Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War


262 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55164-182-8
DDC 306.6'6





Reviewed by J.L. Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein, Distinguished Research Professor of History Emeritus,
York University, served as Director of the Canadian War Museum from 1998
to 2000. He is the author of Who Killed Canadian History? and co-author
of The Canadian 100: The 100 Most Infl


Dr. Rosalie Bertell is a well-known Canadian scientist and
environmentalist. Her most recent book is a passionate call for control
of weapons of mass destruction, against the militarization of space, and
for increasing concern about the environmental wreckage left by modern
war. That there is much to be concerned about is certain. That Dr.
Bertell—who is almost unabashedly anti-American in her arguments—is
the best or most persuasive person to make the case is far less likely.
When she writes on the environment, readers should be prepared to heed
her concerns. But when she ventures into what she sees as the proper
(and very limited) role of the military now and in the future, some
caution should be exercised. For example, Dr. Bertell professes shock
that NATO intervened in Kosovo. Would she have wanted the ethnic
cleansing to proceed? Should the world have waited for the United
Nations to act—never? And if the West had not had military force at
hand, who would have rescued tens of thousands of Kosovars from Serbian
genocide? It is no informed answer to suggest that the Western
militaries are not under civilian control or to point to NATO as an
aggressive force.

Even so, Bertell has collected much useful information on current and
proposed weapons systems, some of which unquestionably have major
environmental concerns attached to them. But readers need to employ a
very fine sieve to sift out the trusty information from the bias and


Bertell, Rosalie., “Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,