Essay on Documentary: Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War

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Wesleyan University
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The movie presents the primary goal of war as to defeat the enemies despite the cost each party involved in the warfare would go through during the war. However, during and after the war, the environmental experienced is not only underestimated, but it is also underreported. Many lives were lost and a huge number of people injured in Scarred Lands & Wounded which had a negative impact on the environment. These victims would take care of the environment in future. Besides, soil and water are contaminated during the war thus making the environment less productive in future. Therefore, war makes the environment its 'silent casualty.'

In the movie, various war weapons are involved in both search and destruction activities to destroy the enemy completely. The attackers move a step further and use bomb and firearms to destroy tunnels where enemies hide. As a result, they end up destroying the enemy they have identified thus emerging victorious. Furthermore, during the war, the military impacted the 6th mass extinction of species. This occurred as a result of various activities the military engaged into in the process of attacking their enemies. For instance, the activities of the military group resulted in uranium pollution as well as igniting wells that contained oil deliberately which caused poisonous gasses to which was inhaled by species. Besides, they spilled well to the forest which affected the forest which accommodated a huge number of species living in the forest. Also, the emitted poisonous products into the water which affected water species. Therefore, all these actions of military contributed towards various species who were living in the affected inhabitants becoming extinct.

As a result of the mass destruction caused by the warfare to the environment, Geneva Convection added protocol I whose key goal was to protect the environment. This protocol will ensure that as militarily embarks on the war, they will take care of the environment to avoiding causing damages that affect the current as well as future generations. This would be achieved since the military would not be allowed to release poisonous gas into the environment or channel pollutants into the water bodies. This protocol is put in place since the previous warfare left "ghost landscape" in Afghanistan. That is the country was destroyed during the war to an extent regenerating it was almost impossible.

Furthermore, during the war, there was "Operation Ranchhand" which had a significant impact on both people and the land. This occurred as a result of Agent Orange defoliation where approximately 19 million gallons were sprayed to the Vietnam environment affecting both people and land. This resulted in citizens giving birth to children who had birth defects. Besides, it resulted to cancer in soldiers. As a result of the harm, Veterans were given compensation regarding accommodation, unlike Vietnamese people who did not receive any form of compensation.

More also, in the movie, there is an incidence of "Pacific Legacy" which is likely to have an impact on the people's future. In this event ships from WWII sunk in the Pacific. The scene was so terrific that it left the legacy behind. Also, in the movie, there are UXOS which is a big problem. The previous warfare left unexploded ordnance which appears in the form of cluster bombs. One-third of this unexploded ordnance do not detonate thus becoming land mines. They have contaminated approximately 82 nations worldwide. Besides, in every year it affects approximately 15,000-20,000 civilians.

The movie presents a landmine as a perfect soldier. This is because it needs neither food nor water but it can lie and wait for its victims for around 30 years or more. They are bombs that are purposely installed. In case they are stepped on, they will detonate thus end up claiming the life of an individual or the animal that disturbed it. Around 10 million landmines have remained in the Cambodian soil alone. More also, many countries in the countries that have been victims of war have landmine which tends to harm people. Currently, there are approximately 110 million landmines lying in the ground. Mines are sold approximately $3 to $30. However, $300 to $1000 is needed to remove them. This makes them be left in the ground thus harming between 15, 000 to 20,000 every year.

As present in the movie, war has a significant impact on the health of the public. It affects both adults and children. The pollutants produced during the war has high chances of causing lung cancer which can affect both adults and children. Besides, during the critical war amenities like infrastructure which lead to the death of individuals and more so in case, there is an outbreak in the country. Such an occurrence was experienced in Iraq were approximately 50,000 to 90,000 children died as a result of the destruction of the infrastructure. Also, war makes citizens of the affected country internal displaced person which affect them negatively both emotionally, psychology and physically. That is when people are displaced from their homes they lose their basic needs which affect them both physically and psychologically. Besides, one may be separated from their family members which can result in emotional suffering.

Work Cited

Dir. Lincoln H. Day, Alice T Days. Kanopy. 2008. New York City.

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