Sardinia and Jeju: The Environmental Cost of War Helen Jaccard Bruce Gagnon August 10, 2012 Veterans For Peace National Convention Miami, Florida, USA “If leaders are to address the challenge of climate change, they cannot ignore the impact of militarism on climate change”. (Dr. of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.) The statement then called for the following: i. The IAEA to end the promotion of nuclear energy as the solution to climate change ii. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to investigate and estimate the full impact on greenhouse gas emissions by the military and demand that each state release information related to the greenhouse gas emissions from the production of all weapons systems, military exercises, from war games, weapons testing, military aviation, environmental warfare, troop transfer, military operations, waste generation, reconstruction after acts of violent nterventions. iii NATO , whose collective activities have contributed to, not only the perpetuation of the scourge of war and the violation of international peremptory norms but also the substantial release of greenhouse gas emissions to be disbanded. iv. Global military budgets to be reallocated to global social justice. # of Arms Manufacturers by Country Country Grand Total USA UK Germany Russia South Korea Italy Brazil Ukraine Israel India Switzerland Pakistan Belgium # of Weapons Manufacturers % of world total 194 52 12 11 10 8 7 7 6 5 5 4 4 4 27% 6% 6% 5% 4% 4% 4% 3% 3% 3% 2% 2% 2% The US alone accounts for over two-fifths (or just under half of the the world’s spending) Preparation for War Pollutes Our Only Planet and Depletes Her Resources by: • Extracting and transporting minerals, oil and natural gas • Manufacturing and testing military aircraft, drones, tanks, bombs, missiles, guns, bullets, armor, protective clothing and communication equipment • Testing the effects of explosions and fires on armor and pipelines • Moving equipment, soldiers and materials around the world • Storing massive quantities of fuel and munitions, such as Agent Orange, which leak into the surrounding ground water and earth • Nuclear submarine accidents that release radioactivity • Construction and renovation of bases and buildings - The USA alone has over 900 bases • Massive military “exercises” – peaceful paradises become target ranges. They are bombed and attacked by air and sea. • Sonar testing, which kills marine mammals. US Military trashes the environment • The Government Accounting Office estimates that the Department of Defense generates 500,000 tons of toxic chemicals and waste annually—more than the five leading chemical companies combined. • The Pentagon reported to Congress in 1990 that more than 17,484 military sites violate federal environmental laws. At least 97 are on the Superfund list, which designates the cleanup of certain areas to be a national priority. • U.S. military activities—excluding the manufacture of weapons—consume enough energy in one year to run the entire U.S. urban mass transit system for 22 years. • A conventionally powered aircraft carrier consumes 150,000 gallons of fuel per day. In less than an hour’s flight, a jet launched from its flight deck consumes as much fuel as a U.S. motorist uses in two years. • 40,000 underground tanks used to store chemicals and fuels threaten nearby communities. In New Jersey alone, Lakehurst Naval Air Station has acknowledged that 3.2 million gallons of aviation fuel and other chemicals contaminated an aquifer that provides much of the tap water for the southern half of the state. Three different tests indicated toxic substances 10,000 times the levels the government considers safe. Mining for Weapons Production Mining for all kinds of metals, often many in the same site, for many purposes. There are hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of abandoned mines in the world which are polluting the neighboring regions with lead, arsenic, asbestos, mercury and acid mining drainage (in the worst cases so acidic as to dissolve metal tools) Often less than 1% of the rock brought to the surface is actually used and for many hard-rock mines, there is no end in sight to the acid pollution because of the large volumes of pyrite present in the waste. The acidity itself can suppress the life in waterways and if allowed to build up in standing water, such as pit lakes, can kill larger animals such as caribou, moose, and migrating waterfowl, according to Solutions to Acid Mine Drainage, a fact sheet published by Natural Resources Canada. But more significant are the metals that the acid releases. Traces of unwanted metals are almost always coexistent in deposits of the target metal, whatever that might be. A whole suite of potential toxicants--such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, zinc, iron, copper, aluminum, and manganese--can be found in hard-rock mines. Nuclear weapons “Nuclear bombs, whether they’re used or not, violate everything that is humane…sacred. “Why do we tolerate them?” Arundati Roy Uranium mining is done in the US on Sacred Native Land Uranium Mining on Sacred Land Case Study: Spokane Indian Reservation The Native American Reservations are considered “independent” of the federal government and therefore, the cleanup falls on the EPA. The EPA’s hands are tied because they are suing Midnite Mine’s parent company for the cleanup costs. Meanwhile, people on the Spokane Reservation are dying. Dawn Mining Company left behind almost 2.4 million tons of stockpiled ore when they closed operations at Midnite Mine in 1981, about 2 million tons of this ore is estimated to be uranium oxide. The Mine tore up Reservation land, leaving behind nearly 33 million pounds of waste rock when they closed operations at the site. This waste ore and rock causes acid mine drainage, which flows into Blue Creek, and causes high levels of radiation and heavy metal contamination in the Spokane River. Of the six mining pits left behind as scars on the land, two are part-way filled with groundwater that poisons the land around it. OIL and WAR – The vicious cycle Demand for Oil Oil, Coal, Nuclear Lobbies National Subsidies Oil Destruction of oil production infrastructure Militaries Protect the “National Interests” (of Oil Producers) Depletion of oil Military Biggest Oil User Greenhouse Gases Released Military/militarism – the unseen climate culprit • Uses 90% of the energy consumed by the federal government and is the largest consumer of energy in the world. (2006= 1 quadrillion BTU’s!) • The Pentagon is the largest single consumer of petroleum in the world, estimated at 1 million barrels (1 barrel=42 gallons) per day - and thus is the largest polluter of our ecosystem! “Here’s the awful truth: even if every person, every automobile, and every factory suddenly emitted zero emissions, the earth would still be headed, head first and at full speed, toward total disaster for one major reason. The military produces enough greenhouse gases, by itself, to place the entire globe, with all its inhabitants large and small, in the most immanent danger of extinction.” From the Introduction to The Green Zone, Barry Sanders Military / Security Oil Use and Pollution “ The military industrial complex consumed almost double the oil equivalent energy as the U.S. military, even higher today because of the escalation of arms exports. Thus, the entire military enterprise is far and away the largest single climate polluter and contributor to global warming.” Renner, 1989 “The vast security network to protect access to oil also runs on vast amounts of petroleum-based products…” Michael Klare In Preparation and During War: Consumption of Oil M1 Abrams Tank: ½ mile per gallon B-52 Bomber: burns 55 gallons of jet fuel PER MINUTE F-15 Fighter at takeoff: burns 4 gallons of fuel PER SECOND Soldier in Afghanistan: Requires 22 gallons of fuel per day Military Bases The U.S. alone has over 900 military bases around the world. US and NATO Bases • The US Military has over 900 bases in over 60 foreign countries. • 255,065 US military personnel are deployed Worldwide. • The total land area occupied by US military bases worldwide is 2,202,735 hectares (8504 square miles), which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide (Gelman, J., 2007). • The Atlantic Alliance (NATO) has its own Network of military bases, thirty in total. Sardinia, Italy - a case study of War Eco-system Damage during Peacetime Sardinia and it’s People Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea – a paradise with diverse wildlife and beautiful beaches. Alice Scanu, a Sardinian environmental engineer and activist said, “We are peaceful people, poor ones maybe, but very welcoming. That's how I'd like Sardinians to be remembered, not as people involved in wars and power games.” In the rural areas are shepherds and farmers who make magnificent wine, honey, and cheese. Military Use of Sardinia For over 50 years Sardinia has been used by militaries and arms manufacturers to: • • • • • test new bullets, bombs, missiles and drones train soldiers and pilots practice war scenarios destroy old weapons and dangerous chemicals launch bombing sorties, most recently against Libya • Seventy percent of Italian military bases are located here. Italian, NATO, and U.S. bases occupy about 1/3 of the area of the island’s land and sea. During military practice drills, the area closed to navigation and fishing is about 7200 square miles, almost 2 times the island surface. Salto di Quirra Polygon Military Firing Ranges Quirra, Teulada, Capo Frasca – 3 of the Largest Firing Ranges in Europe are on this ONE island. These firing ranges are often used for air, sea, and land multi-national military “exercises” to simulate a coastal invasion. The Quirra base also has other, very polluting functions: •Test-fire rockets, drones, bombs •Test effects of explosions on armor and pipelines •Dispose of tons of old weapons, including chemical weapons (by incineration or burial, both of which cause incredible pollution problems.) • • • • • • Military Activities on Sardinia: Contamination Large quantities of buried waste contain cadmium, lead, antimony, and napalm Explosions of waste (left over from the Balkan war) affect up to 2000 square meters that no longer support vegetation – a 30-second explosion in Quirra produces the same pollution level as a municipal incinerator during one year. Communities, shepherds, base personnel and animals are exposed to toxic dust from explosions Explosions contain thorium, lead, cerium and cadmium Thorium, a radioactive and highly carcinogenic heavy metal used in military targeting systems has been found in Sardinian honey, milk, and other areas of the food chain. High levels of lead are in the water and the sand at several places on the beaches. Pieces of bombs, missiles, and bullets lie on the ground and in the sea. Military Activities on Sardinia: Health Effects Malformed animals: two-headed lambs, calves with deformed legs, a pig with one huge grotesque eye, and other horrors. A tissue sample from a malformed lamb was found to contain depleted uranium. Malformed babies: Between 1988 and 2002 fourteen children were born with severe malformations in Escalaplano, a small village of 2400 people bordering the Quirra base. Cancer: • In a village with 150 inhabitants, 12 people died from leukemia in 2002 alone. • Forty civilians and 23 soldiers from there have died of leukemia in the past decade. • 65% of workers on 7 of 12 farms located near the base are suffering from serious cancer. • In the previous decade (1990 – 2000), there had been no cases of leukemia or lymphoma among this same population. • Most of the cancers are Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia. • Rates of thyroid cancer and autoimmune diseases are also unexpectedly high. Decimomannu Air Base This more typical kind of military base also exists on Sardinia. – Decimomannu is the largest NATO air base in the world. •The military base of Decimomannu has been spilling jet fuel into the aquifers for years. This fuel contains xylene, benzene and lead, highly dangerous and carcinogenic substances that end up in human bodies through water, air and food. •Mayor Louis Porceddu in February 2011 prohibited the use of the local wells . Since then, the residents have not received answers on further analysis and the necessary and urgent remediation. The authorities deny responsibility and expertise. In the meantime, the spill continues unabated, killing the land and putting the people’s health in great danger. •An alleged reclamation has already cost 900,000 Euros, although no problem has been solved. •Monica Pisano of the Decimomannu Civic Committee “Su Sentidu” said, “It is absolutely ineffective, since it is useless to reclaim the territory if the spill continues!” Nuclear Submarine Bases Sardinia had a Nuclear Submarine Base on the Island of Santo Stefano from 1972 – 2008. • • • In 2003 the nuclear powered submarine U.S.S. Hartford struck a rock - most of the bottom half of the rudder was torn off and gouges in the hull were deep enough to raise concerns about its structural integrity. However, residents suspect that even greater damage was done. Also, the U.S. government covered up the incident for over 3 weeks, infuriating the Italian government. Massimo Zucchetti, Professor at the Department of Energy at the Torino Polytechnic and his team analyzed algae in the archipelago. The presence of radioactive alpha particles and plutonium traces were found, sometimes in high concentrations. This contamination is due to either a continuous loss of pollutant from the submarine base, or to environmental releases that took place during the USS Hartford accident. On January 20, 2004, the “schwäbische Zeitung” newspaper reported that there was an alarming high amount of radioactivity in the water near the former base. Nuclear Submarine Accidents Other Paradises Damaged or At Risk Vieques Island, Puerto Rico is another island that was used for •live training exercises •ship-to-shore gunfire •air-to-ground bombing •an ammunition depot and a •dumping ground for 10,000 tons of toxic waste. •It was bombed an average of 180 days per year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found unexploded ordnance, remnants of exploded ordnance, mercury, lead, copper, magnesium, lithium, napalm, depleted uranium, and possibly pesticides and solvents contaminating Vieques. The U.S. Navy started looking for a replacement for Vieques in 2000 and Sardinia was one of the main candidates. It is interesting to note that most of the problems in Sardinia escalated after the year 2000. Vieques On the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, which the U.S. Navy has used as a bombing range for half a century, the cancer incidence is 28 percent more than that of the main island (NVA, July-August 1999). Moreover, military activities—which killed a civilian in 1999—have included the firing of depleted uranium munitions into the Vieques training range in blatant violation of both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules and the Navy’s own official training regulations, which specify that DU ammunition is to be used only during combat or approved tests and is banned for peacetime or training use. Further, only 57 of 263 DU shells were recovered! Military activities have also included the establishment of nuclear facilities in numerous bases, such as Roosevelt Roads, in flagrant violation of the 1967 Treaty of Tlateloco, which declared the Carribean and Latin America a nuclear-free zone. Other Paradises Lost or At Risk Kwajalein Atoll: Eleven of the 97 islands in this atoll in the Southern Pacific ocean are part of the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site. It is clear that the U.S. intends to continue to use the islands for military purposes well into the future. Due to its previous occupation by Japan, Kwajalein was the target of the most concentrated bombardment of the Pacific part of World War II – on February 1, 1944. • Thirty-six thousand shells from naval ships and ground artillery on a nearby islet hit Kwajalein. • American B-24 Liberator bombers aerially bombarded the island, adding to the destruction. Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii Launch of a ballistic threat target missile This is yet another huge missile testing and training range for U.S. Military and contractors. They track submarines, ships, aircraft and space vehicles •42,000 square miles of airspace •2385 acres of land •1100 mi2 instrumented underwater range •Perch Electronic Warfare Site •Electronic Warfare Portable Simulator Sites •Helicopter Terrain Flight Training Course Pfc. David Tracy assigned to First Battalion, Twelfth Marine Regiment, sites the Howitzer 150 gun during an artillery live fire exercise. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy; photo by: Photographer's Mate 1st Class Jane West White Sands Missile Range, White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is the largest military installation in the United States, with almost 3,200 square miles in area. The missile range is located 27 miles east of Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is a multi-service test range whose main function is the support of missile development and test programs for the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), other government agencies and private industry. Judge dismisses Guam firing range lawsuit • A federal judge in Hawaii has dismissed a lawsuit to halt the military’s plan to build a firing range close to the historic Pågat site, calling the lawsuit moot, according to a District Court of Hawaii document. • The lawsuit was filed by firing range opposition group We Are Guåhan, the Guam Preservation Trust, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in November 2010. • The proposed firing range has been one of the most controversial aspects of the proposed Guam military buildup because the range is very close to the ancient village site of Pågat. The military has said the range is essential to sharpen the skills of thousands of Marines who are expected to move from Okinawa to Guam, but protesters and local politicians have said the firing range should be built on existing military property, not on land leased from Guam’s government. Another Paradise At Risk - NOW Jeju Island, South Korea The South Korean Government is constructing a naval base in the tiny village of Gangjeong, which is surrounded by three UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites and nine UNESCO Geo-Parks on an island that is designated a Global Biosphere Reserve. Construction is accelerating daily with the dredging of the island’s seabed and its coral communities, despite the protests of the residents and the 94% of them that repeatedly voted not to allow this base to be built. The entire village and surrounding area is to become a 50-hectare naval base that will house 8,000 marines, up to 20 destroyers, several submarines and two 150,000-ton luxury cruise liners. Lead pollution at over 1800 firing ranges in the U.S. • • • • • The military has been involved in massive lead cleanup efforts for years, at an estimated 700 military firing ranges across the country. Shooting ranges are likely to be one the biggest sources of lead pollution in the country (Figure 1). Assuming a very modest level of activity at the nation's 1,813 firing ranges - just 15 customers shooting 50 rounds a day - firing ranges would put nearly nine million pounds of lead into the environment per year. This is more lead pollution than is produced by any other industry except metals mining and manufacturing, and waste recovery operations. The nation’s firing ranges represent a major potential source of lead in water and wildlife, and a potential liability to nearby property owners who may find themselves living next to a hazardous waste site or who might be victims of lead drifting onto their property. Firing ranges are exempt from all EPA and pollution control laws – they are even allowed near bodies of water. In just 2 years a typical firing range can have lead contamination equivalent to a 5acre Superfund site. Sonar Kills Whales • • • High-intensity naval sonar poses a serious threat to whales, dolphins and porpoises that depend on sound to survive, says a report by the United Nations Environment Programme. A report by the International Whaling Commission's scientific committee said the link between sonar and whale deaths was "very convincing and appears overwhelming". The Navy acknowledges that sonar can be deadly to marine mammals, and that the exercises at issue would “take” an estimated 170,000 marine mammals, including causing permanent injury to more than 500 whales and temporary deafness to at least 8,000 whales. War Itself Destroys Ecosystems • Bombs, missiles and fires destroy the land from explosions and pollute. • Ordnance, whether unexploded or not, contains heavy metals which pollute the surroundings, and beyond the immediate vicinity, in some cases for thousands of years! • Fuel used to transport people and equipment pollutes by spewing greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Accidents happen, resulting in spills, unexpected fires and explosions. • Building or using roads and runways (for soldiers, tanks and supplies) destroys the land and ground water. Once land is taken for a road, the area becomes accessible to civilization and often, sadly, the original eco-system is completely annihilated. • War displaces hundreds of thousands of people, which causes its own set of environmental problems – mass migrations damage the soil, pollute the environment, and require new infrastructure. Toxic Pollution Continues Long After the War Ends • Toxic contamination continues polluting, either killing or causing debilitating diseases and genetic defects for generations of humans, animals and other parts of the ecosystem. • Reconstruction of infrastructure uses toxic and non-renewable energy sources (oil, natural gas, coal) Destruction of old munitions and chemicals result in: • Radioactive pollution from depleted uranium and thorium which have been known to cause cancers, birth defects and deformed animals • Chemical and petrochemical pollution-asbestos, white phosphorus, heavy metals, fuel spills • Depletion of essential nutrients needed to survive: potable water, unpolluted/de-toxified land in which to grow food • Depletion of energy sources to provide shelter, (wood, cement and metal) electricity and heat. • Loss of biodiversity, including precious orchards and forests Depleted Uranium and Toxic Chemicals • Agent Orange • Napalm • Heavy metals and chemicals which are radioactive and poisonous are used in modern weaponry. Extracting these resources, manufacturing the weapons, testing them, and using them are causing massive environmental destruction, resulting in high rates of cancers, birth defects, deformed animals, and contaminated food, water, land, sea, and air. “I count 36 different kinds of bombs…in current use by the US military,”* made with various combinations of explosives and toxic chemicals. *Barry Sanders, The Green Zone A 1980 UN Convention banned the use of napalm against civilian targets. The USA did not sign the treaty and is one of few nations that continues using incendiary weapons. A new more lethal form of Napalm B was developed by US weapons manufacturers, made of a polystyrene-like gel and kerosene based jet fuel, which is harder to remove from everything it touches and burns and burns… Source: Sanders, The Green Zone According to a UN Environment Program report of 2004: At least four million pounds of low-level radioactive dust… from spent munitions of bombs made with illegal Depleted Uranium… now cover the deserts and cities of Iraq… In one year, from Oct.7 2001 to December 2002 the US dropped between 550-600 tons of DU on Afghanistan – Sanders, “The Green Zone” ACTIONS: What we’re doing What has worked Action Ideas 1. 2. 3. 4. Let the indigenous philosophical construct of relatedness to all beings (“all our relations”) infuse everything we do, the choices we make, how we live our lives… Visualize what the world we want to see (evolving toward a military-free, post-nuclear, post-carbon future) looks like. (Ex:“Solartopia” by Harvey Wasserman) Draw it, write or journal about it, make signs and banners for rallies about it, meditate on it. Promote an Eco Justice Paradigm Shift - Include pollution from militarization in every discussion about environmental /eco/climate justice. Use eco justice language that encourages awareness of essential biodiversity for all living beings including earth, sky, solar system, etc. 4. Educate self and everyone else about this issue: films, books, websites, articles. Start a Study Group on one aspect of the topic. 5. Make this a key part of your Occupy Environmental Working Group 6. War Tax Resistance - don't pay for wars and preparations for Wars! 7. Sign up for a research internship with AFGJ (write FOIA’s and provide internet design and management.) 8) Rio +20 Earth Summit 2012 - Advocate through organizations such as the Global Alliance for the rights of Nature, and many more. 9) Help organize a Global Day of Action for Mother Earth in 2013. 10) Help build a new global eco justice network with the main purpose being the end of militarism and military pollution. More Action Ideas -Yours 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17…. Cannot afford this global military industrial complex any longer! With one voice we say, NO MORE WAR! Peace is the answer! For further information, contact: Helen Jaccard [email protected] (206) 992-6364 Cree Proverb “Only when the last tree has died, And the last river been poisoned, And the last fish been caught Will we realize we cannot Eat money.” “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr. Resources Films: “Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental footprint of War” by Alice & Lincoln Day “Uranio 238” - Quaker Peace Center, San Jose, Costa Rica Books: Barry Sanders, “The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism” cl. 2009. Roger S. Gottleib - A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet’s Future, cl. 2006.
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