Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Caruso, Raul

Ed. by Bove, Vincenzo / Kibris, Arzu / Sekeris, Petros

CiteScore 2018: 0.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.281
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.320

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 23, Issue 2


Volume 26 (2020)

Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 4 (1996)

Volume 3 (1995)

Volume 2 (1994)

Volume 1 (1993)

From Head to Head: An Emergy Analysis of a War Rifle Bullet

Francesco GonellaORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8504-5301 / Christian Elia / Silvio Cristiano / Sofia Spagnolo / Francesco Vignarca
Published Online: 2017-05-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2017-0004


Emergy (spelled with an “m”) analysis is a method for environmental and systemic accounting in terms of sustainability and quality of resources used for a product, service or process. In this paper, it is applied to the assault rifles projectiles used in war battlefields. The specific emergy is evaluated in terms of sej/bullet, pointing out the upstream investment made by both the environment and the human society to produce the bullet in its operating war conditions. Comparison is made with alternative uses of the same resources when addressed to the support of development and wellbeing.

Keywords: Environmental accounting; Emergy; Ammunition; Warfare costs; Systems thinking

  • Almeida, C. M. V. B., Madureira, M. A., Bonilla, S. H., & Giannetti, B. F. (2013). Assessing the replacement of lead in solders: Effects on resource use and human health. Journal of Cleaner Production, 47, 457–464.Google Scholar

  • Amnesty International. (2015). Retrieved from www.amnesty.org.au/armstrade/.

  • API. (1977). Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims of International Armed Conflict (Protocol I), art. 51–5(b), June 8, 1977, 1125 UNTS 3.Google Scholar

  • Brown, M. T (2004). A picture is worth a thousand words: Energy systems language and simulation. Ecological Modelling, 178, 83–100.Google Scholar

  • Brown, M. T., & Ulgiati, S. (2002). Emergy evaluations and environmental loading of electricity production systems. Journal of Cleaner Production, 10, 321–334.Google Scholar

  • Brown, M. T., & Ulgiati, S. (2004a). Energy quality, emergy, and transformity: H.T. Odum’s contributions to quantifying and understanding systems. Ecological Modelling, 178, 201–213.Google Scholar

  • Brown, M. T., & Ulgiati, S. (2004b). Emergy analysis and environmental accounting. In Encyclopedia of energy. New York, NY: Elsevier 2329354.Google Scholar

  • Brown, M. T., & Ulgiati, S. (2011). Understanding the global economic crisis: A biophysical perspective. Ecological Modelling, 223, 4–13.Google Scholar

  • Brown, M. T., Cohen, M. J., & Sweeney, S. (2009). Predicting national sustainability: the convergence of energetic, economic and environmental realities. Ecological Modelling, 220, 3424–3438.Google Scholar

  • Brown, M. T., Campbell, D. E., De Vilbiss, C., & Ulgiati, S. (2016). The geobiosphere emergy baseline: A synthesis. Ecological Modelling, 339, 92–95.Google Scholar

  • Boulding, K (1962). Conflict and defence: A general theory. New York, NY: Harper.Google Scholar

  • Boulding, K (1975). International systems: Peace, conflict resolution, and politics. Boulder, CO: Colorado Associated University Press.Google Scholar

  • Buonocore, E., Vanoli, L., Carotenuto, A., & Ulgiati, S. (2015). Integrating life cycle assessment and emergy synthesis for the evaluation of a dry steam geothermal power plant in Italy. Energy, 86, 476–487.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Caina-Longbranch. (2016). Retrieved from http://cainalongbranch.com/entireproductionline.

  • Campbell, E. T., & Tilley, D. R. (2014). The eco-price: How environmental emergy equates to currency. Ecosystem Services, 7, 128–140.Google Scholar

  • Campbell, D. E., Lu, H., Kolb, K. (2010). Emergy evaluation of educational attainment in the United States. In Brown, M. T., Sweeney, S., Campbell, D. E., Huang, S., Ortega, E., Rydberg, T., et al.(Ed.), Emergy synthesis 6, theory and applications of the emergy methodology - Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Emergy Conference. Gainesville, FL: Center for Environmental Policy, Univ. of Florida 483500.Google Scholar

  • Campbell, E. D., Wigand, C., & Schuetz, N. B. (2015). The real wealth purchased in a fish dinner. In Brown, M. T., Sweeney, S., Campbell, D. E., Huang, S., Rydberg, T., & Ulgiati, S.(Ed.), Emergy synthesis 8: Theory and applications of the emergy methodology - Proceedings of the 8th Biennial Emergy Conference. Gainesville, FL: Center for Environmental Policy, University of Florida 6182.Google Scholar

  • CEP. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.cep.ees.ufl.edu/emergy/publications/odum.shtml.

  • De Vilbiss, C. D., & Brown, M. T. (2015). New method to compute the emergy of crustal minerals. Ecological Modelling, 315, 108–115.Google Scholar

  • Dilnot, C (2014). Green Bullets (U.S. Military), design and violence - New York Museum of Modern Art Retrieved from http://designandviolence.moma.org/green-bullets-u-s-military/.

  • Epps, V. C (2013). Civilian casualties in modern warfare: The death of the collateral damage rule. Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, 41, 307–355.Google Scholar

  • Ferreira, C., Ribeiro, J., Almada, S., Rotariu, T., & Freire, F. (2016). Reducing impacts from ammunitions: A comparative life-cycle assessment of four types of 9 mm ammunitions. Science of the Total Environment, 566–567, 34–40.Google Scholar

  • Franzese, P. P., Brown, M. T., & Ulgiati, S. (2014). Environmental accounting: Emergy, systems ecology, and ecological modelling. Ecological Modelling, 271, 1–3.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Gallo, G (2012). Conflict theory, complexity and systems approach. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, .. Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). DOI:.Crossref

  • Geng, Y., Zhang, P., Ulgiati, S., & Sarkis, J. (2010). Emergy analysis of an industrial park: the case of Dalian, China. Science of the Total Environment, 408, 5273–5283.Google Scholar

  • Geng, Y., Sarkis, J., Ulgiati, S., & Zhang, P. (2013). Measuring China’s circular economy. Science, 339, 1526–1527.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Greenwood, T. C., & Hammes, T. X. (2009). War planning for wicked problems. Armed Forces Journal, . Retrieved from http://armedforcesjournal.com/war-planning-for-wicked-problems/.

  • Lei, K., Wang, Z., & Ton, S. (2008). Holistic emergy analysis of Macao. Ecological Engineering, 32, 30–43.Google Scholar

  • Listyawati, R. N., Meidiana, C., & Anggraeni, M. (2014). Evaluation of energy self-sufficient village by means of emergy indices. Procedia Environmental Sciences, 20, 30–39.Google Scholar

  • Meadows, D (2008). Thinking in systems – A primer. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publ.Google Scholar

  • Mikko, D (2000). U.S. Military “Green Bullet”. Technical report of Firearms ID Retrieved from http://www.firearmsid.com/Feature%20Articles/GreenBullets/GreenBullets.htm.

  • Odum, H. T (1971). Environment, power and society. New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar

  • Odum, H. T (1987). Models for national, international, and global systems policy. In Braat, L. C., & Van Lierop, W. F. J.(Ed.), Economic-ecological modeling. New York, NY: Elsevier 203251.Google Scholar

  • Odum, H. T (1988). Self-Organization, transformity, and information. Science, 242, 1132–1139.Google Scholar

  • Odum, H. T (1996). Environmental accounting, emergy and environmental decision making. New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar

  • Odum, H. T (2007). Environment, power and society for the twenty-first century: The hierarchy of energy. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

  • Odum, H. T., & Odum, E. C. (2006). The prosperous way down. Energy, 31, 21–32.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • PayScale. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Industry=Small_Arms_Ammunition_Manufacturing/Salary.

  • Siekman, M. W., Anderson, D. A., & Boyce, A. S. (2010). Small-arms ammunition production and acquisition: Too many eggs in one basket? Professional Bulletin of United States Army Sustainment, 42(5).Google Scholar

  • SIPRI. (2015). Military Expenditure Database – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Retrieved from https://www.sipri.org/databases/milex.

  • Ulgiati, S (2004). H.T. Odum and E.C. Odum, the prosperous way down. Ecological Modelling, 178, 247–250.Google Scholar

  • Ulgiati, S., Zucaro, A., & Franzese, P. P. (2011). Shared wealth or nobody’s land? The worth of natural capital and ecosystem services. Ecological Economics, 70, 778–787.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Viglia, S., Franzese, P. P., Zucaro, A., Blackstock, K. L., Matthews, K. B., & Ulgiati, S. (2011). Resource use and biophysical constraints of Scottish agriculture. Ecological Questions, 15, 57–69.Google Scholar

  • Wernet, G., Bauer, C., Steubing, B., Reinhard, J., Moreno-Ruiz, E., & Weidema, B. (2016). The ecoinvent database version 3 (part I): Overview and methodology. Internationl Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 21, 1218–1230.Google Scholar

  • Wittenberg, A (2015). Army’s eco-friendly quest breeds more deadly bullet. Greenwire, . Environment & Energy PublishingRetrieved from http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060020236.

About the article

Published Online: 2017-05-01

Published in Print: 2017-04-01

Citation Information: Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Volume 23, Issue 2, 20170004, ISSN (Online) 1554-8597, ISSN (Print) 1079-2457, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2017-0004.

Export Citation

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in