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Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives

What prompts this film, made by Alice T. and Lincoln H. Day, is recognition of our deep dependence on the natural world and the significant threat to that world posed by war and preparations for war.

The scale of environmental damage over the last half century is unprecedented. Falling water tables, shrinking forest cover, declining species diversity--all presage ecosystems in distress. These trends are now widely acknowledged as emanating from forces of humanity's own making: massive population increases, unsustainable demands on natural resources, species loss, ruinous environmental practices. Ironically however, war, that most destructive of human behaviors, is commonly bypassed.

In all its stages, from the production of weapons through combat to cleanup and restoration, war entails actions that pollute land, air and water, destroy biodiversity, and drain natural resources. Yet the environmental damage occasioned by war and preparation for war is routinely underestimated, underreported, even ignored. The environment remains war's "silent casualty."

Activities that do such damage cry out for far-reaching public scrutiny. The very sustainability of our planet is at stake. We can no longer maintain silence about the environmental impact of war on the grounds that such scrutiny is "inconvenient" or "callous" at a time when human life is so endangered.

If we cannot eliminate war, we can at least require a fuller accounting of war's costs and consequences, and demand that destructive forces used in our name leave a lighter footprint on this highly vulnerable planet. It is to this change in values and actions that this documentary film is directed. The Executive Producer of Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives was Steve Michelson. At the Ranch DVD and DVD/ROM components were created. On line editing, graphic design of the cover key art and posters were developed by Rebecca Holland and Nicole Mere-Heni Baker.


"Highly recommended. A powerful documentary on the ecological consequences of warfare... which traces how military forces have intentionally destroyed ecosystems as a means to win battles."         - Video Librarian

"Recommended. The explanations of the experts and witnesses convincingly demonstrate that the cost of war extends far beyond the actual fighting. Preparation for war and the aftermath of war add to the destruction of 'natural security'."
- Educational Media Review Online

"The extensive research and skillful presentation by sociologists Alice and Lincoln Day make the film a surprisingly moving experience. Interviews of scientists, war veterans and others are carefully interspersed with footage that makes vivid the long-term damage to the planet that has resulted from
military conflicts and activities."
- Science Magazine

"A powerful and haunting account of war's silent casualty--the environment. Catalogs the array of damage from bombs, chemicals, guns and unexploded ordnance."
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Review

"The documentary weaves together eyewitness accounts, interviews, archival footage, and news video from wars past and present. The images portray a story rarely considered in the heat of battle: how war pollutes the air, water and land; destroys biodiversity and drains natural resources."
- Voice of America

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