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The Environmental Disasters Of War Essay

997 words - 4 pages

The Environmental Disasters of War

The war in Iraq is a battle that will have many aftereffects. The land, air and water will no doubtingly be targeted. It is inevitable that the war will tale no toll on the environment. The use of weapons of mass destruction is one of the causes for the disastrous outcome that may occur from the war. They contain many hazardous chemicals that will target the environment and cause waste products to be contained in the atmosphere. Weapons of mass destruction will also destroy the layout of the environment, as bombings will destroy many of the earth’s natural resources. These events are the two major effects that will stir from the battle for peace in Iraq. It is fairly expected that these problems cannot be avoided with the manner that the war is being executed. Damage to the earth will occur, and the harm will be enormous.

One of the most prominent problems that can have major impact on the environment is that Iraq contains many oil wells around the country. These oil wells have the potential to be seized and used as a large scale destruction device. Should the oil wells be destroyed, there will be a massive disaster area, which can span for miles and miles, and still have effect on other countries. The worry is that because there are so many targeted wells, the effects will be on a extremely larger scale than the oil damage that happened to Kuwait in 1991, as it “left some parts of Kuwait still lifeless more than a decade later” (Keefe, 2003). An oil spill will target the two main rivers in Iraq, the Tigris and Euphrates, and there are fears that “Saddam will divert oil into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, rendering them useless”(Vallis, 2003). These rivers are the main source of fresh water to most of the country. With contamination, many of the Iraquis will suffer as there will be limited amounts of drinking water. Especially in a dry and arid region, these rivers are necessary for survival. Also, the polluted rivers will spread the oil into other bodies of water, affecting all aqua life for miles to come. This will become a problem, because the cleanup will be arduous as the oil will difficult to contain, and any aquatic life will die, the further the oil spreads. Other aquatic areas that will be affected are wetlands, as “33 of them are at stake”(Vallis, 2003). Oil seepage from the wells will destroy the wetlands, as all the birds, aquatic life and plantation will be completely covered with oil, and have no oxygen to survive.

The atmosphere is another factor that may be affected by the war in Iraq. The air is a target for chemical weapons, biological weapons, bombs, and the effects of oil well sabotaging. If chemical and biological weapons are released into the air, the contamination will provide damage not only to the humans, but it will take a toll on the wildlife and kill off many natural areas for an extended period of time. Because the wildlife is already so scarce, it will take...

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