In this episode of Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges and two Native American activists discuss the violation of land and lives of Indigenous peoples, particularly the decades of open-pit uranium mining that is responsible for spreading nuclear contaminants across the continent today.
The former French African colony of Niger is facing famine – yet again – with international aid agencies reporting this week that up to one million people are currently without access to food.
It is the fourth such crisis to wrack the West African country in recent years, when famines struck similarly in 2012, 2010 and 2005. The immediate cause is extreme climate that has hit crop harvests. But the root cause is the deliberate underdevelopment of Niger under France’s parasitical neo-colonialism.
Jennifer Nordstrom, co-ordinator of the Carbon-Free Nuclear-Free project has noted “Telling states to build new nuclear plants to combat global warming is like telling a patient to smoke to lose weight.”
A recent study sponsored by the German government (the KiKK study – Kaatsch P, Spix C, Schultze-Rath R, et al. Leukemia in young children living in the vicinity of German nuclear power plants. Int J Cancer. 2008; 1220:721-726,) examined children who lived near 16 of the country’s commercial nuclear power plants. The results revealed a strongly increased risk of all childhood cancers, particularly leukaemia, the closer the proximity of the children’s residence to the reactor. In particular, the study found that children less than the age five years, living within a 5km radius of the power plant exhaust stacks were more than twice as likely to develop leukaemia compared with those children residing more that 5km away. The KiKK team studied other carcinogenic factors which may be responsible for the cancer clusters but none were found.