We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, August 9, 2013

Austerity Measures and Ecological Destruction

Click here if you wish to access the source of this posting from New Compass (Norway).
The latest investigation by the UK Ecologist magazine probes the impact Greece's economic crisis is having on the nation's environment, examining a controversial mining project.

One of the persons being interviewed is Giannis Stathoris, a local cheese producer in Chalkidiki. He has been involved in the movement of producers-consumers, and now Stathoris—together with three other family men from the region—has been sent to prison, accused of terrorism against the gold mine.
Gold mining is probably the most environmentally destructive mining practices of all, and probably the least useful because much (most?) of the gold ends up back below ground stored in banking vaults because capitalists have a mystical belief that it constitutes wealth. Of course, their system is all about the private accumulation of wealth regardless, if while accumulating it, such operations destroy the environment on which we depend for all our needs: food, clothing, shelter, etc.

The video makes the salient point that international (in this case a Canadian mining company and likely banking institutions) corporations have invaded Greece under the current reign of neoliberalism and using the economic crisis there to divide Greek people by offering a few jobs to those desperate in need of work. Corporations have successfully used this tactic, which is usually complemented with bribes to local government officials, throughout the world.