Environmental benefits of Nonlethal Security
- The greatest benefit to the environment of a Nonlethal Security approach would be to prevent nuclear warfare. The detonation of just one small nuclear bomb would cause vast damage from radioactive pollution.
- The environmental damage from a full scale nuclear war is almost unthinkable.
- ‘Nuclear winter’ could result from the shading of the sun by debris in the atmosphere. This would be combined with intense radioactivity. Some radioactivity could persist for many thousands of years. (More)
- The damage could include the extinction of many species of plants and animals – including humans – and genetic mutations to organisms on a huge scale.
- Other lethal weapons already cause substantial environmental damage. The results of the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam war destroyed vast areas of vegetation. The carcinogenic and mutagenic effects of the chemicals have persisted through several generations in the Vietnames population, with a high rate of deformity in the newborn.
- The depleted uranium alloys used in armour and munitions in the recent Gulf War and Iraq War are said to have caused extensive long-term harm to both troops and civilians.
A move to nonlethal security would much reduce environmental and health damage from these various agents.
- Vast amounts of money are spent each year on armaments and military personnel in preparation for possible lethal warfare. A nonlethal approach to international security could well reduce such costs and allow more resources to be devoted to improving our environment.
After the threat of nuclear annihilation, the next greatest danger to humanity is climate change due to global warming. Less money spent on lethal weapons will allow greater attention to be given this most important environmental issue.
(See UN Climate Summit video)