all over the world – Australia, India, South America – there are battles going on, sometimes wars. In India, it's a major war over direct environmental destruction, with tribal societies trying to resist resource extraction operations that are extremely harmful locally, but also in their general consequences
Here, Noam might be referring to the Dongria people vs. British Vedanta Resources. But there are other conflicts to choose from in India. And elsewhere.
So, at one extreme you have indigenous, tribal societies trying to stem the race to disaster. At the other extreme, the richest, most powerful societies in world history, like the United States and Canada, are racing full-speed ahead to destroy the environment as quickly as possible.(Pssst Noam, there's this Arctic anomaly to your generalizing rule.)
[during the Korean War] everything else in North Korea had been destroyed, the [US] air force was sent to destroy North Korea's dams, huge dams that controlled the water supply – a war crime, by the way, for which people were hanged in Nuremberg. [...] the water pouring down, digging out the valleys, and the Asians scurrying around trying to survive. [...] It meant the destruction of their rice crop, which in turn meant starvation and death. How magnificent!The Geneva Convention does protect the environment. Or rather: it professes to protect natural resources upon which the local population depends. See the Ecowar blog / 'Geneva Convention' needed to protect environment from war (Nov 2007) or Ecowar - Natural Resources and Conflict (the book, Dec 2011) pages 9, 29-30 and 120.
However, flooding an area did not automatically get generals hanged after the WWII. This tactic was used by China, the Dutch, the Soviet Union, Germany and Great Britain. At least. To be honest, I haven't checked if any German soldiers were hanged for drowning people in this way. But my wild guess is no.
Read How to destroy the future at The Guardian (Danish translation Sådan ødelægger vi fremtiden at Information). It is great reading like most of Noam's pieces.