Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, July 07, 2011

By Sarwat Yunus

We bet Captain Planet never realised the influence he had on the kids of his generation; who would have thought that the kids would grow up to make such PHENOMENAL changes in the arms industry. Who would have thought that they would toil day and night to make killing a greener, cleaner process by designing environmentally friendly weapons? We are certain that Captain Planet's very proud, unless all the pollution has already got him pushing up the daisies.

The British arms manufacturers BAE Systems, which just happens to be one of the world's largest arms manufacturers, is trying to revolutionise human warfare by introducing a whole new generation of weapons which we are referring to as "green munitions". As the BAE said, weapons are going to be used, so might as well make them more eco-friendly by making use of sustainable resources and green energy. By the way, don't you dare think that this whole “harnessing green energy” - business has got anything to do with coping with the depleting supplies of their usual raw materials. It's all about tree-hugging, we assure you.

One such tree-hugging design involves the “reduced lead” bullet. According to the BAE "lead used in ammunition can harm the environment and pose a risk to people." Bet you didn't know that. That's right, my dearies, you will not die of lead poisoning after your brains get fried by the environment friendly bullets. You will just… die. You will also die a happy individual, knowing that the bullets are not poisoning the battlegrounds. Isn't that just wonderful?

Reduced smoke grenade is another outcome of BAE's heartfelt efforts at saving our dear mother earth. No more nasty air pollutants. There is another exceptional advantage of using these reduced smoke grenades - any guesses? Yeah, didn't think so. Okay, we will tell you. Supposing that you get hit by one of these environmentally friendly grenades, there is a much smaller chance of you dying from emphysema in twenty years. There is also the obviously reduced probability of coughing to death on the spot. But then again, you'll probably be shot to death with lead-free bullets minutes after the smoke grenade goes off, so you won't have anything to worry about at all. You can rest in peace, knowing that the explosive that killed you didn't give out any greenhouse gases.

Now, obviously, the BAE is also working to build armoured vehicles with lower carbon emissions and hybrid engines. So, by the time your neighbourhood gets demolished by the “eco friendly” tanks, its carbon footprint will have been reduced greatly. We're sure that takes a huge burden off you. “Eco friendly” rockets with reduced emissions are also on the menu. BAE tells us that Rockets fired in “sensitive marine environments” could have reduced emissions to protect the sea-life. So when your hometown gets blown to smithereens, rest assured that the ozone layer is intact and the cute little fishies and planktons are still surviving. Noise pollution from warheads is also in the process of being reduced - we don't want any busted ear-drums now, do we?

The BAE has also been working on recycling and composting waste explosives. You know about those degradable bio-plastics used for packing and all? It's the same concept. Bio-degradable plastics are used instead of the ones made from crude oil. We are truly fascinated by the idea of composting explosives. Imagine sprinkling around explosives in your neighbour's garden. It definitely beats sprinkling around farmyard manure. For some reason it also gives us images of growing explosives in our flowerpots perhaps it's our overactive imagination, but we're pretty sure that you can see the possibilities.

If Captain Planet is still alive, then he's probably asking himself “Why didn't I think of that?” We don't blame him, because we're asking ourselves the same question right at this moment.



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