Airpower and the Environment: The Ecological Implications of Modern Air Warfare - World War II Secondary Effects, Great Plains, Vietnam Eradication, Africa, Israeli Negev Desert, Collateral Damage

by Progressive Management

Publisher: Progressive Management

Publication Date: September 07, 2016

ISBN: 9781370458578

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. Balancing strategic and operational needs with both military and environmental ethics is certainly not impossible, and responsible armed forces are already beginning to think about how best to balance what superficially seem to be (but actually are not) competing imperatives. Air forces face the greatest challenges. During both peace and war they have far greater carbon footprints than armies and navies. They use potentially more devastating ordnance. Their targets traditionally include objects in or near population centers and the aquifers, waterways, soils, and food sources that sustain them. Also, because of historic targeting trends that appear likely to continue for some years—a feature of several chapters herein—air forces cause far worse damage to environmentally significant production, storage, and distribution infrastructure, much of which is based on petroleum, oil, lubricants, or chemicals.

The manufacture and testing of aircraft are themselves major industrial undertakings that have always, and especially during wartime, damaged local ecosystems, sometimes substantially and perhaps in some cases permanently. Even when airframes were made mainly of canvas stretched over wood, the need for certain types of strong and light wood resulted in both deforestation and, paradoxically, the planting of new forests for future generations of aircraft that were never built. Although this may seem to have been environmentally cost-neutral, the planting of certain tree species in new regions permanently modified and upset fragile ecosystems. By the time of the Second World War, when most aircraft were composed mainly of various metals and alloys and relatively little wood, the industrial pollution caused by the aircraft industry was staggering (after all, hundreds of thousands of aircraft were built, a great portion of them were destroyed, and all ...