Scorched Earth: The Military’s Assault on the Environment


The Military’s Assault on the Environment by William Thomas, with foreword by Joni Seager (paperback)

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This is the searing account of the military’s undeclared war against the planet that sustains us all. Drawing on first hand experience and more than a hundred carefully researched sources, William Thomas describes the stunning extent of the pollution that the world’s armed forces create each day, even during peace time, through their testing manoeuvres, accidents, toxic dumping, emergencies, and uranium mining and processing. He also explores the terrifying growth in the technology and practice of eco-war; from defoliants to gene warfare, electronic warfare, and highly developed scorched-earth strategies.

Accessible and compelling, William Thomas’ encyclopaedic account of military atrocities ranges across North America, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East and the Pacific as he reveals the magnitude of the environmental havoc incurred in the name of defence. While noting the extensive economic and political power of the military-transnational connection, Scorched Earth also documents the growing citizens’ movement, often led by women, for military clean up and conversion, including lawsuits, alternative manufacturing and the redefinition of environmental security for the ’90s.

A US Navy veteran, sailor, writer, video producer and long-time peace and environmental activist from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, William Thomas co-founded the Gulf Environment Emergency Response Team which helped clean up in Kuwait shortly after liberation.