Jason Sahler

GREEN RANT: Can Explosives Go Green?

by , 09/11/08
filed under: Green Rant, Greenwashing

green bomb, green explosives, green rant, clean explosives, greenwashing

Ah, science – constantly trying to make the world a better place. Although air quality may not be first and foremost on your mind when there are bombs going off, you’ll be glad to know that scientists are striving for “greener explosives“. Failing to see the inherent irony in an “environmentally friendly” unit of destruction, scientists have gone and developed safer explosives by adding “unique green solvents” and improving the quality and purity of their materials. The resulting explosions may be more stable and precise, but can we really call them “green“?


Striving for safer explosives handling is understandable, but calling explosives green strikes us as beyond comprehension. Future-forward design encompasses much more than labeling a product “green” – it should embody a holistic approach to sustainability that takes into account the environment, the economy and the people.

Now, perhaps it’s just me, but I am not to sure if bombs are in the people’s best interest. They may not have made any claims to sustainability, but labeling them “green” can only serve to further muddle an oft-misused term, clouding its important message of creating a more sustainable and equitable world.

If we are going to drops bombs why not drop these ones.

Via ScienceDaily

green bomb, green explosives, green rant, clean explosives, greenwashing, flower bombs

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4 Comments

  1. Jac September 17, 2008 at 1:09 am

    For construction bombing, it’s perhaps better to go green. But for offensive bombing, it won’t make any sense. Sustainability is about saving and conserving the earth, and people are part of this earth we are talking about. So yeah it will be a slap in the face for that. Unless it’s a peace message, like a bomb of sweet smelling fresh flowers :P

  2. theokobox September 12, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    what an oxymoron. but i have to say if they are going to bomb things- i could only hope the bomb would do as little chemical harm as possible.
    Seed bombs would be the way to go. :)

  3. iGREEN September 12, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    I too fail to see the inherent dichotomy between explosives and green. In the past militaries have used all kinds of environmentally harmful weapons and will continue to do so. The idea of creating bombs that do not leave all kinds of toxic waste is appealing to me, not in the short term, but years from now. While i agree that green is perhaps not the best moniker for this type of product, any thing that tries a little bit to mitigate environmental effects should be encouraged. The less depleted uranium and other toxic waste we use the better.

  4. natjgreen September 11, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    There are uses for explosives that have nothing to do with warfare, most notably construction. Increased precision would not only increase safety, but also decrease the amount environmental impact in large scale building projects. Many of the buildings featured on this very site probably rely on blasting to construct their foundations. The more you build up, the further you have to build down.
    So yeah, I think explosives can go green.

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