July 3, 2007 9:54 PM   Subscribe

Reduced-lead bullets and recyclable explosives are among the developments being put forward by arms manufacturer British Aerospace (BAE) as part of a major investment in ecologically-sound weaponry. The company, one of the world's biggest arms-makers, says it has been making investments in creating products that reduce the collateral damage of warfare.
posted by infini (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Now war won't be bad for the planet.

posted by poweredbybeard at 10:03 PM on July 3, 2007

Is this what the term "cognitive dissonance" was coined for?.... er, I mean... good!

(saw a documentary recently on all the unexploded munitions still in the ground in Belgium from WWI, unbelievable)
posted by scheptech at 10:03 PM on July 3, 2007

well scheptech, with BAE's biodegradable landmines that won't be a problem now will it?

posted by infini at 10:15 PM on July 3, 2007

For example, she cited explosives that eventually turn into manure, which essentially "regenerate the environment that they had initially destroyed.

And you could use that pile of bullshit that got you into the war in the first place.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:22 PM on July 3, 2007

War has always been stupid, that hasn't stopped people from trying to make it less harmful.
posted by Shakeer at 10:26 PM on July 3, 2007

Hey, it's a step in the right direction along that particular axis. Yeah, arms manufacturers are profiting on death and destruction, but now there'll be slightly less of both and in the very-important realm of civilian impact.

Plus, maybe if they get into the habit of looking at the big picture of their effect on the world, they'll start to see other errors they could correct.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:29 PM on July 3, 2007

It's kind of creepy genius. If people get mad at them for selling landmines, they can say "Well, if we don't sell these nice shit-smelling ones, then they'll just buy the old metal kind." Of course, we'd all be better off if nobody was using landmines, but they work so damn well.

Still, though, I doubt this will reduce the number of noncombatants maimed and killed by landmines. Anyone who places landmines wants them to be around for awhile, so there will always be the chance that the mines will be around for at least a few years after the conflict has ended or moved. There will still be millions of landmines in the ground and not enough time or money devoted to taking them out. And I imagine the old, reliable metal kind will still be cheaper and more easiy acquired.
posted by dismas at 10:29 PM on July 3, 2007

Trust me, I get the irony and yes, let's all say it so we know we're on the same page: "war is bad".

Of course - but I suppose turning explosives into manure might seem less ironic to people living in places where wars have been continually fought like Europe.
posted by scheptech at 10:30 PM on July 3, 2007

Now all we need is a bomb that kills the people but leaves the buildings still standing.
posted by Clave at 10:32 PM on July 3, 2007

Clave, we've had such a thing for 50 years. It's called "nerve gas".

This idea from BAE is really, really, stupid.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:53 PM on July 3, 2007

Cognative dissonance and creepy genius.

Wait, is this the Libby Pardon thread?

posted by eclectist at 10:55 PM on July 3, 2007

I understand that, scheptech, but the straight faced bullshit PR spokeswoman saying that "collateral damage" would be minimized, referring to the environment, and NOT the civilian populations just got to me.

Worse, has anyone calculated the carbon emissions from the engines of war? 24/7 drones and spy planes? Fuck kyoto. wait, they already fucked hiroshima and nagasaki.
posted by infini at 11:04 PM on July 3, 2007

Zyklon-B: Now with minty fresh and citrus scents!
posted by Avenger at 11:18 PM on July 3, 2007

posted by UbuRoivas at 11:25 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

For example, she cited explosives that eventually turn into manure, which essentially "regenerate the environment that they had initially destroyed."

There's a contemporary media metajoke in there I'm just too fucking depressed to make.
posted by Clave at 12:04 AM on July 4, 2007

Surely killing people is good for the environment? What's the carbon footprint of a corpse, anyway?

I don't know. I'm not a scientist, but I would guess it would be pretty low.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:29 AM on July 4, 2007

I have this strange vision of people beating each other to death with carrots. Organic carrots, of course.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 1:16 AM on July 4, 2007

if they get into the habit of looking at the big picture of their effect on the world

The biggest picture these fuckers can see is their bottom line. It's a (patently ridiculous) marketing ploy, not some altruistic "step in the right direction".
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 2:15 AM on July 4, 2007

very hungry caterpillar: do you mean a vision like this? (warning: contains graphic ultraviolence)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:32 AM on July 4, 2007

If BAE has done the math and determined that it actually makes a significant difference environmentally, then it's good. If they're doing it to sell more weapons, then it's evil. If it's both, my head explodes.

(No, actually, it doesn't explode, because bullets are already regulated so that exploding bullets are not allowed. But non-exploding bullets that still make you head explode are allowed, and pretty much any kind of bombing is OK, so there's more than one way to explode a head.)

I think you should look at an army as a peacetime service (when they need to be good members of society) and a wartime service (when they do many evil things that you hope are significantly less evil than the things the people they kill are trying to do).

Maybe having an army is like keeping a pet werewolf. When it's a human, you expect it not to shit in the living room. When it's a beast, you don't think so much about the new rug. We know our werewolf will fuck everything up if it ever fights the neighbor's werewolf, but we hope that never has to happen, and we still want our werewolf to refrain from shitting on the rugs while it's human.

What proportion of its bullets does an army fire in practice, not battle? And what proportion of bullets fired in battle hit their target? I have no idea whether an environmentally significant amount of lead could be left lying around in practice or war zones, but if it's true, I'm sure a lot of us would be ready to complain if it turned out people were dying of lead poisoning from old bullets that missed them the first time.

And what proportion of an air force's jet fuel does it use in practice rather than in battle? Don't a lot of us grudgingly approve of generally peaceful countries (Canada, for example) having an air force and letting pilots practice to proficiency, even though we don't want them to ever go into battle unless their country's directly threatened? If fighter jets are going to practice just outside my window, as they now do quite often, I want them to at least do it quietly and cleanly.

But I want BAE to be truly greener -- to do something that makes a significant difference environmentally to something they are going to do in any case, dirty or clean. If they're just painting themselves in green camouflage to sneak past certain government ministers (as is more likely), fuck 'em.
posted by pracowity at 2:54 AM on July 4, 2007

"Halt! Show me your papers! Is this document made from recycled paper? No? NO?"
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:15 AM on July 4, 2007

Fuck BAE for providing the British armed forces with possibly some of the worst P.O.S. kit in the world. And fuck the British government for subsidising them. Corrupt bunch of arms dealing cunts. May they all get cancer and die.
posted by longbaugh at 5:56 AM on July 4, 2007

We all have a duty of care to ensure that from cradle to grave products are being used appropriately and do not do lasting harm

ummm... no lasting harm... so they're nerf-mines?
posted by pompomtom at 5:59 AM on July 4, 2007

well, nerf-mines might be the defence you need against the hordes armed with bio-ooze oozinators!
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:17 AM on July 4, 2007

Now all we need is a bomb that kills the people but leaves the buildings still standing.

Been there, done that.
posted by pax digita at 6:23 AM on July 4, 2007

@ UbuRoivas - very hungry caterpillar: do you mean a vision like this? - exactly like that! If the Goodies ran the world there would be no wars, just giant cats invading Paris. There again, black pudding massacres would go up 1000% - 'ecky thump!
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 8:19 AM on July 4, 2007

Now all we need is a bomb that kills the people but leaves the buildings still standing.

Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead!
< /j. frank parnell>
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:47 AM on July 4, 2007

Listen, all this joking about the bombs that kill but leave buildings standing, I've seen the Park at the epicenter of Nagasaki. There's a church, most of it is still standing. The epicenter of the explosion was 500m directly above it.

This doesn't make sense. For the concept of eco-friendly, sustainable, green design is that there should be minimal effect on the ecosystem in which we live. LIFE should not be harmed by the chemicals, processes, systems etc - that's the fundamental reason behind curbing carbon emissions or minimizing global warming or worrying about climate change.

Because these things are harming the environment yes, but there's more behind that. The harm on the environment, water, food plants, livestock, wildlife, nature, its all about LIFE.

War machines aren't about life, they're about death. This press release leading to this news article, its closer to what eclectist says than any discussion on being eco-friendly. Its the clueless, mindless, WTF do they think we're marching morons that we will swallow this shit, cognitive dissonance kind of thing that gets me. Still.

/ends rant

*sits back down and fans self*
posted by infini at 9:01 AM on July 4, 2007

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