War and Pollution
Pollution is the contamination of the environment by harmful substances that are introduce in the environment. Pollution has always been a problem in society and has become more severe when industrialization began in Europe. Industrialization began in the late 1700’s in Europe and also began in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in the United States. With industrialization, came technological advances that helped nations such us helped their economies and improved the way of life of humans. With these advances also came harmful technologies that are used to affect the ecosystem. There are two main types of pollution, and they are air and water pollution.
According to the World Health Organization, “Air pollution is the contamination of the atmosphere indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. Some major pollutants in the public health concern include matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide” (World Health Organization). The atmosphere is made up of nitrogen, argon, oxygen and carbon dioxide. With other gases that are not included contaminate the earth’s atmosphere which affects living things on the planet. Air pollution causes respiratory and other diseases when other gases that are naturally already made up of the atmosphere causes diseases that are very harmful to the human body.
According to Environmental Pollution Centers, “Water pollution on the other hand is the presence of toxic chemicals and biological agents that are not naturally found in water. Some toxic chemicals include many chlorinated solvents commonly used in industry (PCE, TCE, 1, 1, 1-TCA)” (Environmental Pollution Centers). PCE and TCE are types of chlorinated solvents used to remove grease from iron or metal. These are used by industries and after use are dumped into the earth’s water bodies. One major contaminate of water is oil spills that occur in the ocean during drilling, and also the dumping of trash into the water body. Knowing that 1% of the earth’s water is what human beings can use because the other 96% is completely harmful to humans but as humans we are contaminating the small amount that we have to share as a population. Contaminating the water causes diseases to the human body such as typhoid, intestinal disorder, kidney stone, pancreas stone, kidney infection, urinal problems, and excretion disorders. Water contaminates get into the human body because when we contaminate the ocean the fishes that we humans eat get affected and we eat those fishes, and we also get affected because we drink unhealthy water and bath in it.
The main point of this paper is how war affects the environment and how severe it is and ways to reduce these problems in our environment. Before the industrialization error, war was fought was swords and woods and nothing extremely harmful and dangerous that can affect the environment within a short amount of time. With industrialization came a more severe form of war because different kinds of weapons were produced such as nuclear bombs, torpedoes, and military vehicles, chemical and biological weapons. There is a cost for producing these weapons and there is also a cost for using these weapons. The cost of war will be further discussed in the following chapters.
Ways war has an effect on air pollution are “military vehicles consume petroleum-based fuels at an extremely high rate. These vehicles produce tons of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and sulfur dioxide in addition to CO2” (Watson Institute International & Public Affairs). Another way war affects the atmosphere are through the uses of chemical weapons that pollutes the air and makes it difficult for people in that particular area to breath but rather makes them inhale harmful diseases. Most wars are caused by countries that can afford to go to war such as 1st world countries but are fought in countries that cannot even help their own environment known as 3rd world countries. These wars are very harmful to civilians because they are the victims of the war and the types of weapons that are used during these wars have serious effects and on the environment and human beings. With the use of nuclear bombs also have an effect on the atmosphere because the bomb releases toxics and also causes smoke that is not healthy for living things which makes breathing very difficult.
The effect of war on water pollution is also very high especially in areas where the battle takes place and where the weapons are produced. According to the Island Press, “ Vast amounts of toxic pollution left from the production, storage and testing of chemical, biological, nuclear, and conventional weapons contaminate millions of acres awaiting redevelopment” (Island Press). The cost that the environment pays for war is that the industries that produce these weapons disposed of the waste into the ocean and other water bodies. Another way our water system gets contaminated is by the use of torpedoes because they are used by submarines and they can be found in the ocean. When torpedoes are used in the ocean on other submarines or ships, the torpedoes release toxics that are not friendly to the water systems and there affect life under the ocean which therefore affects humans and other living things that depend on the ocean to survive. Also when these types of weapons are used on other submarines and ships there are toxics or even the vessel itself sinks to the bottom of the ocean and is left there to rust which is an unwanted material in the ocean and affects life in the ocean. Another effect of war on water is “oil from military vehicles and depleted uranium from ammunition contaminate water supply” (Watson Institute International & Public Affairs). This is another way water gets contaminated because the oil from military vehicles gets into water supply because of the area where the war takes place and most likely it being a 3rd world country where their water system is not as organized as a 1st world country, it is easy for oil spills to get into the water. With the water system being contaminated, it is difficult for living thing both in and out of water to survive because living things in water get affected and living things above water also get affected by drinking, bathing or eating sea creatures.
There are numerous ways to reduce the effects of war on the environment. Some ways are for governments to disclose its own fuel consumption for each war zone and supporting operations. Governments who produce weapons of war should have and the knowledge of how these productions affects the environment and not just because it doesn’t affect their country doesn’t mean that if doesn’t affect other countries and the people living in those areas. The United Nations should make sure that no country has any chemical or biological weapon that can be to hurt people and the environment. Chemical or biological weapons should be banned because it is a crime against humanity and it is more destructive than any other weapon. Countries should try and make peace negotiations instead of resulting to violence. The best way to lessen war is to have strong peace treaties and understanding with other fellow countries in order to not have a reason to produce destructive weapons and go to war. Governments should also limit the amount of factories that produce weapons of war. Having a limit of industries and factories that produce weapons will be an effective step because it then reduces the number of weapons produce and also the amount of waste being dumped into the environment. A group known as the Toxic Remnants of War Network is fighting for civilian and environmental protection.