tv [untitled] February 13, 2011 3:30am-4:00am EST
this is our will here's a recap of the stories have dominated headlines this week egyptian president hosni mubarak's resignation received by weeks of mass protests is hailed as a triumph for democracy around the world but some point out the hypocrisy of the west that has backed at the dictator for decades. russia's most wanted terrorist doc would mot of claims responsibility for january's bombing at moscow's done the dead of. the attack killed thirty six intensified checks into security lapses at the. leaks founder julian assange awaits the
verdict on whether he'll be extradited to sweden over sexual assault allegations the scandinavian state considered neutral is criticized for being increasingly in for us by the us. special report on asylum casualty of war the environment do stay with us on our. displacement is another of war's consequences the forced migration of civilians has profound impacts on the natural environment this image was taken in one thousand nine hundred six after the tens of million government decided to close the camps for rwandan refugees the column of refugees in this photo stretched for twenty seven miles toward the rwandan border. these women are i.d.p.'s internally displaced persons although they have fled the genocide in darfur
province they have not crossed the sudanese border and are not considered refugees under international law to collect wood for cooking they must risk being attacked by the gender we need government backed arab militia men who target the sudan's black population. with their heavy demand for wood the sudan six million internally displaced persons and further stress to a landscape already degraded by climate change into certification. internal displacement is a growing problem in iraq an estimated two million civilians have been displaced since the start of operation iraqi freedom i.d.p. camps have sprung up in the outskirts of now jeff baghdad and nineveh many lack potable water medicine and proper waste disposal the real risk of not addressing the environmental problems is that people simply have to leave their homes if they
don't have wood to burn to cook with to heat their homes with the don't have water to drink they leave and you see massive displacement happening we call it environmental refugees if you will but people are leaving their homes this creates a demand on resources it creates a demand on infrastructure and ultimately displacement undermines the peace process in the. vietnam war which the vietnamese call the american war there is a clash there was a clash between very highly technological society in a largely agrarian society. i think we have a lot of arrogance we thought we were going to go in and take control blow up what we needed to blow up and do basically what we wanted. one of the main reasons that i refused to carry
a weapon was that i could not see any justification for the destruction of the land at the level that i saw in infantry platoon. was mainly moved from place to place by helicopter the helicopters would fly high so as not to draw ground fire and when you're at a high altitude you can look out on the land and see it for miles and miles and miles in the kuchi area especially there were times in places where i would look out and see nothing but a ravenous landscape bomb craters one after the other so close together and you see little islands of green that had not been bombed. i grew up in a small town in illinois. town surrounded by corn fields and fields very
beautiful towers along the illinois river. and when i saw from high in the sky the destruction to the land i couldn't help wondering what if that had happened to our cornfields are being sealed i would we feel if that happened. l.o.l. a oh. yeah i'm not alone and. i went to that work knowing nothing at all but when i saw that level of destruction i could not be relieved that this was going to lead to democracy that this was
a line in the sand was going to be. for the cause of freedom i wast whatever little space i had in the war being noble in any. faraway in the pacific i was a tiny atoll of bikini in the marshall i'd chosen spot of the ambition of mankind credible thought it was going to be the graveyard of many a ship of ghosts the navy man down there by goats pigs and white rats waiting we
have to make blood. i mean native personnel come a shot a county out the first time to deal with the island those who live down the japanese mandate about twenty. now to examine. the united states now wants to turn this great. power or something for the senate. and the experiments. are the first step. i think it's generally the case that the greater and more durable impacts come from preparation for war rather than combat self. defense lines to support the man remarked. but the mobilization region still further into the life
of the nation x. is muscling in the forests and trees must fall or the sawmills weight loss and builders right for lumber states feel the need to be militarily prepared and in the modern world that has meant building a military industrial complex building a pollution intense is industry to generate military goods one of the best examples of how the business of preparing for war can have long lasting environmental impacts is the nuclear weapons programs around the world that have been in place since the early one nine hundred forty s. wherever this is happening been environmental problems with radioactive waste. which no one anywhere has satisfactorily sought.
which is located in washington state when the nuclear bombs for developed their little thought was given to what to do about the waste that would result afterwards indeed now the u.s. department of energy calls hanford the world's largest environmental cleanup project pampered washington is the site where the united states says essentially accumulated its nuclear waste mostly from weapons work also from nuclear power and other radioactive related industries hanford was constructed in one thousand nine hundred eighty two under the top secret manhattan project its location along the columbia river provided a ready source of water for cooling nuclear reactors the hanford engineering works produced the plutonium used in the trinity test device and in the fat man released on august saki production of plutonium intensified during the cold war in one thousand and sixty three the dual purpose n.
reactor was constructed to generate nuclear power for civilian use when the reactor building completed nineteen sixty three. to break for the construction of the power plant. and i think it's very appropriate that we . have so much it's been done but not. find a chance to strike a blow. to find a chance to strike a blow for a better life. this is a great. i can assure you. from the work we began today. that life. for the electricity. relies on the united states we are moving in. providing security for our people. but. since
the production of the tony m ceased in one thousand nine hundred eighty seven cleanup has been the only mission at the nuclear reservation there are fifty three million gallons of high level radioactive and chemical waste and fraud stored in one hundred seventy seven underground tanks seventy of these tanks have leaked spilling proximately one million gallons of waste into the soil. after washington is a wasteland of leaking radioactive waste that will be with us for decades and decades probably centuries to come and it's currently costing us billions of dollars to just try to contain let alone clean up in truth it's never going to be cleaned up and some of the radioactive waste will remain potentially lethal for twenty four thousand years which is any way you slice it a long time. the
united states used to stockpile chemical weapons unbeknown to most of the world in germany and in okinawa with u.s. troops in japan and those two stockpiles which were never used of course were shipped back secretly to johnston at all in the pacific and one of the world's largest incinerators was built in the middle of a wildlife refuge and that process in burning those chemical weapons from okinawa in germany took place in one thousand nine hundred two to the year two thousand john snapple has been that still is being studied but that's actually a very interesting case of a unique coral reef really in the middle of the pacific ocean it's about seven hundred fifty miles west of hawaii that was used as a launch site for atmospheric nuclear testing. the five july the fourth vehicle for
bluegill a one of a column casualties. that was a sticking fuel file which caused a fire that's more from ignition. missile and more the more she. went at least one of the atmospheric tests with the hydrogen bomb blew up on the launch pad a good part of just now told us left with highly radioactive plutonium debris twenty years later all the agent orange that was all dumped on johnson stored as they say on johnson at all that really over time became a dumpsite of agent orange and now thirdly we put chemical weapons on johnson at all this national wildlife refuge under the fish and wildlife department has really
been used and abused by the military over the ages. for. only a few hours before it was wiped out in austin it was efficient little petting whenever it had made before you what to do in such as shelters the people calmly waited all unaware that already descending upon them was the atom bomb. when it was all over on and off square miles of that awesome moment but on one blasted to extinction the all shattering devastation in which was born that time again. radiation effects not fantastically imprinted on walls and fun and just like pleasant shadows allowed outlined on a building the design of a dress left on the body of a woman who would die in a few days anyhow. visible. from. the.
members of the so-called nuclear club states known to have detonated nuclear weapons either best pic or foreign soil among them at least that's have been conducted disappear under water underground and in space. where retaining tens of thousands of nuclear weapons when probably a few hundred would be enough for deterrence we have nuclear weapons far in excess of any conceivable need for them as the strongest conventional power by orders of magnitude in the world for this country to say that we need nuclear weapons what does that signal to the rest of the world. that they
must be very valuable and that they probably would want to get them selves i mean i think as long as any nation retained sneak weapons other nations who want them a few years. is ago about was a real promise of hope for the poor both black and white through the poverty program then came the buildup in vietnam. and i watched this program broken and it was a rated as if it was some i don't political play thing about suicide to gone mad on war and i knew that america would never invest the necessary energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction to. the world's currently spending somewhere around
a trillion you a stylus on war and preparations for war and this is enormous to fish for a fraction of that a man we could have clean water sanitation education good health care for everybody on the planet such a terrible division for so since. any war that takes place on the matter how large or how small it has enormous costs to it we're talking in lebanon to the billions of dollars of cleaning up just a fifteen day war let alone you know the years and years of warfare in iraq or afghanistan or vietnam or wherever else they may take place so the costs of war really. if they're well understood and in most cases they're not but if they're well understood should preclude the war to begin with the war is not worth the cost in terms of lives but also long term environmental and public health damage for decades to come.
fossil fuel is a particular problem in this time a concern that that climate change just fine example i think illustrates that well if we imagine one f. sixteen fighter. flying for just under one as it uses approximately twice as much oil as he every american citizen uses in his who has if. the f. sixteen is just one machine in one branch of the military to take another example the army's abrams tank weighs sixty eight tons and requires two gallons of fuel per mile. all told the united states department of defense burned some three hundred fifty thousand barrels of oil per day making it the world's largest single consumer the defense department uses think somewhat over two thirds of the energy. that the u.s. government. uses and it uses them for ships and tanks and planes
and heating buildings and a whole host of other things. but probably the largest impact that all the defense effort has is the diversion of intellectual energy and our monetary resources away from trying to solve an address some of the long term problems. in sea level is also rising and in louisiana we've been losing thirty square miles a year roughly. of land. i mean if the united states were losing that to some foreign power we'd have the military out there defending it. we often ask the question where were you on september eleventh well i remember that very curtly because i was in new york and i was there specifically to give a luncheon address at the new york times on the new book eco economy building an
economy for the year. well by mid-morning that much was already history terrorism is a threat no question about it but on my list of threats to our future. there are there are many more serious threats climate change being an obvious one population growth being another the economy does not exist in a vacuum it is entirely dependent on the earth's natural systems and resources and if we damage and destroy those systems and resources then the economy will eventually decline and one day collapse. the challenge is not to rush not a high tech military response to terrorism that will work the challenge is to build an environmentally sustainable equitable society that will do more to undermine terrorism than any possible high tech military weapon systems we can divide us.
the other exciting thing is that almost everything we need to do has already been done by at least one country. in his book plan b. lester brown uses scientific and economic studies together with data from the world bank united states government and the united nations to draft a global budget for restoring the earth we look at the two sort of major components of what we think it's going to take to create a sustainable future one is poverty eradication and population stabilization and then we treat those as one because we think they're closely related when we put the budgets together for eradicating poverty stabilizing population plus what we call the earth restoration budget it comes to a total of one hundred sixty one billion dollars now that's a lot of money it's a third of the u.s. military budget. it's a third of the u.s. military budget and the u.s.
military budget is half of the global military budget which is now about a trillion dollars and if you asked the question could we reduce the u.s. military budget by a third. and shift those expenditures into poverty eradication population stabilization earth restoration i think it's clear that we would do far more to ensure our future than if we just stay with a half trillion dollars u.s. taxpayer money going to military purposes. the environment is in intend to fund national security and i don't mean that in a trite and cliched way our resource constraints even if we were to defend ourselves physically we need those resources and if we're not going to be able to prove the that it is strategically tactically and just common sense why a big mistake as soon. giorgi concerns are discussed the environment is immediately
trumped and people say well we have to move forward because this is a matter of our survival and what we have been suggesting is that the environment itself has a very survivalist take element to it so protecting the environment should be considered at that level. environmental harms should be considered what we call in the political terry common of versions if you're at a crossroads you have two cars that have divergent interests one is going in one direction the other in the other direction they're not going in the same direction but they have a common aversion which is getting into an accident. and they're likely to cooperate over that common aversion whether it's to a stop sign or through some kind of traffic regimen even sides that do not like to cooperate on other things and have divergent interests they may still have common
of versions. rising temperatures rising seams and intensifying storms eroding coastlines falling water tables vanishing habitats and species the broad threats facing us in the twenty first century our environmental yet the environment is consistently overshadowed by the immediacy of war and preparations for war it is extremely difficult to get the nation mobilized against something that is a long term as opposed to a short term problem as long as there is no emphasis. or insufficient emphasis on the national leadership to protect the environment you probably cannot expect the military to give it high priority what we're looking at now is a threat to our global civilization and and saving our civilization is not a spectator sport we've got to change the system now and that means become
politically active it means supporting political candidates who understand the issues of it to do something about it it means letting elected representatives whether members of the city council or members of congress or part of that's around the world let them know about our concerns and what we expect them to do about this is going to decide whether we make or not we have to become politically active.