Re: “The 70-year nightmare materializes: a madman with nukes,” (The Hill Times, March 2, p. 7). It is said that the first casualty of war is truth. While it is an early victim, usually even before the first shots are fired, the real first victim is the environment. Tons of explosives full of carbon and nitrogen compounds releasing tons of greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting precursors in training as well as in combat. Aircraft with old engines dumping vast amounts of carbon dioxide and other chemicals into the atmosphere. Huge fires and concrete buildings needing to be replaced with the concomitant release of CO2 and other substances. Debilitating injuries and post-conflict medical problems will consume resources needed to address other urgent issues, like climate change, not to mention the terrible damage to individuals and societies. War is never an efficient solution to anything, except possibly a mad dictator. And when the hot war is over? How do we become a community of nations again and put war in the rear-view mirror and address its consequences for the environment and society? Vladimir Putin will never lead Ukraine and it will never be safe for him to visit his newly subjugated country—if he should actually “win” this war. Russia has a history of conquest, the modern western world less so. Put the empire building to bed. Just get along. A negotiated settlement is much cheaper in currency, in lives, and for our environment. Tom McElroy Toronto, Ont.