WAR COSTS THE EARTH – Broadcast 25th March 2018

Nature has always been collateral damage in warfare – nature includes the atmosphere, which receives the enormous emissions from military activities, as well as the emissions resulting from reconstruction after wars; the land with animals and plants living in areas of conflict which have been subject to horrendous destruction and pollution; and the oceans, with their marine life, which have been used as the dumping grounds for weapons, including nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and ships, as well as pollutants from military activities. 

The diversion of scarce financial resources to feed the military machine constitutes a massive theft from society, specifically resources and focus needed to urgently address global heating, and resources which are also needed to drastically reduce inequality.

Military expenditure reported does not include the financial resources needed to repair ravaged countries and landscapes. The US war on Iraq which started in 2003 cost around $818US billion to 2015 and reconstruction costs need to be added to that. Add reconstruction costs in Afghanistan and Syria and elsewhere to the annual military expenditure globally (of $1.69 trillion in 2016) and the resources lost are horrendous.

Emissions discharged outside of national borders from the military to do not have to be reported to the Kyoto protocol.  This is a serious omission from emissions reporting.

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