Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Submerged Truths About the Ecological Threats to Our Lives

A wall map of the world is on Angels' Christmas gift list.  In the Nordstream construction permissions news (another section has been OKed, by Germany this time) it is noted that the ideal line of Nordstream  is  straight but it will avoid ecologically sensitive areas and munitions dumps.

'I am not old enough' is a rare thought to cross my mind, but googling Baltic Sea munitions dumps jolted all kinds of attitudes into new perspectives.  Climate change or whatever you want to call it is as nothing. In ecosystem priorities.  In health and safety priorities.  In guilty parties priorities.  In clean-up priorities.

Did you know that after the end of armed conflict in 1945 both victors and vanquished threw  anything  and everything into the Baltic and round Heligoland, German Bight?  Those names used to lull me to sleep.  Not now.

Chemical weapons, as well as every other kind of munition, loaded into boats and carried the shortest possible distance before being tipped overboard to enable a fast return and a fresh load and a repeat payment.  What few records kept are locked down in the United States, one of the very worst offenders in the European seas pollution stakes.  The US is not too keen on facilitating a clean up and it is not too hard to imagine the geopolitical answer to: why not?

Nordstream will be built.  And as it is, understanding of what is really important in any international agreements on treating the earth with respect will rise to the surface.


gyg3s said...

Along the did you know that line ...

Did you know that Britain disposed of some of its mustard gas (ClCCSCCCl) by pouring it on the North York Moors?

hatfield girl said...

Gyg, I realise I know nothing of how munitions have been disposed of; and, worse, that I should have done because there is a terrible shadow over the Balkans caused by the munitions used there in Blair's Kosovo assertion of self. (Never eat mushrooms from the former Yugoslavia, they glow in the dark).

Copenhagen should have been concerned with wholly other matters.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

There's an "ammunition dumping ground" marked on the Chart, halfway between Ardrossan and the Isle of Arran - that is to say, in the middle of the Firth of Clyde and no more than about five miles offshore.

I imagine it contains similar stuff.

Along the same lines, Phosphorous shells from heaven-knows-when (WWI?) sometimes turn up on beaches in this area, too.

And up in the Gareloch, nobody wants to disturb the sea-bottom too much because they used to strip the blue asbestos lagging off the boilers of dreadnoughts they were scrapping, and simply dump it in the water alongside.

We're a messy lot, aren't we?

Nick Drew said...

the real joke is that Russia took the opportunity to "approve a section of Nord Stream" too !

Hey, moyi droogi, we hadn't approved it yet ourselves! Don't take our permission for granted!! maybe it didn't meet our environmental standards, had you thought of that?

See - Gazprom doesn't necessarily get it's way around here! we're not desperate for gas revenues, nyet, gaspadeen!

Calfy said...

Weekend Yachtsman, I have the Scotland West Coast Chart framed above my bed. The munitions dump (not marked on mine) dampens the map somewhat, as it were.