Killing the Eco-Friendly Way

According to the Sunday Times, we live in a world where there is now such a thing as "green munitions." British arms manufacturer BAE Systems is actually developing "environmentally friendly" weapons. These include low smoke grenades and lead-free bullets. Yes, that's friendly as in "friendly fire."

Of course, we all must do what we can to help the environment. Some of us recycle; others build weapons that kill people in an eco-friendly manner. See, if we all work together, we can make this planet a better place.

And just think of the benefits. Get hit by a reduced-smoke grenade, and you have a much smaller chance of dying from emphysema in twenty years. With lead-free bullets, no longer will people shot to death by a bullet have to worry about dying a second time from lead poisoning. The company is even building reduced-toxin rockets, which is great because I love the smell of "reduced-toxin" Napalm in the morning. If these weapons are friends to the environment, I wonder what the enemies of the environment look like.

That's not all. There are quieter warheads too, a convenient new way for the military to get around those pesky noise ordinances. It's nice to see that the military may be learning lessons from the mob, which has been using silencers on their weapons for years. Having quieter weapons is great for everyone, well, except for CNN and Fox News, because frankly environmentally friendly weapons sound like they'll be bad for ratings. Less bang for the buck may mean less buck for the bang.

According to The Times, "there have even been experiments to see if explosives can be turned into manure." I think I liked it better when they were just making guns, though it wouldn't be the first time government money turned something into manure.

Our friends at BAE Systems are also working to build armored vehicles with lower carbon emissions and hybrid engines. Al Gore must be so proud. With inventions like this, we won't have to worry about coastal cities being flooded in 2050 because of global warming. That's great news for coastal cities, unless the armored vehicles are headed for the coastal cities, in which case they might want to duck.

And while we're on the subject of armored vehicles, I always hate it when their drivers idle their engines during an attack for no good reason. Can someone do something about that, because it's really annoying? I'm also worried about people getting sunburn from nuclear explosions, but I'm sure BAE has someone working on that problem too.

Granted, it must be difficult for a company like this to suddenly start thinking of the environment. In the words of one great philosopher, it's not easy being green. I suppose we could just be grateful that they are thinking of the environment at all, or perhaps more accurately that they are appearing to think of the environment.

Still, if our governments are going to use weapons to kill people, the weapons might as well be environmentally friendly. At least, that's the argument Dr. Debbie Allen of BAE Systems makes. As she tells The Times, "Weapons are going to be used and when they are, we try to make them as safe for the user as possible, to limit the collateral damage and to impact as little as possible on the environment." I mention Dr. Allen, primarily because her title is Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. What a great title to have when you work for a company that sells over $25 billion of weapons a year!

In the understatement of the decade, BAE Systems also explains the reason for creating lead-free bullets. As they say, "lead used in ammunition can harm the environment and pose a risk to people." Well, yeah, and if you used high-cholesterol bullets, I guess that would pose a risk to people too. Still, thank God someone out there is trying to build safer bullets. After all, guns don't kill people. Leaded bullets do.


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