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The Global Cost of War

Both militarization and climate change lead to -

Military land use

Indigenous populations have been displaced from their homes by military bases and by military training needs. This especially impacts disadvantaged communities, e.g. Diego Garcia.

Fossil fuels

The US Department of Defense is said to be the largest institutional user of fossil fuels in the world. In addition access to oil can trigger military conflict.

Oil spills

Marine contamination may be caused by deliberate "scorched earth" policies or by the escape of oil from sunken vessels.

Depleted uranium (DU)


Depleted uranium in munitions can become dispersed on impact, contaminating water and soil, and making the environment carcinogenic.

Agent Orange

Agent Orange defoliant and other herbicides, used by the British in Malaya and by the US in Vietnam, caused leaves to fall off trees. This was advantageous militarily but an ecological disaster in tropical forests, decimating wildlife.


Landmines, unexpl missiles, cluster bombs, etc., can make access to open country hazardous. Neither farmers nor cattle dare enter. Children cannot wander in.

Radioactive fallout

Strontium-90 from nuclear weapon testing, nuclear waste disposal and reactor accidents can displace calcium in the human body.
Consequent radioactivity within the bones can cause bone cancer and leukemia.

Contamination of water supplies

Water contamination around military bases can contain harmful chemicals.


Bath Iron Works (BIW) is part of General Dynamics, the arms manufacturer with a factory in Hastings.

Environmentalists in Bath, Maine, are calling for the conversion of their local plant, BIW, to peaceful production.

Their initial proposal to build a massive off-shore wind farm was shelved for lack of state support, despite extensive backing from employees.

Hastings against War salutes our friends in Maine.

Maine students lead a campaign for solar power in Maine schools.

See Climate-driven violence