fb-pixelWar is hell on nature and the environment too - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

War is hell on nature and the environment too

The gutted remains of a car in front of damaged trees following a battle between Russia and Ukrainian forces on the outskirts of Chernihiv, Ukraine, on April 22.Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

Re “Resilient nature amidst the ravages of war” (Ideas, April 24): In addition to the disastrous impacts of war on human health and well-being, war creates profound and widespread consequences for nature and the environment. War adversely affects flora and fauna. War contaminates air, water, and soil with toxic chemicals. War destroys animal habitats and damages forests and other ecosystems. War threatens the survival of many animal and plant species. And war and the preparation for war divert human and financial resources from activities to protect the environment and preserve nature. Those who focus on the resilience of nature in the midst of war are missing the forest for the trees.

Dr. Barry S. Levy



The writer is the author of the forthcoming book “From Horror to Hope: Recognizing and Preventing the Health Impacts of War,” an adjunct professor of public health at Tufts University School of Medicine, and past president of the American Public Health Association.