Years ago, I had an opportunity to watch the dissection of a seabird. It was not an academic venture, but one of bearing witness to the devastation that industrial society has brought to countless species on our planet. The bird’s stomach contents revealed human detritus of all manner, plastic lighters, bottle caps, pens, even a spoon.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Sep 5, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Steven Donziger about the reach of corporate power. Donziger battled corporate oil giant, Chevron, over environmental pollution and destruction in Ecuador and won a settlement of $9.5 billion for indigenous communities. Since then Chevron has waged a campaign against Donziger to try and destroy him economically, professionally and personally. He is on trial in federal court in New York on September 9 for contempt charges, which could send him to jail for six months.
At Cerrejon (Colombia), the largest open-pit coal mine in Latin America owned equally by BHP (Australia), Anglo American PLC (United Kingdom) and Glencore (Switzerland), the situation of the indigenous people is progressively worsening. Cerrejon Limited has informed the workers that “all the existing shifts will be unified into a single 7-day work, for three days off.” With the enforcement of the new shifts, “workers would go from working 15 to 21 days and the mine would go from 4 to 3 shifts, leaving at least 25% of the current workforce unemployed.” The new shift pattern is likely to aggravate the health of workers as long working hours increase the number of work-related pathologies. Current work shift arrangements have already led to more than “700 pathologies associated with musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular and ear diseases, among others.” As the level of work becomes more stressful, these occupational diseases will start multiplying.
A recent article on climate emergency (Ripple et. al. 2020), endorsed by more than 11000 scientists from 153 countries, has received widespread publicity in the media. This is the latest among numerous scientifically researched articles on climate change and global warming, which have been published by various organizations on this one of the greatest problems that have developed on this planet, directly as a result of the activities of particular type of humans, the Modern Capitalist-Imperialist Humans (MCIH), which have evolved from the co-evolution of science and technology and capitalist political economy, during the previous few centuries. These complex and multidimensional developments have been progressively accelerating, with the greatest accelerations occurring during the 20th Century and the current 21st Century.
“The idea of a self-adjusting market implies a stark Utopia. Such an institution can not exist for any length of time without annihilating the human and natural substance of society; it will physically destroy man and transform his surroundings into a wilderness.” — Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time.
Pollution has become an everyday affair; a murderous way of life which, according to a report published in The Lancet, is responsible for the deaths of at least nine million people every year. The air we breathe is poisoned, the streams, rivers, lakes and oceans are filthy, — some more, some less — the land littered with waste, the soil toxic. Neglect, complacency and exploitation characterize the attitude of governments, corporations and far too many individuals towards the life of the planet, and its rich interwoven ecological systems.
In ancient times, the unknown edges of maps held the words, Here be dragons. We’ve journeyed into those unexplored territories, and found not dragons, but monsters of our own creation, behemoths of the corporate state, which, like golems, rise to strength and power, undead and yet, not living.
with Abby Martin
teleSUR English on Oct 18, 2017
In this second installment of special coverage Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, Abby Martin explores how the petrochemical industry dominates the city and why its low-income, Black and Latino areas are in the highest-risk areas for flooding and pollution, earning them the name “sacrifice zones.”
One of the first times I used the phrase “institutional insanity” was in 1973 to describe the behavior of scientist Dixy Lee Ray, chairperson of the presumed regulatory agency, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). I pointed out that her personal and academic roles were quite normal. But her running of the AEC—pressing for 1,000 nuclear plants in the U.S. by the year 2000 (there are 99 reactors left in operation now), and going easy on a deadly, taxpayer subsidized technology that was privately uninsurable, lacked a place to put its lethal radioactive wastes, a national security risk, replete with vast cost over-runs, immunities and impunities shielding culpable officials and executives, should a meltdown occur and take out a city or region (all to boil water to produce steam to make electricity)—was a case study in “institutional insanity.”
S.O.P. Save Our Planet–Worldwide Air Pollution is making us Ill
The man-made environmental catastrophe is the severest issue facing humanity. It should be the number one priority for governments, but despite repeated calls from scientists, environmental groups and concerned citizens for years, short-term policies and economic self-interest are consistently given priority over the integrity of the planet and the health of the population.
Along with the choking fumes and piles of putrid waste, sound systems and a constant bombardment of honking horns from cars, lorries and screaming buses assault residents and the unprepared in towns and cities throughout India. Loudspeakers are used to spread political propaganda; celebrate and circulate expensive arranged and prolonged weddings; and, mounted outside temples and mosques, loudly proclaim the jargon of the just and the righteous path to salvation. Continue reading