Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Halt live fire training on Pagan Island
The U.S. military — specifically the marines and Navy — often practices live fire training on islands where the destruction won’t come in close contact to civilians and the devastation does little harm to the main land. However, the military has seized several islands over the course of its history, and each one is returned back to the natives in a wretched state.
Pagan Island has been selected by the U.S. Marines in a round of live fire training. Bombs, rockets and torpedos and shells are set off during these exercises, destroying the landscape, the wildlife and its ecosystems. Many of these islands are returned back to the natives uninhabitable. Not only is the U.S. military destroying the environment but it is decimating homes of the native people.
Pagan Island is home to the Chamorro people, who are an ancient civilization thriving in a beautiful and vibrant island. The island houses two volcanoes, Mt. Pagan, which is actively erupting, and a southern volcano that has remained dormant since the late 1800s. The island is covered with sparse forests, inhabited by unique species of insects and birds. The U.S. marine forces intend to use the entire island for training with a full spectrum of weapons. In other words, these ecosystems could be obliterated.
The Chamorro people — while only a select few still live on the island — frequently visit their ancestral home. They wish for the island to be returned habitable, but it is highly unlikely that the U.S. military will heed their wishes. There are several species living on this island, like the tree snail, the Mariana fruit bat, and Micronesian Megapode (a pigeon sized bird) which are all considered endangered in Guam and other countries, but thrive here because foreign species have not been introduced. The tree snails live in a very small section of the island and if the military destroyed this area, they would be without a home. Combine the destructive powers of the military alongside the toxins left behind by their weapons and it will take centuries for this island to return back to normal.
Sign this petition and urge President Barack Obama to halt the training exercise. It is imperative that we save what unique life we have on this planet.
Dear President Barack Obama,
I am writing to request that you halt the live fire training on Pagan Island. The island, which hosts a vibrant and unique ecosystem, should not be lost during a military training exercise. Some of these species like the tree snail, the Marian fruit bat and Micronesian Megapode are already considered endangered and while they exist in places like Guam, their habitats are nearly gone. The island will also become uninhabitable centuries after the training is concluded. The destruction of the landscape along with the toxins from the weaponry will make it difficult — and almost impossible — for wildlife to thrive.
Scientists and environmentalists are asking why so many islands must be bombarded into oblivion and I too am echoing this question. There are so many species and habitats lost thanks to human activity. The Pagan Island should not be another island added to that list of destruction. The Chamorro people wish to have their homes returned unharmed and so do the wildlife. Again, I implore you to cease the live fire training.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Earth Observatory via NASA