News & Progress

Global Exchange and Specialty Studios to host screening at the Koret Theater in San Francisco July 9th


Join Global Exchange and Specialty Studios

for a screening of


The Environmental Footprint of War

A film by Alice T. Day, PhD and Lincoln H. Day, PhD

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

6:00 p.m.

Screening and Panel Discussion

San Francisco Main Public Library – KORET AUDITORIUM – 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA

Cost: Free

Global Exchange:

Specialty Studios:

Public Transportation: The underground (BART or MUNI) has a "Civic Center” stop and exit. If you take the Grove street exit, you can just come above ground and cross the street. 

Driving: There is off-street metered parking. The meters are free after 6 pm. There is also parking at Civic Center Garage, which is located a block away at 355 McAllister Street between Polk and Larkin – the entrance is in the middle of the block.

Contact: Margaret Poindexter

Community Engagement Director

Specialty Studios


Scarred Lands at Colorado Environmental Film Festival


Scarred Lands became an Official Selection at the seventh annual Colorado Environmental Film Festival February 21-24. It screened on Friday February 22 at CEFF Theater at 7PM. Executive Producer Steve Michelson attended. For more details about the festival go to: 

Scarred Lands wins Best Documentary Award at California Independent Film Festival


Scarred Lands received the Best Documentary award at the California Independent Film Festival on Veterans Day. This prize was especially notable because of the number of veterans and other military personnel involved with the festival. The film was screened at both the Rheem Theatre in Moraga and the Orinda Theatre in Orinda California. Executive Producer Steve Michelson received the prize and paid tribute to the Vets suggesting that the film "shows the difference between National Security and Natural Security".

Scarred Lands wins at Chagrin Documentary Festival


At the Chagrin Documentary Film Fest Awards Luncheon, Oct. 5, 2012, Scarred Lands Producers Alice and Lincoln Day were presented with a plaque for The Best Environmental Documentary before an audience of over a hundred Ohioans. 

Scarred Lands wins Best Environmental Feature at Columbia Gorge Festival


Executive Producer Steve Michelson accepts the award for Best Environmental Documentary Feature at the Columbia Gorge Film Festival in Vancouver Washington.

Durango Festival Screens Scarred Lands


picTwo sold-out screenings of Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives took place at the Durango International Film Festival in Durango, Colorado, in March 2012.

Steve Michelson, the film's Executive Producer, was on hand for the Q & A. 



The Accolade Award is a unique competition.  It recognizes both established and emerging producers who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity. The Accolade Humanitarian Award is given each year for service to social justice, humanitarian causes or environmental issues.



Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives -- The Environmental Footprint of War received the Special Jury REMI Award, the top award in the Ecology/Environment/Conservation category, at the 44th Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival.



Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives -- The Environmental Footprint of War was screened at the 1st San Francisco Green Film Festival,  which made its debut March 3-6, 2011.  After the screening, Rachel Caplan, the founder and organizer of the Festival, led the Q and A, underlining how important she thought it was to get the film's message out to the public.



Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives was featured at the 17th Annual Sedona International Film Festival as part of the Sustainable Film series.

Executive Producer Steve Michelson attended the event as a representative of the film, noting that Scarred Lands had two screenings over the festival period, both of which had sold out audiences.  Sedona activists concerned about the issues were excited to hear about the project's community screening program which is available on the Scarred Lands website.



Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives was chosen as an Official Selection of the Filmanthropy Festival that took place in Los Angeles, California during the weekend of October 2nd and October 3rd. The Festival's objective was to showcase films that inspire, educate, raise awareness and motivate so that audiences may, through their eyes, open their minds and hearts to creating a better world for all.

To find out more about the festival click here



Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives screened at the 7th Annual Maverick Movie Awards. The Maverick Awards are given to independent movies on the basis of style, craft, and the power to communicate. 



Diablo Valley Film Festival in California screened Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives on September 11th, 2010. The festival presented  documentaries with an emphasis on innovative storytelling, creative technical expertise and an experimental approach. Scarred Lands was chosen because of its focus on the environmental impact of war. as  part of the larger discussion surrounding 9/11 events. 



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Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War was a finalist for a coveted Panda Award - the "Oscar” of environmental film, at Wildscreen in October, 2008.  Wildscreen is one of the world's largest and most prestigious international wildlife and environmental film festivals.  It is held every two years in Bristol, UK. 

For over 25 years, Wildscreen has attracted hundreds of delegates from around the globe who work in film, television and the press, as well as those actively involved in working to conserve the environment.  Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives was one of three finalists - and the only American film - selected for the Natural History Museum Environment category, which focuses on conservation, issues of sustainability and environment, and the need to protect the natural world.  



After three years of effort, filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day premiered Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives: the Environmental Footprint of War at the 16th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.  Scarred Lands, which opened the 2008 Festival, was warmly received by a packed audience at the Carnegie Institution of Washington (read reviews by the Voice of America, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and SCIENCE).

The screening was followed by a panel discussion with directors Alice and Lincoln Day and several persons interviewed in the film: environmental science professor Saleem H. Ali; Michael Barrett, researcher on environmental consequences of ships sunk in WWII; military and veteran affairs consultant Lt. General Robert Gard, Jr. (U.S. Army, Ret.); climate change scientist Michael MacCracken; defense and foreign policy specialist Marie Rietmann; and Paul F. Walker, authority on nuclear and chemical weapons clean-up programs.




Washington, D.C.  - Filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day, editor Dan Gallagher, and cinematographer Wayne Westbrook have wrapped  shooting for Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives.  Location filming took place on the National Mall, at the Korean, Vietnam and World War II Memorials, as well as the US Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington. The filmmakers captured scenes in the District of Columbia, in Northern Virginia, and in Rockville, Maryland.



Washington, D.C.  - Alice and Lincoln Day recently interviewed Michael J. Barrett, an environmental fellow at the National Geographic Society who is researching war-time shipwrecks and their potential for environmental damage, particularly to coral reefs. Barrett has focused his initial research on the nearly 4,000 destroyed ships on the floor of the South Pacific, the site of countless naval battles between the US and Japan during WWII.

"I see this work as trying to defuse a time bomb in the South Pacific....Research has suggested that these ships will be disintegrating almost totally within ... twenty-five and sixty-five years. Now that's a big range, but when you look at the amount of oil that will be released over that time period and the amount of explosions that can detonate as these ships settle and collapse and disintegrate, it's really not very much time at all."

- Michael Barrett

The first step in cleaning up these sites is finding them and Mr. Barrett is finally providing specific ship location coordinates. Often the governments who are responsible for the waters where these wrecks are found have no idea of the number of wrecks or the potential environmental damage that threatens their coastal environments:

"When I started in the Pacific, the work I was doing was well received if not totally understood. A lot of the local governments' resources down there are very limited. Many didn't even know where the ships were, or how many ships there were at all, some thinking there's only three or four ships here where in fact there's actually about sixty. And these ships were actively leaking fuel into the lagoon."

- Michael Barrett

Even if precise ship locations are determined, governments rarely take the steps necessary to recover the oil and explosives still onboard in part due to expense and also because these ships serve as the final resting place for the sailors who lost their lives on duty.



Washington, D.C.  - Filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day interviewed Lester Brown, a leading environmentalist and president and founder of Earth Policy Institute. During his interview, Brown noted that the war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism have diverted public attention from pressing environmental threats.

"Terrorism is a threat, no question about it, but it's not nearly as serious as spreading shortages of water sources, it's not anywhere near as serious as the threat posed by climate change or that from population growth. So we need to try to get things back in focus - it's as though the lens got out of focus, and we can't sort of get it back in focus now.”

- Lester Brown

Brown also argued that the earth cannot sustain the economic and population growth of the last fifty years, a period that has witnessed a nearly three-fold increase in world population. Unless growth rates are stabilized, our civilization will cross environmental thresholds and the global economy will collapse.

Brown insisted, however, that our society has the resources, technology, and knowledge to build a sustainable future. Drawing on research for his upcoming book "Plan B, 3.0,” Brown proposed a global budget to stabilize population and restore the earth. The latter would require investing in reforestation, creating marine reserves, and increasing water use efficiency. Brown estimates the annual cost of the Plan B budget to be $161 billion - approximately one third of the annual US military budget.

"If you ask the question, objectively, could we reduce the US military budget by a third and shift those expenditures into eradicating poverty, stabilizing population, [and] earth restoration, I think it's clear, it's clear that we would do far more to ensure our future than if we just stay with a half a trillion dollars of US taxpayer money going to military purposes...

When people look at the questions of earth restoration, people say, ‘Can we afford that?' That's not the question. The question is, ‘Can we afford not to do that?' And the answer is certainly no. What we are talking about is protecting the economy's environmental support systems; if those support systems continue to disintegrate, the economy will eventually itself disintegrate. The economy does not exist in a vacuum, it is entirely dependent on the earth's natural systems and resources, and if we damage and destroy those systems and resources then the economy will eventually decline and one day collapse.”

- Lester Brown



Washington, D.C.  - Filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day interviewed the United Nations Environment Programme's David Jensen (see Participants), the Policy and Planning Coordinator at the Post-Conflict Branch. Jensen's work for the UNEP has taken him to Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia, Sudan, and Liberia to assess damage to the environment caused by armed conflict.

In 2002, Jensen produced and directed the documentary, “The Other Side of Afghanistan,” which follows the UNEP's efforts to rehabilitate the Afghan environment after three decades of war (archival footage from Jensen's documentary will be featured in “Scarred Lands, Wounded Lives.”) During his interview with the Days, Jensen spoke about the legacies of deforestation and unexploded ordnance in Afghanistan.

The deforestation we see in Afghanistan is a product of three forces. First of all you have the Mujahideen that were using the forests for tree cover… The Soviets destroyed some of the forest to prevent that. Second of all, you have the Afghans themselves harvested the forests and stockpiled the wood because they feared that they would be taken away during the collectivization process. And third you had landmines that were put into agricultural areas. By putting the landmines into agricultural areas it forced people to find other areas to grow food, and the most obvious were the forests and woodlands of the country. So those three factors have led to virtual 100% deforestation in some areas.

- David Jensen

During the Soviet-Afghan War, northern Afghans lost much of their economy with the disappearance of pistachio forests, forcing them to adopt less sustainable types of agriculture. As Jensen notes, sheep grazing in former pistachio woodlands now consume most seedlings, preventing reforestation. Grazing also causes extreme soil erosion, which further hampers reforestation and destabilizes Afghan society.

If [Afghans] don't have wood to burn to cook with, to heat their homes with, if they don't have water to drink, they leave. And you see massive displacement happening, we call it “environmental refugees,” if you will. But people are leaving their homes, moving into urban areas, this creates a demand on resources, it creates a demand on infrastructure, and ultimately displacement undermines the peace process.

- David Jensen



Washington, D.C.  - During the month of February, "Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives" was in production in Australia.  Filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day took the opportunity to spread word about the documentary and interview several notables along the way.

pic2The Days started out in Melbourne, where they presented the trailer for the film and led a discussion about it before an audience of academics, clergy, and public servants, as well as a former Australian ambassador to the United Nations.  The group was assembled by old friends of the Days:  a former Deputy Prime Minister in the previous labor government and his historian wife.  The goal of the hosts was to set up a support group for the film in Australia.  

From Melbourne they went to Canberra, where they spent several days researching in the National Film and Sound Archive and filmed an interview with Dr. Sue Wareham, former president (for 8 years) of Medical Association for the Prevention of War, the Australian affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

Then, in Sydney, they filmed an interview with Dr. Anne Noonan, a physician and psychiatrist who works with aboriginal populations in central and northwestern Australia. Dr. Noonan has a particular interest in the impact on aboriginal health and community life of the nuclear tests conducted by the British in Australia during the period of the Cold War

The Days also spoke at some length by telephone with Yami Lester, an aborigine blinded by what he describes as a "black mist" that originated in one of the British tests and engulfed his settlement, causing extensive, long-term illness among the inhabitants.  He is credited with getting the Australian government, decades after the event, to undertake a Royal Commission inquiry into its human and environmental consequences.  Dr. Noonan is acquainted with Yami Lester, and the Days hope to be able, through her, either to interview him or to include some footage of an interview he did, some years ago, for the Australian Broadcasting Service. 

"Scarred Land & Wounded Lives" is still in production, but elements of the Australia trip are already making their way into the edit.

Alice and Lincoln Day returned in time for their work-in-progress to be screened at the 2007 D.C. Environmental Film Festival.




Washington, D.C. - The Fund for Sustainable Tomorrows is pleased to announce that a segment of "Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War" will be shown at American University on March 20 during the 2007 DC Environmental Film Festival.

"Scarred Lands," by filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day, is about the environmental damage inflicted by war and the preparation for war.   In 2006, the Days released a trailer for the film.   This year, audiences will see a segment of the work-in-progress that focuses on the environmental impacts of combat.

The work-in-progress, produced for the Days by VideoTakes, Inc., will be featured during the DC Environmental Film Festival's "Evening with Chris Palmer."   Palmer, director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and CEO of VideoTakes, Inc., will screen a variety of important environmental films.

The Days actually decided to make the film because of the DC Environmental Film Festival.   After nine years of experience reviewing films at the festival, the Days concluded that the ecological footprint of war has been only minimally addressed on film, and that film is particularly well-suited for presenting this topic to a broad and diverse audience.

VideoTakes' staff contributing to the work-in-progress included Dan Gallagher, writer and editor, Sandy Cannon-Brown, VideoTakes' president, and Alex Lucas who provided research for the archival footage.

Join us Tuesday, March 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the Wechsler Theatre at American University, for this exclusive preview of the Day's powerful film.



Burlington, VT. Filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day visited the University of Vermont to interview Dr. Saleem H. Ali (see Participants), Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at the Rubenstein School of Natural Resources. As an advisor to the United Nations Environment Programme in the field of environmental peace-building, Dr. Ali spoke with the Days about the movement to establish trans-boundary conservation zones, or “peace parks.”

“Historically,” notes Ali, “the first peace park was between the U.S. and Canada, and that is the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park on the border of Montana and Alberta. Nowadays, of course, we do not think of the United States and Canada as having any hostility towards each other, but the aim of that peace park was not just to build neighboring conservation areas, but to have better relations between the two countries.”

Ironically, notes Dr. Ali, the “common aversion” of a shared environmental crisis can bring together states with vastly divergent interests. “The Indus Basin Agreement, which was negotiated between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank in the 1960s, is an excellent example on how you can get cooperation occurring, even when both sides are in a state of armed conflict…Water is potentially a source of conflict because if you can use it as a means of stifling the economy - for example, India building a dam and not allowing water to flow into Pakistan - [that] could lead to a very serious crisis situation in Pakistan. But a realization that this kind of system would be potentially destructive for both sides has led to cooperation.”

Throughout his interview with the Days, Dr. Ali repeatedly warned against the temptation to focus solely on the negative, urging people, instead, to consider the environment as common grounds for building peace.

My experience with environmental peace-building initiatives - whether it's through trans-boundary conservation zones, peace parks, environmental treaties between countries that otherwise have tremendous antipathy and hatred towards each other - leads me to believe that environmental issues are, indeed, a very promising avenue for building better ties between countries, and resolving many of the most contentious and challenging conflicts of our times.

-Dr. Saleem H. Ali