I watched the documentary Scarred land, the impact of war on environment.
I think everyone can expect the adverse impact of war on environment. But it is important to know the magnitude of this impact. I have to say I was very shocked by what I learned from this movie. Think of so many sunk ships in pacific ocean during the WWII that have tanks of gasolines within that are going to leak into the ocean. Think of the total destroy of the soil in Vietnam war. Many other cases. I highly recommend you watch the movie to get the magnitude of the problem. It is really outrageous.
In the movie, the author of the book plan B 3.0 tried to evaluate the total cost to save the planet, which (from my memory) includes solving the poverty around the globe, processing of all the waste including the nuclear waste, fixing the climate, and restoration of land. The total cost, the author estimates, is around $180 billions. It is only one third of US military annual spending. US military spending is about 60% of US government spending, and over half of the military spending of the entire world. (For exact number, please see the movie or find it online) This is outrageous. Recently US defense department has a report that the environmental problem is a defense problem. OK, just spend one third of your budget, you can solve the problem.
If so much tax dollars are used on military expense, should we still pay the taxes? If this is not exploitation, i don’t know what is exploitation. All these military expense is just a way for a very few minority to rob the American people. This just says to me that American democracy is totally broken.
Another documentary I watched is Flow: for love of water.
In Flow, it is said that the poor residents in Africa or Bolivia have to pay 1/4 of their monthly income to buy privatized water (because their water was polluted by industry, and the World Bank required the countries to privatize water as a requirement for borrowing loans from the World Bank. So the big European companies came in and build water processing facilities to sell water to local people). So the residents actually pay more money than the executives of those water companies pay for their water in their own cities. Flow is a very good documentary. I also highly recommend.
I think it is important to have an idea of the magnitude of the problems and crises we are facing now. Faced with crises of this magnitude, I don’t feel we can rely on change in the political system. The problems had been going on for many years, the politicians were never able to make any big change. Al Gore who is so passionate about climate change, didn’t do much when he was the vice president. Especially if we think we can tolerate the politicians to be not very ideal and hold them to a higher standard, I don’t think they can fix the problems. They are just too big for them to fix. We don’t have to go very far to be able to see this. Just look at their policies. Their policies are not very different from the past. They are at the best band aid solutions.
Massive problems need massive solutions. The system is broken to the root. We have to fix it from the root. My judgment is it is better for us to take the whole matter into our hands and start fixing them by ourselves instead of spending too much energy putting our hope in politicians. And as I said many times before, there are ways for us to do that, and they are the promising things that allow us to be optimistic even in the face of crises like we are facing now.