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Environment vs. War

by on January 22, 2013

Environment vs. War

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3 Comments
  1. This article further emphasizes a fact that I’ve known for a while. Although wealthy nations are often the larges contributors to environmental degradation, it is often the poor, developing nations which face greater risks. All of the problems Kabul is facing have simple solutions in today’s world, however, their government is simply incapable of providing these solutions for its citizens. Raw sewage being released into open rivers and streams is a problem all around the world, a practice that would be suitable for a very small population, becomes threatening to both the environment and the people as the country grows and develops. Dry dung is a cheap source of fuel for the people, but is probably one of the larger contributors to PM, sulfur, and nitrogen in their air. Ultimately, when Kaul’s GDP finally grows, the people will probably demand change; however, I think that may take too long and that federal aid organizations along with development organization should step in to help Kabul (and other developing nations around the world) develop in a sustainable way that won’t drastically harm the environment.

  2. Chapin Evans permalink

    There are two things from this article that that caught my eye as being alarming. Firstly, the air pollution is atrocious, although the mayor did state that the PM count has dropped 60 micrograms since 2011 due to conscious efforts such as paving roads and planting trees. I do hope that they can continue to lower the PM count as much as possible given their environmental surroundings (dust being a large factor that other places in the world do not have to face). However, I was mostly alarmed at the initial claim by a municipal officer saying that Kabul “has the highest level of fecal matter in the atmosphere in the world,” which ended up not being backed by any empirical evidence. How did this claim come about? How can one possibly distanciate (/relate to others from a distance) and correctly assess problems that are not directly affecting oneself if the statistics are incorrect? I find the invalidity of statistics and claims in need of reassessment. I have known that statistics can be manipulated but it fills me with a sense of despair as I read more articles with false information.

  3. “ Kabul’s atmosphere is more than twice as big a killer of civilians as the war; civilian casualties in the conflict that same year were 1,400 — in the entire country.” This is ridiculous. I just can’t believe it. Environmental injustice places a major role here and as i read through this article I couldn’t stop but think of Flammable. In Kabul “one test had found that as many as 30 percent of air samples contained fecal particles.“ According to the mayor, this evidence could not be found and it is not true. However, air pollution is found in Kabul, “the atmosphere thick with the usual suspects in any city, especially in an underdeveloped country where fuel quality is very poor, but it made no mention of flying feces — although toxic levels of cadmium were noted.” This reminds me of Flammable because of the toxics found in the underdeveloped countries. Also, just like flammable these people should not be living where they are: “Kabul’s geography is a big part of that: the city sits on a 6,000-foot-high plateau that looks like the bottom of a bowl, encircled by much taller mountains. The result is atmospheric inversions during fall and winter that trap airborne pollutants.” Furthermore I would say that they fit into the environmental framework unlike Flammable because they are receiving help and things are starting to change for them. The major said that trees have been planted and roads have been paved which has lowered the PM 10 count from 250 to 190.

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