All militarization has environmental consequences. All of which have little to do with democracy.
The other day, Montreal economist, writer, publisher and social ecologist, Dimitri Roussopoulos, took M/S on an amble through the four categories of militarization and environment, and its most undemocratic nature.
The four categories can go like this:
- The production of military hardware, chemicals, biology, conventional and nuclear weaponry.
- Military research involves testing, nearly all of which is done secretly. All the stages of such testing have environmental consequences. Take the Sheffield Plant in Alberta. Check out the landscape; not healthy.
- Space exploration, most of which has a military agenda to secure the upper hand and a commanding view of planet earth, from a space station or a planet. An estimated 10-50,000 space vehicles circulate the planet and eventually become space debris with virtually un-discussed impacts on the earth’s atmosphere.
- Warfare: E. P. Thompson observed that the new generation of weaponry had to be shown to be operational, a factor which triggered the 80’s arms race between the US and Russia. The US installed Cruise and Pershing missiles aimed at Russia and the Russians installed SS20’s and a whole new era of cold war and geopolitical power play ensued. However, the environmental impacts of wars prove the true testing ground, the 1st and 2nd Iraq wars are the cases in point, the bombardment of the oil fields inflicting incalculable environmental damage. Treaties have failed to draw environmental connections with the four categories above so that the various powers involved can avoid accusations of ecocide.
M/S How could the environment, from the point of view of military research, production, and warfare be brought into a democracy?
Dimitri Roussopoulos replies: [audio:dimitri-on-environment.mp3]