Válka a životní prostředí

Znepokojení ohledně environmentálních dopadů válek se zřejmě poprvé objevilo poté, co byly na konci 2. světové války svrženy první atomové bomby na Hirošimu a Nagasaki a nikdo nevěděl, jak trvalé bude radioaktivní zamoření a jaká ozdravující opatření by bylo možné provést. Během studené války se předmětem předpovědí a dohadů staly účinky totální atomové konfrontace, které ilustruje představa ,,nukleární zimy".

Znepokojení nevzbuzovaly jen jaderné zbraně. Používání defoliantů Agent Yellow a Agent Orange během války ve Vietnamu vyvolalo intenzivní debatu o toxikologických a ekologických dopadech takových látek a dalo vzniknout jistému bádání v tomto ohledu. Před první válkou v Zálivu v roce 1991 se vedla diskuse o tom, jaké účinky na celosvětové klima by mohlo mít to, kdyby Irák zapálil kuvajtská ropná pole - což se později stalo nejdůležitějším obrazem environmentálního dopadu války.

Od té doby tu byly snahy o systematické zkoumání environmentálních následků válek a jejich dokumentaci. Prostřednictvím mezinárodních organizací, jako je Program OSN pro životní prostředí (UNEP), započalo studium balkánských válek a válek, jež v 90. letech pohlcovaly Afghánistán. Africkým válkám - v Kongu, Rwandě a Burundi, Libérii, Sieře Leone a na Pobřeží slonoviny - se bohužel nedostalo pozornosti, kterou zasluhovaly.

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