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All of us are victims of war

All of us are victims of war

When those who find solace in the notion that the warplanes pounding the lands of Palestine, Ukraine, and Sudan affect only the people in those regions, climate change is sending alarms to the alarming for the inhabitants of the earth denying their sleep. In Kerala, people have witnessed battering weather wreaking havoc. Northern India is scorching; Gulf countries are melting. Hurricanes and floods are causing destruction in various places. According to recent data that came onWorld Environment Day, the past twelve months have seen the highest temperatures ever recorded in Earth's history, with each month setting new records for climate-related disasters. Despite this, war, the greatest contributor to climate damage, remains absent from our climate discussions. But what is the truth? The truth is that war and climate are so interlinked that one cannot be deemed 'their' problem and the other 'ours.' It is our assumption that climate crises can lead to conflicts and wars, but in reality, wars are exacerbating climate crises. A recent report indicates that from May 15, 2023 to May 15, 2024, human-induced pollution has dangerously escalated atmospheric temperatures. A significant portion of this pollution is war-induced. In other words, the price of wars waged by a few countries is paid by all nations. Those who turn a blind eye to the immediate death and destruction in Gaza, believing that the impact is confined to that region, must understand that while people there die instantly, elsewhere, people are dying inch by inch.

In Gaza, Israel has been bombarding the Nuseirat refugee camp at a rate of one bomb per minute, reportedly using American-made weapons transported via an American-constructed sea bridge under the pretext of humanitarian aid. While America, the world's greatest polluter even without war, leads us toward total destruction with its military-industrial complex, global annihilation is at hand. America is not alone; many other war-mongering nations are equally culpable. The world, which talks only about vehicle emissions and air-conditioner waste, must recognize that military pollution is a massive contributor to global emissions. America ranks first in global pollution emissions, with the US military alone ranking 47th. ‘Sophisticated’ wars leave no room for wildlife or biodiversity. Polluted water, soil, and air are the true outcomes of war. Deforestation and material destruction are additional impacts. In Gaza alone, the first four months of the current war saw the destruction of 200,000 buildings either completely or partially, and the devastation continues.

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Even after agreeing to pollution limits at the Paris Climate Agreement, countries continue to produce vast amounts of pollution through wars. Unofficial estimates put the war-induced carbon emissions of the US and the UK at 430 million tons, as per unofficial data. The actual figures are withheld, but experts suggest they are higher. The reason for this secrecy is that international treaties permit it. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 allowed nations to exclude military emissions from their pollution reports. This means the most polluting war industry is exempt from climate audits. This situation is alarming. Even as the world is being destroyed before our eyes, the facts remain unknown. If the real figures were revealed, the world would understand that the victims of war are not just those killed in battle, but each one of us. the ceiling of 1.5 degree Celsius of warming limit is being broken through war. The consequences will spare no one, not even the war profiteers. A Harvard economic study indicates that as global production and consumption plummet, even the capitalists will not be spared. Eliminating war has become an urgent necessity for everyone.

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TAGS:WarClimate ChangeEditorial2.5 degree Celsius
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