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There is No More Time

By Lucinda Marshall
04 March, 2005

All evidence suggests that our lives and that of our planet are in grave 
peril. If we are to survive, we must immediately dismantle the forces of 
greed and power that are destroying our lives in the toxic pursuit of 
empire. It is our refusal to face the realities of global warming and our 
continued illegal use of Depleted Uranium that are the true terrors of our 
time. Our governments and the corporate empires they defend must be 
compelled to cease and desist from all forms of violence against our earth 
and its inhabitants, to work towards mitigating the damage done and to 
begin creating a livable future.

The environmental imperative of our situation cannot be ignored. The impact 
of global warming is accelerating. Levels of carbon dioxide (the main cause 
of global warming) have risen abruptly in the last two years. The Arctic is 
warming twice as fast as the rest of the world and its polar ice cap has 
shrunk up to 20% in the last three decades; the ice cap is expected to 
disappear altogether by the year 2070. (1) Our land, air and water are 
polluted with toxins and waste to the point where they can no longer 
sustain life. Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct, glaciers 
are melting.

  As global warming continues to affect the life of our planet, the results 
will be devastating. Water will become scarce in some parts of the world 
while others will be flooded by rising seas as the polar ice caps melt. 
Rain forests are likely to dry out and burn and parts of the world will 
become much hotter even as others become much colder. Droughts will cause 
starvation, oceans will become more acidic and less hospitable to life and 
diseases like malaria will spread easily. (2)

Studies and reports have been issued telling us that temperatures are 
rising far faster than previously thought and that we have reached the 
tipping point in global warming that we had sought to avoid. There is the 
grave possibility that within as little as 10 years, we will reach the 
point of no return. Once that point is reached, the risk of abrupt 
uncontrollable climate change is expected to increase according to the 
recent report "Meeting The Climate Challenge". (3)

  Each year, more and more people die unnecessarily of the cancerous impact 
of our toxic behavior, of preventable starvation, of disease and because of 
the misguided priorities of violence. War rages because of greed and the 
desire for domination. The pandemic quest for power and honor cuts an 
ever-widening swath of violence and degradation. Millions of people have 
been killed, wounded, trafficked, sexually assaulted and left homeless. And 
always, it is women and children who are most victimized.

  It is precisely our disconnection from our ecological support systems 
that allows us to commit warfare. It should therefore not surprise us that 
military powers are the biggest polluters on our planet. The worst of this 
pollution is the use of enormous amounts of depleted uranium in wars that 
have been waged by the U.S., most recently against Afghanistan and Iraq, 
imperiling the very survival of our planet.

  With a half-life of 4,500,000,000 years, the impact of DU will not go 
away. There is more than 1.5 million tons of radioactive Depleted Uranium 
waste in the world today (700,000 or more tons of this is located in the 
U.S.), and this number grows by 50,000 tons per day. In the first Gulf War 
alone, the Pentagon admits to using 320 tons of uranium weapons (in 
violation of international law), although Greenpeace puts the probable 
amount at more than 800 megatons. (4), (5) (6),

Depleted uranium causes both radioactive and chemical damage in humans. It 
is deposited in the lungs and kidneys of its victims and gives off alpha 
and beta radiation which cause cell deaths and genetic mutations, resulting 
in cancer in exposed individuals and genetic abnormalities in their 
descendants for many generations to come (from a 1995 U.S. Army report). 
(7) Women with their sensitive breast and uterine tissues and children with 
their not yet fully developed immune systems are the most vulnerable. (8)

Unquestionably the most critical point that we must understand is that the 
lethal impact of DU knows no boundaries. As these weapons explode, their 
toxic dust is carried in the wind and invades soil, water and air 
everywhere. We do not yet fully know the magnitude of the damage caused by 
this pollution, but there is the very real likelihood that we have already 
sown the seeds of our own demise.

It is the most perverse of ironies that the military forces that claim to 
defend us are responsible for most of the violence and environmental 
degradation that is destroying our world. These forces are inextricably 
tied to the ethos of corporate and national empire building that values the 
hoarding of resources over the common good.

  This perilous and lethal greed is no longer tolerable and it is 
imperative that we come together in insisting on an end to planetary 
destruction and full commitment to creating a fair and sustainable future, 
with full and equal voice for all, most especially those who have born the 
brunt of the impact of the patriarchal irresponsibility.

  Delay is no longer acceptable or possible, there is no more time.



(1) Geoffrey Lean, "Global warming approaching point of no return, warns 
leading climate expert", The Independent, January 23, 2005.
(2) Geoffrey Lean, "Apocalypse Now: How Mankind is Sleepwalking to the End 
of the Earth", The Independent, February 6, 2005.
(3) Michael McCarthy, "Countdown to global catastrophe", The Independent, 
January 24, 2005.
(4) World Information Service on Energy Uranium Project, "Current Issues: 
Waste Management of Depleted Uranium",
(5) VT Padmanabhan, "Is Depleted Uranium From The West Asian Battlefields 
Coming To India?", South Asia Citizens Wire, January 27-28, 2005.
(6) Brita May Rose, "America's Radioactive War", Counterpunch, November 17, 
(7) VT Padmanabhan, "Is Depleted Uranium From The West Asian Battlefields 
Coming To India?", South Asia Citizens Wire, January 27-28, 2005.
(8) Rosalie Bertell, "Health and Environmental Costs of Militarism", 
presented in Barcelona, Spain and reprinted by International Institute of 
Concern for Public Health,
Lucinda Marshall is a feminist artist, writer and activist. She is the 
Founder of the Feminist Peace Network, which 
publishes Atrocities, a bulletin documenting violence against women 
throughout the world. Her work has been published in numerous publications 
including, Awakened Woman, Alternet, Dissident Voice, Off Our Backs, The 
Progressive, Rain and Thunder, Z Magazine , Common Dreams and Information 
Clearinghouse. She can be reached at


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