It’s the time of year for thinking about
shopping peace on earth, and an aptly timed new report carries a reminder of the impact of war not just on people, but on the planet. Modern warfare tactics cause unprecedented damage to natural landscapes, says a new article from the Worldwatch Institute. Think spraying of Agent Orange in Vietnam, Rwandan refugees stripping forest for shelter, and the impact of heavy vehicles on deserts in Iraq, not to mention “the sheer firepower of current weapons technology, especially its shock-and-awe deployment by modern superpowers,” says the report. “The involvement of guerrilla groups in many recent wars draws that firepower toward the natural ecosystems — often circumscribed and endangered ones — where those groups take cover.” All we want for the holidays is an end to the madness. Please?