Monday, December 29, 2014

Enough already about War's impact on Nature : what about Nature's impact on War ?

With only the very best of intentions, environmentalists have tended to focus on what war does to nature - say for example, in reviewing the impact of leaking oil from the thousands of oil tankers sunk at the sea during war in the last 120 years.

But again, totally unintentionally, all this effort tends to show Man as all-powerful (here in a war mode busy destroying nature) and Mother Nature as basically an endless victim.

But in fact, the reverse is true.

History is replete with examples where Mother Nature has effortlessly shattered the over-arching hubris of war-makers : any number of  history-changing examples spring to mind - usually where unexpected bad weather destroys the plans of invasion fleets - on the water, in the air, over land.

But bad weather leading to bad harvests works just as well : the course of the Nazi Holocaust follows more exactingly the wavering course of the annual German domestic harvest results than it ever does the wavering course of the brain chemicals inside Adolf Hitler's head.

In 1939, no side expected WWII to last so long and cost so much in lives and material : what really prolonged it on both sides was modernity's failure (in peace as in war) to calculate in the truly awesome powers of climate and geography compared to the still puny powers of man's ideologies, demographies and technologies.

Viewed this way, WWII becomes less a contest of man against man, of ideology and technology against ideology and technology and more an unequal donnybrook between man-the-feeble and Mother-Nature-The-Mighty.

My blog and book series, un-superheroes, will provide many such weather/climate/geography examples from our LAST global disaster, WWII, because our current global disaster is once again a man versus climate fight - one where the speedy application of any past learned lessons could literally save our lives ...

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