Arctic ice may be melting. The methane levels may be rising, ice shelves breaking off with every news bulletin.
Here is one thing that some of those obscene profits of the greedy climate changing corporations could be seized for through taxation. Remedying the damage done in the rainforests of Peru, South America through the extraction of gold.
It may not seem like it’s our problem or something that is potentially life threatening to us but right now the levels of methyl mercury produced from this destructive practice are increasing and spreading all around the world on the wind, killing as it goes. Not only that but the rainforest, the lungs of the planet are also being destroyed at an alarmingly rapid rate, along with the biodiversity of one of the most unique and irreplaceable regions in the world.
Having read the article from the Mongabay website and watched the film footage I can honestly say that even I was shocked by the depravity of it all. Yet this sort of destruction is happening all over the planet be it for gold, copper, rare earth metals or simply to grow palm oil plantations or extract rare hardwoods for the furniture trade in the West. And all for our perceived personal pleasure.
Ultimately its all for the profit of the corporations.
It is especially depressing when my minds eye roams to the visions of the rich and privileged walking the streets of the major Western cities wearing every conceivable item of designer fashion like a badge of honour, not even aware or even caring where it all came from. The gold in their bling and the gold in their electronic toys and the gold that buys their Glad rags and the gold that gauges their wealth status back in the bank vaults. It all started in the soil.
The gold industry and its equally destructive siblings are running amok whilst we fiddle with the controls on some new fangled device fresh off the publicity tours. And what a device. Special one off designer colour just the same as every other colour but patented and ready to do battle with the competition in the highest courts in the land. All publicity is good publicity regardless as to how crap the toys. Even if they are slimmer and trimmer in design than the competition they are still twice as easy to bend in your back pocket. Oh dear! Want some insurance with your toys Sir/Madam?
Along with their cosmetics, colourful clothing, food on the run and of course their ubiquitous can of designer drink.
Wouldn’t do now to be seen without that status symbol on display. The drink inside is crap of course and also probably originated in the developing world from someone else’s depleted aquifer leaving them totally without water, that essential of all commodities…….just for your designer drink.
Sadly the past seems to be ever more frequently forgotten as we tour the ruins of lost civilisations in awe at the monolithic walls and towers situated often only a stones throw from these newer and more modern blasted landscapes. Lost civilizations who also coveted the yellow metal and power and control. Then when discovered by the Spanish and other invading nations they succumbed to war and disease and famine. Until finally another chapter of human destructive behaviour closed and they disappeared like all the rest.
Now we face a replay of past events. The collapse of newer civilisations is upon us. The end of another episode in human endeavour, such that it was is making itself known to us. The climate is changing in more than just political ways. The real climate is having a fit at our behavior and is warming up like a body would do when fighting a virus Ah yes… Agent Smith!
We may have visited the moon and sent fancy rockets all over the solar system over the last 55 plus years but despite modern humans being around for about 200,000 years we still haven’t sorted out the basics of living down here.
Instead of trying to reach for the stars maybe we should first make the planet safe and sustainable for all life. Then we can star gaze forever, planning our next great adventure, without having to look over our shoulder for the coming storm.
But instead we crave power and wealth and destroy everything in our path to get it. And for what? Greed and vanity!
If ever there was one aspect of human behaviour which I find totally abhorrent its this greedy vanity for inanimate, useless and totally pointless products purely for narcissistic purposes. Its the ignorance of the masses as to where their food and merchandise came from. Its the ignorance of what it took in real terms to produce it all and what it inevitably costs us all. But the majority don’t give a shit about the future. They are all too wrapped up in the ‘must have’ moment, the ‘here and now’ of instant gratification. All on the outside and emptiness on the inside. No brain, no imagination and no sense of responsibility for the really important things in life.
Instead they are saying to the world ‘Look at me!’ as if they are frightened of not being noticed, of being overlooked, missed off the invite list for the latest ‘whatever’ party in the increasingly vain world of multimedia self promotion, warts and all!
Meanwhile back in the real world there are between 2 and 3 billion people scrabbling in the dirt searching for their own personal dreams by providing the material means for ours.
Yes we use some gold in electronics and medical applications but this could be extracted safely and without environmental destruction by properly organised and operated facilities. But the owners of such facilities would no doubt hold the world to ransom by deliberately manipulating the supply and demand balance to ensure the highest prices and we end up with more of the same old same old.
Profit at any cost.
Our craving for trinkets and toys is the very thing that has led us to this precise point in time and space where we are now looking upon the open dug graves of our destructive activities. Graves ready and waiting to take us into the bowels of the Earth and to bring about our species extinction along with every other species we have condemned through our selfish, arrogant behaviour. Its not really funny to see how we scar the Earth looking for something and never thinking to repair these scars. They merely remain as a permanent reminder for future generations of alien visitors to gaze upon and wonder.
Maybe the mad dash to invent our way out of trouble has distracted too many peoples attentions from climate change, from deforestation or any one of the multitude of other planetary crisis that is heading our way looking for a room.
Instead other profitable opportunities beckon. Geo-engineering the climate so that corporations can continue with ‘Business as usual’ while the pollution is compensated for by the geo-engineers latest wheeze. No not the breathless sound of the suffocating, although there will be plenty of that when the dust settles…..literally! Then we have them fracking for gas with claims of ‘its cleaner than coal’ and therefore ‘Green’ despite the polluted aquifers and noxious gases venting through every tap and well and despite the toxic chemicals poisoning everyone. Ever wondered where they get that special sand from that’s so essential to fracking?
And now we are drilling for oil in formerly icebound and pristine Arctic landscapes simply because we can. All for a hefty profit of course, with a few activists humiliating arrest on the side. Just to show the rabble that when they say they mean business, they mean business. And the power of the corporations grows. Gold does that to people.
But where are the outraged citizens? Where are the governments who claim to uphold human rights? Why are these peaceful activists being incarcerated for crimes way beyond what actually happened? Silent, because they are as much a part of the scam as the people who perpetrated the arrests. Only when the masses start to shout do a few make noises. Only the noises are dull and minuscule compared to the enemy voice.
Yet once a few nationals are released their governments claim the praise and then turn silent again just as quickly. The rest can sort their own out.
Even if it is or was an action for humanity, national boundaries still take precedence and here lies the dilemma over the future role of humanity on planet Earth. No solidarity. No common cause. No common sense. No common ground! All nations under the sun. Divided we stand and divided we fall.
Then there’s Palm oil. Another commodity we don’t actually need. Destructive beyond its worth and permanently scarring the planet. Species diversity isn’t considered. There are active patrols who go out to simply execute any intruders no matter how close their DNA is to ours. Which happens to be the Orangutans’ misfortune. This peaceful and intelligent ape lives among the trees of these far east rainforests and happens to be the closest living relative to humans. Its more of a curse than a credit. The human guards don’t give a shit either way and happily slaughter these apes…..to prevent them damaging their precious palm oil crops. See Alternet story.
Deforestation and environmental destruction just gets worse. Out of sight and out of mind. If its not in our back yard or in our face it isn’t our problem. That is the attitude of the modern human of the developed world. Until someone makes it our problem then it will be business as usual. Something will come along to distract their attention away from the real war outside their immediate line of view. Some new must have toy will hit the market and everyone will race to get the newest version of the older version…..because its all about the numbers you know and being ahead of the crowd is where the race is at. Keeping up with the Jones. Being seen! Oh vanity, how art thou so desired! Suckers!
Despite all these promises and new ideas and newer opportunities it hasn’t hidden from view what really is the biggest problem of the day and therefore the one most urgently needing immediate remedial action to stop it.
Deforestation for mineral wealth. The powers that be place unrealistic limits on deforestation and make all the right noises about not trading in unsustainable products whilst all the while they continue with business as usual. Its all talk, talk, talk and no actual initiative gets put into effect. Its like going to the hospital with a lung condition and being treated for a facial wart. It doesn’t stop the destruction. Even the NGO’s have jumped on the corporate bandwagon and shown support for sustainable soya, sustainable old growth forest destruction and sustainable palm oil production. How does that make it sustainable? Simply by engaging the NGO’s and getting their name on the agreement makes it all ‘green and legitimate’. How bloody corrupt and bizarre!
So what is the solution? My view would be to take each part of the problem and drive it out of existence but it needs the support of the masses to make it happen. Not NGO’s stepping in and claiming ‘its green because we say so and our name is on the tin’. Utter nonsense!
We could start to make a difference by doing something about the Artisanal gold extraction and all the other causes of deforestation around the planet like palm oil production and timber clear cutting and deforestation for agriculture. Then the levels of pollution and destruction would be reversed pretty rapidly and maybe, just maybe the planet will breathe a sigh of fresh air in relief at our change of behaviour. But only if we stop running towards the horizon of new world ideas and empty promises. Provided we see the real need for change and providing we can stop being greedy.
But all this is a sham of ideological hopes on my part. I doubt that it will happen any time soon. Because it is our behaviour that is all wrong. Its our behaviour that has always been wrong and it needs to change. That includes admitting that fancy solutions are no solution at all. It means giving up the bright shiny things we desire. It means getting our hands dirty for once. It means bending our backs and getting busy. It means commitment to the planet and it means taking responsibility for our actions and taking responsibility for the welfare of the planet.
Only hard graft and knuckling down to what needs to be done to remedy the real issues that are currently facing the planet will save us all. Plants, animals and us parasitic humans.
For me the epitome of human achievement would be turning this destruction around and restoring all the blasted lands back to their former natural glory. Everywhere!
Sadly I have to admit that I am not convinced we can actually do it anytime soon.
There are just too many people with bright, profitable ideas and high career ambitions, and even more with dreams.
[DV “School Yard Fights” editor note — Great piece, and you might want to check out the movie, The Cove, and an article on mercury in vaccinations, you know, the debate, where MDs who question the vanguard, the pro-Pharma people, how they are vilified in the media and even among those liberal elites running the show. “The Truth Behind the Vaccine Cover-Up” by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.}