THE COAL CONNECTION January 24, 2011Posted by wmmbb in Multiculturalism, Natural Environment.
Australia is a major supplier of coal to China and India. According to Ian Lowe the floods drowned coal mines in Queensland interrupting the profitable trade, yet the floods themselves are consistent with the warming made of increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. La Nina has not disappointed.
Others have also noted the connection. For example, Johann Hari at The Independent:
The world is watching China’s economic surge with understandable awe – while politely and passively ignoring the country’s ecological disintegration.
When the journalist Jonathan Watts was a child, he was told, like so many of us: “If everyone in China jumps at exactly the same time, it will shake the earth off its axis and kill us all.” Three decades later, he stood in the grey sickly smog of Beijing, wheezing and hacking uncontrollably after a short run, and thought – the Chinese jump has begun. He had travelled 100,000 miles criss-crossing China, from the rooftop of Tibet to the deserts of Inner Mongolia and everywhere, he discovered that the Chinese state was embarked on a massive program of environmental destruction. It has turned whole rivers poisonous to the touch, rendered entire areas cancer-ridden, transformed a fertile area twice the size of Britain into desert – and probably even triggered the worst earthquake in living memory.
“The planet’s environmental problems were not made in China, but they are sliding past the point of no return there,” Watts argues in his new book When A Billion Chinese Jump – the essential starting-point for this conversation. The uber-capitalist Communists now have the highest emissions of global warming gases in the world (although the average Chinese person still emits a tenth of the average American). We are all trapped in a greenhouse together: environmental destruction in China becomes environmental destruction where you live. This story will become your story.
As there is no relationship between smoking and cancer; there is no relationship between increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming. How do I know – because The Heartland Institute declares it to be so. In the same way they assert that guns provide self defence while ignoring any relationship with gun ownership and gun deaths. In case you did not know, The Heartland Institute is wholly objective while scientist who are subject to mistakes are corrupt and engaged in a conspiracy of carefully manufactured lies and deception.
Chris Hedges says in effect, “Enough is enough”. The time is upon us to take a stand, and do what Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and more recently Mohammed Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. As is his wont, and perhaps inspired by the original Martin Luther, Chris Hedges declares (via Truthdig):
Either we begin to militantly stand against the coal, oil and natural gas industry or we do not. Either we defy pre-emptive war and occupation or we do not. Either we demand that the criminal class on Wall Street be held accountable for the theft of billions of dollars from small shareholders whose savings for retirement or college were wiped out or we do not. Either we defend basic civil liberties, including habeas corpus and the prosecution of torturers or we do not. Either we turn on liberal institutions, including the Democratic Party, which collaborate with these corporations or we do not. Either we accept that the age of political compromise is dead, that the corporate systems of power are instruments of death that can be fought only by physical acts of resistance or we do not. If the liberal class remains gullible and weak, if it continues to speak to itself and others in meaningless platitudes, it will remain as responsible for our enslavement as those it pompously denounces.
If we do not act, then we have nobody to blame except ourselves.
Naomi Oreskes spoke recently at the Kansas State University. Her most recent book is Merchants of Doubt:
She was recently in the other Oz, and her talk was broadcast by The Science Show.
James Carroll argues that recourse to martyrdom can never to be justified – or perhaps only retrospectively when carried out by others.