Environment

Green Alert

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMay 14, 2009 1:52 AM

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It's not news that some sectors (and top brass) in the U.S. military are taking environmental issues seriously. But what's news to me is that a legendary Vietnamese war general--someone who played an instrumental role in defeating France and then the U.S.-- has suddenly gone green. According to this Grist story, Gen.Vo Nguyen Giap is opposed to a chinese mining project in Vietnam's central highlands. Giap, who is 97, says:

The exploitation will cause serious consequences on the environment, society and national defense.

I can imagine what the ecological and social concerns might be, but it's not clear from the Grist story what the national security concern is. There is growing belief within U.S. military and foreign policy circles that global climate change could potentially trigger widespread geopolitical instability. So I get that national security connection. But why would a Vietnemese general contend that mining in his country poses a threat to its national defense?

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