Friday, November 6, 2015


UN INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR PREVENTING the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
November 6, 2015
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology

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UN Environment Day Google Search, November 6, 2015

Two Films by Alice and Lincoln Day
Documentary, Scarred Lands
Documentary, What Are We Leaving Behind in Iraq

Four Books
Sanders, The Green Zone, Iraq War and Environment, 2009
Paskal, Global Warring, 2009
Parenti, Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, 2011
Chomsky and Polk, Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe, 2013

Recent Newsletters

FOR’s Dai Dong

United Nations
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
6 November
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"We must use all of the tools at our disposal, from dialogue and mediation to preventive diplomacy, to keep the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources from fueling and financing armed conflict and destabilizing the fragile foundations of peace."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Abandoned war utilities in South Sudan. Photo credit: United Nations Environment Programme Disasters & Conflicts Sub-Programme
On 5 November 2001, the UN General Assembly declared 6 November of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (A/RES/56/4).
Though mankind has always counted its war casualties in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, destroyed cities and livelihoods, the environment has often remained the unpublicized victim of war.Water wells have been polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned, and animals killed to gain military advantage.
Furthermore, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found that over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources, whether high-value resources such as timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resources such as fertile land and water. Conflicts involving natural resources have also been found to be twice as likely to relapse.
Upcoming reports and highlights
The United Nations attaches great importance to ensuring that action on the environment is part of conflict prevention,peacekeeping and peacebuilding strategies - because there can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.
United Nations
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and ... in War and Armed Conflict; Statements made by members of the UN General ...
United Nations
Nov 6, 2014 - International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and ... has long been a silent casualty of war and armed conflict. › ... › Holidays › UN Holidays
Time and Date
The United Nations' (UNInternational Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict is annually held on November 6. It aims ...
The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict was established on November 5, 2001 by the United Nations ...
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) logo ... Title : International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
Nov 6, 2011 - United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe ... theExploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (6 November)
Nov 6, 2012 - In almost any conflict the environment will suffer, but traditionally this has drawn little attention. ... the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict ... On 5th November 2001 the UN General Assembly passed a ...
35 likes. Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict... ... Community Page about United Nations International Days and Weeks.
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the. Environment in War and Armed Conflict. 6 November 2005. On 5 November 2001, the General Assembly ...

See Related Newsletters:

Scarred Lands Wounded Lives Film
Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives is a compelling documentary exploring the under-reported environmental impacts of war and preparations for war. The film confronts the immensely broad ecological and human ramifications of everything from technological development and natural resource exhaustion to weapons testing and modern warfare itself.
Ecosystems around the world are in distress from forces of humanity’s own making: increasing population, unsustainable demands on natural resources, habitat and species loss, and climate change. One of the most destructive of human behaviors – war – is not commonly included as a contributor to the growing global environmental crisis.
Yet, in all its stages, from the production of weapons through combat, military operations pollute land, air, and water, destroy entire ecosystems, and drain limited natural resources.
Using archival material from the Civil War through more recent wars, along with expert testimony and eyewitness accounts, the film clearly presents the environmental and human cost of combat, and argues for public scrutiny of the ecological and human impact of war as essential to a more sustainable – and secure – world.

What prompted this film is recognition of our deep dependence on the natural world and the significant, but little-known threat to that world posed by war and preparations for war. scale of environmental damage over the last half century is unprecedented. Falling water tables, shrinking forest cover, declining species diversity – all presage ecosystems in distress.
These trends are now widely acknowledged as emanating from forces of humanity’s own making: massive population increases, unsustainable demands on natural resources, species loss, ruinous environmental practices. Ironically however, war, that most destructive of human behaviors, is commonly bypassed. the production of weapons through combat to cleanup and restoration, war entails actions that pollute land, air, and water, destroy biodiversity, and exhausts natural resources. Yet the environmental damage occasioned by war and preparation for war is routinely underestimated, underreported, even ignored. The environment remains war’s “silent casualty.”
Activities that do such damage cry out for far-reaching public scrutiny. The very sustainability of our planet is at stake. We can no longer maintain silence about the environmental impact of war on the grounds that such scrutiny is “inconvenient” or “callous” at a time when human life is so endangered.
If we cannot eliminate war, we can at least require a fuller accounting of war’s costs and consequences, and demand that destructive forces used in our name leave a lighter footprint on this highly vulnerable planet. It is to this change in values and actions that this documentary film is directed.

“Highly recommended. A powerful documentary on the ecological consequences of warfare…which traces how military forces have intentionally destroyed ecosystems as a means to win battles.”
– Video Librarian
“Recommended. The explanations of the experts and witnesses convincingly demonstrate that the cost of war extends far beyond the actual fighting. Preparation for war and the aftermath of war add to the destruction of ‘natural security’.“
– Educational Media Reviews Online
“The extensive research and skillful presentation by sociologists Alice and Lincoln Day make the film a surprisingly moving experience. Interviews of scientists, war veterans and others are carefully interspersed with footage that makes vivid the long-term damage to the planet that has resulted from military conflicts and activities.”
– Science Magazine
“A powerful and haunting account of war’s silent casualty — the environment. Catalogs the array of damage from bombs, chemicals, guns and unexploded ordnance.”
– The Chronicle of Higher Education Review
“The documentary weaves together eyewitness accounts, interviews, archival footage, and news video from wars past and present. The images portray a story rarely considered in the heat of battle: how war pollutes the air, water and land, destroys biodiversity and drains natural resources.”
– Voice of America
·         SCIENCE Review.pdf
·         VOA Review.pdf

Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: the Environmental Footprint of War was presented with the highest level of award handed out at  the Saturday night, April 16, awards dinner.  The award plague reads:  WORLDFEST - 2011 SPECIAL JURY REMI AWARD THE 44th ANNUAL AWARD WORLDFEST - HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL  FILM & VIDEO REMI AWARDS . ECOLOGY/ ENVIRONMENT/ CONSERVATION  "SCARRED LANDS & WOUNDED LIVES: THE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT OF WAR,"  ALICE AND LINCOLN DAY.  We went up on the stage, accepted the plaque, emblazoned with the Lone Star and our names and the film's name on a gold label and our photos were taken with Master of Ceremonies, Hunter Todd.  Quite a thrill.  We knew we were going to receive a prize, but didn't know it was going to be the highest level.  Alice Day
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What We Are Leaving Behind in Iraq

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What We Are Leaving Behind in Iraq
What We Are Leaving Behind in Iraq
A Photo-Essay produced by Alice and Lincoln Day
Featuring the narration and photography of Michael Fitzpatrick
Michael Fitzpatrick is a former U.S. Army Sergeant, deployed in Iraq from March 2004 to March 2005 and then again from October 2006 to January 2008. Stationed about 12 miles northeast of Baghdad, his duties extended to several patrol bases that operated out of different cities. The 5-year stretch he was there gave him an unusual opportunity to view changes over time in the environment and activities of the American military in Iraq. Stationed about 12 miles northeast of Baghdad, his duties extended to several patrol bases that operated out of different cities. Fitzpatrick says that before he went to Iraq, he imagined it would look somewhat like the countryside of rural Northern California where he grew up. But news agencies had prepared him for neither the dire poverty of the people nor the toll that war had exacted on their houses, the infrastructure, the farms, and the land. Everywhere there were damaged buildings and trash littering public places. As he traveled around on patrols he says he kept looking for a place that was clean and well maintained, but never found one.
He was particularly dismayed by the scale of military equipment, ordnance, and dangerous munitions that were left lying around, a threat to the safety of American soldiers and to Iraqi children and adults alike. He strongly felt that Americans should be made aware of what was going on: that "they knew how to destroy, they didn't know how to restore.”
The some 3,000 photos that Fitzpatrick took during his two deployments became the inspiration and basis for this 19-minute photo essay. These provide visual testimony to what has happened and continues to happen to the environment in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan in consequence of sustained foreign military presence. He sums up his deep concerns about the environmental damage that we are leaving behind in this way: "And remind them that all this stuff is just sitting around out there, on everyday land, accessible to anyone. I just walked up on all this stuff and took pictures.”
Fitzpatrick is currently working on a PhD degree in philosophy at Stanford. When the Days first met him it was after a screening of their film, Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives --The Environmental Footprint of War, at the State University of California (Chico), where Michael was an undergraduate specializing in philosophy and English language and literature. Thinking that this film captured much of what he had experienced during his time in Iraq, Michael turned over his entire "photo library” to the Days to use as they chose. In June 2010, their production team interviewed him on film talking about his impressions of Iraq and then, over the next 6 months, the Days used a selection of his photos to produce this photo-essay.
What We Are Leaving Behind in Iraq
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Our website:  has been revised.  It now makes available the trailer and full version for both Scarred Lands and What We Are Leaving Behind.

Sanders, Barry.  The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism.  AK P, 2009.  Exposes the environmental consequences of US military practices, from fuel emissions to radioactive wastes to defoliation campaigns.   The US military is the single-greatest contributor to the worldwide environmental crisis.   “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.”  Google author/title for fuller information.  Buy, study, and report the book.  Buy several copies for friends.   --Dick
Google Search, Nov. 6, 2015
American Friends Service Committee
Oct 18, 2010 - Barry Sanders, Ph.D., author of the Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism (Oakland, AK Press, 2009) will speak in Indianapolis on ...
Dec 4, 2012 - The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism by Barry ... The writer Barry Sanders reminds us that we all know the typical “to do” list ...
The Huffington Post
Oct 28, 2007 - In a series of posts this week on HuffPost, author Barry Sandersdiscusses one of the least-explored but significant consequences of the Iraq ...
The Indypendent
Jun 25, 2009 - The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism By Barry Sanders AK Press, 2009. As we have become more aware of our effect on the ...

Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map

by Cleo Paskal  As told by: Cleo Paskal .   Key Porter Books | December 7, 2009 .
The Cold War was never this hot!

We live in interesting times. The biggest western economic institutions are crumbling, what were once marginalized voices are now dominating international negotiations, and touchstone climate events, such as the monsoon, are failing. Everywhere you look economic, geopolitical and environmental assumptions are being shaken to the core. The world is changing. Fast.
Global Warring examines these trends by combining insightful economic and political analysis with the most likely environmental change scenarios. It identifies problem areas that could start conflicts (access to water and resources in Asia), economic trends that are shifting the balance of power (China's policy of nationalistic capitalism), and geopolitical realignments (the burgeoning strategic partnership between the United States and India).
Award-winning writer and geopolitical expert Cleo Paskal makes sense of this overwhelming topic by dividing it into five sections: how seemingly impervious western nations, such as the United States, are shockingly vulnerable to hurricanes, storm surges and rising sea levels, and what that could mean for their internal stability and economic development; how the thawing Arctic is opening up a whole new arena for power politics as some of the world's biggest countries wrangle for control over vast resources, strategic shipping routes such as the Northwest Passage and geopolitical leverage; how changing precipitation patterns, extreme weather and water shortages are creating severe disruptions in India and China, and how that could affect their relations with each other, and the world; how rising sea levels may shift borders and alter the very notion of statehood, potentially challenging international law to the breaking point; and, finally, what could happen in coming decades, and how to avoid the worst of it.
Paskal combines ten years of research; the latest findings from the Hadley Centre and the United Nations; and interviews with top political, security and economic strategists with her own extensive travel as a foreign correspondent. The result is a penetrating, accessible, compelling, and chilling reminder that Global Warring is not only coming, it's here.
"In a clear, comprehensive and alarming analysis, Cleo Paskal underlines the geopolitically disruptive potential of climate change. Arguably this is the biggest challenge to human society since the Ice Age or the Black Death and it is not clear we are any readier  to respond adequately to ours than were our unfortunate ancestors to theirs." -- Guy Stanley, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University.
Winner of The 2010 Grantham Prize for excellence in Reporting on the Environment

Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, 2011.
Christian Parenti Christian Parenti (Author)
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Editorial Reviews
From Africa to Asia and Latin America, the era of climate wars has begun. Extreme weather is breeding banditry, humanitarian crisis, and state failure.
In Tropic of Chaos, investigative journalist Christian Parenti travels along the front lines of this gathering catastrophe--the belt of economically and politically battered postcolonial nations and war zones girding the planet's mid-latitudes. Here he finds failed states amid climatic disasters. But he also reveals the unsettling presence of Western military forces and explains how they see an opportunity in the crisis to prepare for open-ended global counterinsurgency.
Parenti argues that this incipient "climate fascism"--a political hardening of wealthy states-- is bound to fail. The struggling states of the developing world cannot be allowed to collapse, as they will take other nations down as well. Instead, we must work to meet the challenge of climate-driven violence with a very different set of sustainable economic and development policies.

Noam Chomsky and Laray Polk study the two supreme dangers together in Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe ((2013).  Chomsky constantly urges all to study the past, to shore up memory.   But which memories?   Take Ronald Reagan.  Chomsky has a low opinion of Reagan.  Yet the nation gave him the longest funeral of all the presidents.  Whom to believe?  To this question Chomsky urges us all to do the work, study the past, and test your discoveries by your values.   For example, read Rachel Maddow’s Drift, chap. 2, where Reagan and Jimmy Carter are contrasted, and consider what kind of nation we would have today had we followed Carter’s attempt to significantly change US energy policies in contrast to the US we have today as the result of Reagan’s disregard of energy and focus on military power.    Study, analyze, distinguish, act, Chomsky urges us.  Uninformed people—frightened and demoralized, easily manipulated.—lose connection with the urgent realities even of survival, the subject of this book:  “the persistent danger of nuclear war, and the threat of environmental disaster, already approaching” (p. 79).   –Dick

Recent Newsletters 2015 Related to US Wars
Memory Whole  10-18
Indigenous People of Americas Day 10-11
September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows 9-11
UN International Day against Nuclear Tests 8-25
Snowden 8-15
Iran 7-28
US Westward Empire 7
US v. Russia 6-19

In 1970 FOR connected its old opposition to WWII area/saturation/terror bombing, its recognition of the catastrophic environmental and human consequences of the Vietnam War, and of the many US wars since 1941, and other social issues.       FOR called it Dai Dong The Gioi, Vietnamese for “a world of great togetherness,” derived from an ancient proverb “that defined family more widely than one’s biological family.”   FOR’s records of its Dai Dong initiative are located in the Swarthmore peace archive (google).    --Dick
DAI DONG, a transitional peace effort linking war and the environment, 1969-1975
12 boxes
Boxes 1-2
Origins of Dai Dong
Organizational files; Steering Committee

Boxes 2-4
Menton conference of scientists, 1970
Menton Statement: "Message from 2,100 environmental scientists", 1970-1971

Boxes 4-5
Conferences on the Environment, Stockhom, 1972: UN Conference; Independent Conference (Dai Dong)
Boxes 5-6
Economists' statement: "Toward a Human Economics", 1972-1974
Boxes 6-7
Energy project, 1972-1974
Field work, 1971-1974

Boxes 8-9
Mailings, literature, general correspondence
Boxes 9-12
Administrative files:
Staff & Steering Committee meetings & corres.
Staff members in Europe (corres. & reports)
Future status of Dai Dong, 1974-1975


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