One aspect that is often not duly taken in consideration in the study and analysis of conflicts is the fact that they, in addition to a human and economic catastrophe, are also an ecological disaster. Just think of the animals, the destroyed plants and woods, the polluted waterways and air, and the poisoned land.
So, why is it important to disseminate this information in the community?
Because the new generations represent the future of humanity and developing an awareness of respect for nature and the environment is important for preserving our planet.
To get an idea about the devastation of the planet earth during the wars, we can refer to the Gulf War.
According to the University of Kuwait, the pollutants dispersed by oil field fires during the Gulf War, in 1991, caused a tripling of cases of tumors in Kuwait and an increase in the incidence of neurological diseases, asthma and allergies.
Pollution has also contaminated food, with 98 percent of the locally produced grain and milk now containing nickel and vanadium.
Sea water salts to turn off the fires have incorporated heavy metals into metallic organic salts: in this form they are soluble in water and some are carcinogenic. "Vanadium, which can replace iron in hemoglobin, is particularly dangerous, as it inhibits numerous biological processes.
The repercussions on the environment in terms of wars were already in the First World War with underground mines, but the negative effects of armed conflicts on the environment began to grow exponentially since the 1960s. In fact, since then, the weapons used are spread in the air and in the water without stopping at the borders of the individual States and have effects on health and the environment that we do not know well and that are destined to last.
During the first Gulf War, in 1991, over 700 million liters of oil poured into the Persian Gulf. About 300 km of the coast of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were covered with crude oil, resulting in damage to wetlands and swamps.Between 15,000 and 30,000 birds died as a direct result of this conflict and a high number of migratory birds perished as a result of oil contamination during transit in the area.Iraqis sabotaged about 600 oil wells, and as a result of the fires about half a billion tons of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere, causing air pollution even in India.
Observing this aspect, we could say that preventing wars doesn't only mean protecting the civilian population from unnecessary massacres, but also means preserving the planet earth, avoiding permanent disasters.
Written by Luigi Auriemma