Birds flap their wings in oil-infested coastal waters, unable to take off. Trees in a coniferous forest have lost all but a handful of their needles. An empty landscape is scarred by open-cast mining. These are just some of the images that have brought home the enormous costs to the natural environment of industrial development. Environmental damage is even more noticeable since an ever-increasing share of the population in industrialised countries has grown up without the experience of direct military confrontation. The end of the Cold War and the European integration process, with the Eastern expansion of the European Union as its apex, have all contributed to an unprecedented era of peace, stability and general wealth for the Old World.
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