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What is war?
War is when two or more countries have a long-lasting battle with each other because of a disagreement they have. When countries are at war, they use their militaries to harm and kill the people and resources in each otherís countries.
What are weapons?
Weapons are very dangerous things that are used during war to hurt or kill people and resources. Bombs are a type of weapon that you may have heard of.
What do war and weapons have to do with the environment?
Just about everything that happens in a war hurts the environment, and the kinds of weapons that are used in wars today are very damaging to the environment.
How exactly do wars harm the environment?
By preparation for war. When countries get ready for a war, they test their weapons and their military practices doing the things that they will need to do during a war. This weapons testing and military practice often happens in wide, open spaces that have many species of animals and plants living there. These species are often destroyed because of war preparation.
By what the military does during a war. Military tanks destroy vegetation and ruin the quality of soil. Militaries also create a lot of waste because of all of the buildings and resources they destroy. During a war, they build things like forts and roads, destroying animals, plants, crops and more buildings in the process. Fighting between militaries often happens in mountain, river and forest regions, where vegetation and wildlife are killed or must find a new home.
By the after-effects of war. Bombing can cause huge areas of land to be polluted for years, which means the soil is damaged and nothing can be grown on it. Hundreds of thousands of people lose their homes from war, and these people must move into camps, which cause deforestation and pollution.
How exactly do weapons harm the environment?
All weapons harm the environment in some way. The main ones are:
Chemical weapons. During war, militaries use chemicals that are known to harm humans and other living things. These chemicals can be used to destroy trees, destroy soil and pollute water sources like rivers. All this means that animals lose their homes or die, vegetation can no longer grow, and species may disappear.
Biological weapons. In war, these are used by spreading toxic materials to humans, animals and plants so that they are infected with a disease. These diseases spread quickly and can kill entire species of plants or animals. The disease can also spill-over into other species of animals and plants that live near the diseased species.
Landmines. Landmines are explosive mines that are hidden underground, exploding when they are stepped on or driven over. Because they are placed just below the surface of land, they ruin soil quality. Landmines are always left after a war is over, and when these go off, they can instantly kill all forms of life and natural resources that are anywhere near the area.
What can you do to help?
Talk to your friends and family about the importance of solving problems peacefully, without fighting.
Ask your parents to write a letter or help you write a letter to a member of the government in your country. Your concerns about how war and weapons harm humans and the environment can be explained in this letter.
Though we might disagree with others at times, we can always find a way to peacefully solve our problems.