personal information on students, including race, nationality and their family's household finances. In addition to that, they are furnished IQ levels and grade point averages. It's sort of like the lists salespeople get to target in on certain age and income brackets. It's much harder to recruit teens from affluent families. By the way, I have nothing but respect for our military, so it's very hard for me to write some of this, but not all recruiting is done with total honesty and without prejudice.

One of the many rights that have been violated since during this administration is that this act forces the schools to offer this private information to recruiters or they will lose federal funding. It's called high school campus recruitment (section 9528) Bush hid this in his "No Child Left Behind" education law. Well, that's a whole separate issue than our polluted air, but since you mentioned it....




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