Category: ENVIRONMENTAL STRUGGLES

Swiss Mining Corporations in Flagrant Violation of Human Rights – Swiss Government Complicit

PETER KOENIG—Corruption is almost unimaginable. Glencore buys literally not only all police, lawyers, judges, politicians, but also medical doctors, clinics, laboratories in the vicinity. Two community inhabitants told us how already three months ago they were giving blood and urine samples to be tested for heavy metals. The analysis results have not been returned yet – and will probably never be handed out to the victims, as they would reveal the heavy intoxication. One of them said under tears that he had lost one of his sons (31) to mine-induced cancer.

READ ON

Paul Street: Notes on Terminology

PAUL STREET—“Please stop using the phrase ‘climate change.’ I am a 78-year-old, Ph.D. physicist who has been talking about the CLIMATE CRISIS for more than 35 years. To me, the mild, innocuous sounding phrase ‘climate change’ is like experiencing fingernails scratching on a blackboard! To show how silly the phrase is, would you ever consider renaming the ‘opioid crisis’ by calling it’ ‘opioid change’ instead? It does sound kind of silly! George Monbiot was on Democracy Now at the end of August and he said it beautifully! Calling what is happening to the earth ‘climate change’ is like calling a foreign invasion ‘unexpected guests’. Go George! George likes ‘climate breakdown.’ I always use ‘climate crisis’ although the real description is ‘climate catastrophe.’ I urge you to abandon the phrase climate change and use the more descriptive phrase Climate Crisis.”

READ ON

LOVE AND LOSS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE (Or is it the capitalocene?)

ELIZABETH WEST—As a species, we have been unable to meet the challenges posed by our own misguided attachment to growth.  While the apple blossoms in the orchard around my first apartment faded and began their transformation into fruit (duly sprayed, no doubt, with stockpiled DDT), the fifth annual Earth Day was observed.  It is impossible to say whether we might have changed the course of things enough if we had paid attention to what was already known then, but the point is moot. We didn’t grasp the urgency, we didn’t act. And for the main, we still do not, even as the world burns.

READ ON

Trophic Avalanche:  Our Final Ride?

JOHN R HALL—In the early days of Yellowstone National Park, wolves and other mammals of prey lacked any kind of government protection from hunters.  Wolves kill livestock and compete with hunters for game animals, so they have been traditionally vilified, victimized, and eliminated.  Seven decades without one of the most voracious predators in the ecosystem resulted in explosions of antelope, deer and elk populations, overgrazing of grasslands and elimination of vast stands of aspens, willows, and cottonwoods.  This process cascaded down through the food chain, resulting in drastic reductions in species of birds and mammals of all descriptions.  Receding grasslands and forests resulted in meandering rivers and a transformation of the landscape.

READ ON