40th Anniversary for Global Day of Environment
The Global Day of the Environment was celebrated on 5 June. While Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists in Action) called for something as obvious as that “environmental laws be enforced”, we discover that on the other hand the usual European treatment of waste materials does not include legislation regarding materials destined for military uses. We can imagine the source for this favorable treatment.
Calculations accomplished by the Institute of Investigation for Peace Policy of Starnberg (Germany) concluded that between 10 and 30% of environmental degradation worldwide is owing to activities related to the military. “The armed forces are the major contaminators in our planet – and the least regulated.”
The effects of war are so shocking that little attention has been devoted to its effects on the environment. Fortunately, there are more and more studies on this issue, and more and more social movements that denounce these effects. The conclusion is that the impact on the environment of military activities is so negative that it endangers the very biosphere.
Women in Black against War wish to join these denunciations, pointing out some of the destructive results of militarism on our surroundings:
♀ A great part of the energy that is consumed in the North is destined directly or indirectly for military ends.
♀ Military activities exhaust the natural resources of the planet, especially minerals.
♀ They contribute to global warming; it is calculated that the contribution of the armies to the greenhouse effect is about 10% of all emissions.
♀ The armies of the world produce millions of tons of toxics. These waste materials contaminate our oceans: the North Atlantic and the Pacific are the most affected, along with the Baltic and Mediterranean seas.
♀ The effects of weapons also include deforestation, the disappearance of animal species and genetic deformities. The radiation from weapons and nuclear tests shows its consequences in carcinogenic illness and genetic changes.
♀ Between 50 and 100 million animals are used every year in scientific experiments that have military ends.
All this leads to the destruction of biodiversity and changes in the ecosystems. Likewise, the contamination of the air, the land and the water by chemical, biological and nuclear weapons has grave consequences for the health and equilibrium of the planet.
We demand that economic investments for weapons and military activities cease and that these investments be destined for the protection of nature and the development of sustainable agriculture, which have been dangerously reduced in the budget.
Translation: Trisha Novak, USA