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environment | imperialism & war

Army "goes green" with new more effective bullets

The M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round is the first environmentally-friendly bullet resulting from a larger "greening" effort across the Army's Small Caliber Ammunition programs. Other greening efforts include 5.56mm tracer, 7.62mm ball and green primers.
Defense Review reports:

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (June 23, 2010) The Army announced today it has begun shipping its new 5.56mm cartridge, the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round, to support warfighters in Afghanistan.

The new M855A1 round is sometimes referred to as "green ammo."

The new round replaces the current M855 5.56mm cartridge that has been used by U.S. troops since the early 1980s.

The Enhanced Performance Round contains an environmentally-friendly projectile that eliminates up to 2,000 tons of lead from the manufacturing process each year in direct support of Army commitment to environmental stewardship.

A true general-purpose round, the M855A1 exceeds the performance of the current M855 against the many different types of targets likely to be encountered in combat.

Soldiers in Afghanistan will begin using the new, improved round this summer.

 link to www.defensereview.com

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This is not a joke. This is not an article from "The Onion." This is capitalist "green-washing" at it's most horrific: we can save the planet even while maintaining imperialist hegemony in Afghanistan and other parts of the world.
No where in the article does it mention the irony of trying to mitigate one harmful aspect (environmental degradation) of a technology designed to destroy people as effectively as possible. This is quite simply lunacy.

I think there's a larger lesson to be learned from this, which is that "greenwashing" the status quo, taking the system we have now and making it "environmentally friendly," doesn't actually solve any problems. There's no real element of social justice inherent in making current day technology "green."
Another way of putting it is that a "green" economy can still support war in the middle east. A capitalist economy outfitted with solar panels and windmills will still leave people as wage slaves or starving, homeless, sick, etc.

Hell, "green" technology isn't even REALLY sustainable! It only SLOWS and OFFSETS the rate of environmental destruction, but it doesn't actually get rid of it.
A "worker friendly, democratic, justice minded" socialist industrial economy would still use plenty of metals and plastics, for example. Neither metals nor plastics are sustainable, both are extremely harmful to refine and produce.

Both "greenwashed" capitalist and "worker friendly" socialist (or communist) industrial economies are shams, neither solve the fundamental problems that we face today. Where should we look for examples of functional alternatives? Try past and present societies that are both actually sustainable and actually egalitarian. I'll give you a hint: they're mostly indigenous. The information is out there, do some research. It might even end up being fun.