Every day mining is ruining ecosystems and the environment of shoddily protected lands. Canadian mining is getting a run for its money, at home it creates pollution of the waters and flora and fauna with little to no interjection by MPs or interference by government overseers. They were allowed to use local waters to clean up their tools of the trade and materials by the Harper government a couple years ago, news buried on page 34. The Harper gov. even rescheduled bodies of water in local communities as some bland categorization to get around the rules and regulations applied to the industry. What is the point of having laws and regulatory frameworks and organizations if we can dismiss them and dance with loopholes towards another environmental disaster and another community sullen and wrecked by big business? Industry has too much sway and expects the kind hand always.
Now there’s issues with mining in Chile where the industry is causing damage to the icy mountains along with other factors separate from them. I think about the materia (had to be all geeky with Final Fantasy reference) that is surrounding these issues and how we all eventually contribute to it. Copper, gold, silver, platinum and the like. Every product we purchase, for ourselves or others, is a contribution to this atrocity. Can we really stop ourselves and boycott all these products until fairness prevails? Judging from Apple products (yes I bought a Macbook 7 years ago) flying off the shelves amid horrible working conditions and all manner of Chinese, Taiwanese and Bangladesh products being cheaply made and exported to North America, I’d say not likely. We cannot extinguish our consumerist ways, we do not curtail the spend spend mentality and how could we stop so easily. Everything is geared towards buying in this western world, newness is idolized and fawned over, holidays are established around gift giving and buying more stuff. Like Carlin said, we need a house just to keep our shit in, and my shit is important.
I’m not a Luddite or against capitalism completely but it is far too damaging. The costs of it outweighs the benefit, the giving tree is withered and cold. All that jewelry we buy is contributing to this mine mania, even the cheap ones have those ill-gotten metals that came from corruption and destruction. Indigenous communities are the worst hit usually and their stories are long forgotten and barely register on the tapestry of modern media matters. We can hew and cry about Charlie Hebdo but what about Native peoples suffering from pollution, contaminated water, sick and dying animals and all manner of diseases and sickness that inevitably rises from the ashes of nature. The real stories are glossed over as if they weren’t dire or sensational enough. Plenty complain about the mainstream media. You can find more diatribes on news culture and professionalism that are more poignant and funnier in the blogosphere than there are news channels. So I will say our priorities are messed up and all this happy happy joy joy positive thinking no bad news thing is not helping anyone except the delusional and self-involved. We need more coverage, we need more social media doing what it has the potential to do. The Arab Spring debacle was a boon to the technology but it’s not enough. But, the amount of egregious things happening in this twisted world is really too much for the psyche, so much stress about things you may not be able to do anything about. You can do something though, your money talks better than you can. The BDS movement shows how we spend makes impacts, we need real consciousness now not platitudes and prayers. People calling themselves religious and ignoring these issues are kidding themselves, the taboo of not talking about politics or serious issues is killing people like it or not. Maybe it’s better not to be liked if it means keeping it real and actually caring about something other than your own little world. Care about things.
But it’s all about jobs jobs jobs. Alberta needs those tarsands jobs and money they’ve been saying for years. The industry has spent millions on advertising how good and important the work is when they could be helping the communities they destroy. They could actually give a shit and clean up their own mess, seems people forget their kindergarden lessons. Well these politicians and business types need a spanking, a hard one. My hand is itching for a whacking, I fantasize about red bums and shattered hands. These problems will not be on the agenda though, the elections that are coming will not highlight the dangers and outline a workaround, no leaders are here to influence us to do better, buy better, be better. Cynical yes, but history shows so much is under the radar. Industry can do what they feel like, money greases the wheel that turns this world of consumption. It’s disgusting but it’s home.