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Industrialization

The Light At The End

Within just a few weeks—faster than the blink of an eye in geological time—a tiny, microscopic entity brought the global monolith of human civilization, the captains of industry, the might of the world’s militaries, the financial juggernauts of money and manufacturing, to their knees. According to the likely, but still uncertain theory, the novel coronavirus behind the disease named COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) whipsawed its way across East China, from wet markets in Wuhan, before becoming a global pandemic. Within months, two million people worldwide were confirmed infected—with tens of millions estimated to be the real number—and over 150,000 had died. As everyday life ground to a halt amid social lockdowns designed to reduce the impact on flailing health care facilities, so too did the global economy.

A Death In Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Reinforces Small Town’s Fears Of Industry Impacts

Sixty-year-old Keith Hunter lived in St. James, Louisiana, for roughly 27 years, and during that time, he watched as the sugarcane farms gave way to oil storage tanks and as a railroad terminal was being built down the road, all visible from his front yard. Hunter was an outspoken critic of the industrialization of his neighborhood. And in a similar fashion as some of his neighbors, Hunter died on February 10 following a respiratory illness. The town of St. James lies in St. James Parish, about 50 miles west of New Orleans. Despite its location along a stretch of Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge known as both the “Petrochemical Corridor” and “Cancer Alley,” St. James remained partially rural until fairly recently. In 2014 the parish adopted a land use plan, which allowed industrial development along the Mississippi River in a portion of St. James known as District 5.

Citizens In Cancer Alley Vow To Ramp Up Battle Against Industrial Pollution In 2018

This past year in Louisiana’s St. John the Baptist Parish, a small group of residents began organizing their community to compel the state to protect them against an invisible menace: the air they breathe. Their parish, the Louisiana equivalent of a county, is situated in what’s known as Cancer Alley, an industrial corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans that hosts more than 100 petrochemical factories. At the helm of the battle is the Concerned Citizens of St. John, a diverse group of parish residents pushing back against the area’s historically bad — and worsening — industrial pollution. “One thing we all have in common is a desire for clean air,” the group’s founder, Robert Taylor, told me. Next year, the burgeoning group plans to get political and broaden its reach by banding together with similar groups in the region.

At Berlin March, Tens Of Thousands Demand End To Industrial Agriculture

Tens of thousands of people—and more than 100 tractors—swarmed the streets of Berlin this weekend to demand a food system transformation nourished by political policies that foster ecological farming. "Policymakers at the European and national level need to listen, and use the upcoming reform of the EU's common agricultural policy to build a better food system for the future."

Top Industries Would Fail If They Paid For Natural Capital

By David Roberts for Grist. Environmentalists these days love speaking in the language of economics — it makes them sound Serious — but I worry that wrapping this notion in a bloodless technical term tends to have a narcotizing effect. It brings to mind incrementalism: boost a few taxes here, tighten a regulation there, and the industrial juggernaut can keep right on chugging. However, if we take the idea seriously, not just as an accounting phenomenon but as a deep description of current human practices, its implications are positively revolutionary. To see what I mean, check out a recent report [PDF] done by environmental consultancy Trucost on behalf of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program sponsored by United Nations Environmental Program. TEEB asked Trucost to tally up the total “unpriced natural capital” consumed by the world’s top industrial sectors.

Worries Over Oil, Gas Industry Exposure To Water And Climate Risks

By Sharon Kelly for Truth-Out - When it comes to financial risks surrounding water, there is one industry that, according to a new report, is both among the most exposed to these risks and the least transparent to investors about them: the oil and gas industry. This year, 1,073 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies faced requests from institutional investors concerned about the companies’ vulnerability to water-related risks that they disclose their plans for adapting and responding to issues like drought or water shortages.

United Nations Calls For An End To Industrialized Farming

In 2013, the United Nations announced that the world's agricultural needs can be met with localized organic farms. That's right, we do not need giant monocultures that pour, spray and coat our produce with massive amounts of poisons, only to create mutant pests and weeds while decimating pollinators and harming human health. Don't believe the hype: We do not need genetically modified foods "to feed the world." From my experience, many of these - how shall we say it - "worker bees" (i.e the GMO salesmen) who spread this propaganda, actually believe conventional tactics are necessary to ensure food security. They've drunk the Kool-Aid and cannot envision another possibility. The changes threaten their very existence.
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