Environmental Disasters of Modern History By: David Doyle
Environmental Concepts • The Persian Gulf uprooted nearly 700,000 Americans and brought them into a hostile environment. Soon after returning, some began to experience debilitating illnesses. The most common symptoms were fatigue, muscle and joint pain, memory loss, and severe headaches. the U.S. Department of Defense conducted an epidemiologic study and found no evidence of a specific disease outbreak. • The new chemical agents, and the recent relatively easier accessibility for fissile materials and technology for making tactical nuclear weapons, and presents mass casualty medicine with a new reality and a changed CBRN scenario, significantly different from the previous to the Gulf War.
Long and Short term Effects • The long term effects were very significant. There was no shoreline cleanup, essentially, over the 800 kilometers that the oil – - in Saudi Arabia. And so when we went back in to do quantitative survey in 2002 and 2003, there was a million cubic meters of oil sediment remained then 12 years after the spill.... • The Iraqi destruction of Kuwati oil production infrastructure was not a surprise. Coalition intelligence indicates that in August 1990, Iraq’s leaders decided that if its forces were ejected from Kuwait, they would destroy Kuwait’s oil-producing capacity before they left. Iraq’s engineers targeted Kuwait’s oil wells, tank farms, pumping stations, pipelines, refineries, and loading terminals. Iraq planned to eliminate Kuwait’s entire oil infrastructure.
Damages Report • Lives Lost: Thousands were either killed, wounded, raped, or taken prisoner before the war terminated (Sadiq and McCain 1993). • Ecosystem Destroyed: The land was abused greatly from transportation of heavy artillery and movement of troops across the desert. The build- up of solid wastes polluted the ground. A case may be made for future groundwater contamination. Outside of the desert soil, plant life was also destroyed in great numbers. Desert vegetation was trampled, and destroyed over the course of the war .
Lessons Learned from the Disaster • There must be a stronger international environmental code for war, including enforcement mechanisms to be applied against violating nations. • The environment cannot be held hostage; war on the environment is unacceptable. • Because mined oil fields are preventing firefighters from approaching some of the oil fires, military strategies must be put in place to ensure that the mines are cleaned as quickly as possible from the fire areas. • Air pollution cannot be controlled without this strong effort to sweep the area free of mines. • To address the immediate crisis, Congress must take actions. http://www.parstimes.com/environment/persian_gulf_cr02.html
Could this disaster happen again? • by Peter Moskowitz@ptrmsk • Four years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig exploded, killing 11 workers and spewing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, experts are warning that similar disasters could happen again. • They say government regulations and companies’ safety cultures have not kept pace with increases in global offshore oil production and rapid changes in the technology used to capture that oil. Without more regulations and changes at the top of multinational corporations, experts believe that another disaster like the Deepwater Horizon explosion is imminent. • http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/4/18/bp-four-years.html
http://umrc.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/New-Concepts-in-CBRN-Warfare-in-the-Light-of-the-Gulf-War-Experience-and-Current-Reality-of-Global-Terrorism-Asaf-Durakovic-2002.pdfhttp://umrc.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/New-Concepts-in-CBRN-Warfare-in-the-Light-of-the-Gulf-War-Experience-and-Current-Reality-of-Global-Terrorism-Asaf-Durakovic-2002.pdf • http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/gws.html • http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/kuwait.htm • http://www.parstimes.com/environment/persian_gulf_cr02.html