Recently, a friend dropped by while she was out campaigning for a local candidate. She was bundled for the cold and wore a small dove pin on her sweater. When I asked about it, she said it had been made in Cambodia in an area that had been bombed. People who live there collect pieces of shrapnel from the bombs, she explained, and fashion them into dove pins. On the pins inscribed in very small letters are the words “peace” in English and Kmer.
It’s wise to remember at times like these when the U.S. seems to be moving perilously close to another major war in the Mideast, the toll that bombing takes on a civilian populations. Water processing plants, waste disposal plants, bridges, caravans of families fleeing the violence, as well as schools and hospitals, are hit. The uranium-tipped weapons leave contamination which has been shown to cause exceptionally high rates of cancer in surrounding populations over time.
Bombing and war are devastating to the environment and exacerbate the climate crisis.
Meanwhile, due to the warming of the climate, the devastating fires raging in Australia are estimated to have killed over a billion animals trying to flee the fires, decimated 12.35 million acres of land and destroyed the lives and livelihoods of unknown numbers of people and families.
In order to work towards a sustainable future for the planet and future generations, we need innovative, inventive and forward thinking leaders who can forge alliances with the common goal of working together on climate change issues, rather than waging endless wars which are detrimental to life on the planet.