Posts Tagged ‘coral loss’

“The time has come to break away. Dismal scenarios of mounting destruction of national and global potential for development – indeed, of the Earth’s capacity to support life – are not inescapable destiny.”
~ UN – Our Common Future – Brundtland Report, 1987

War is hell. A common agreement that the price of war is destructive for all stakeholders. War is usually a well organized and often prolonged conflict that is carried out by radical parties, dictatorships, totalitarian regimes or other nation-state participants. It is generally characterized by extreme destruction of societies, violent elimination of minority groups, social disruption of community organizations, limitation of food, water, safety and usurp of sovereign ownership of resources.

In context to the last World War (a war that involved Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, North and South America) very few countries were not affected by its activities. World War Two was a major historic event that changed the course of history and humanity. That event claimed about 40 to 50 million civilians lives in the war. The total number of soldiers killed ranges from 20 to 25 million people. This was estimated to be about 2.5 percent of the world population. It destroyed populations, technologies, infrastructures and brought the world to the edge of even worse scenario of annihilation by starvation and disease.

And that brings us to a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Marshall Islands, is an island nation that covers over 1,150 atolls, islands and islets. This territory was first settled in the second millennium B.C. It is the largest country in Micronesia and currently has a population of about 70,000 inhabitants that live in an area. In 1986, it received full sovereignty from the United States.

Why are the Marshall Islands an interest? First and last, its history is significant. It is also filled with lessons to learn from. During World War Two, it was the location of major conflicts between Japan and United States from 1943-1945.  After World War Two, the Marshall Islands became and a protectorate of the U.S. and site of the Pacific Proving Grounds, where the U.S. tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands [1]. In 1956, the United States Atomic Energy Commission regarded the Marshall Islands as “by far the most contaminated place in the world”[2].

Today, the Marshall Islands are facing a new dilemma, some of it based on the historic use of this part of the Earth. Read more from Matt McGrath, Environment correspondent from BBC News, to see what is now happening. But remember as you read, how decision-making often has long-term consequences and when those decisions are compounded, what happens to future generations:

Read more:

[1] “Nuclear Weapons Test Map”, Public Broadcasting Service
[2] Stephanie Cooke (2009). In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age, Black Inc., p. 168, ISBN 978-1-59691-617-3.


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