That pollution is bad for our health will come as a surprise to no one. That pollution kills at least 9 million people every year might. This is 16 percent of all deaths worldwide – 3 times more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and 15 times more than all wars and other forms of violence. Air pollution alone is responsible for 6.5 million of these 9 million deaths. Nearly 92 percent of pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. All this is according to the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, a recent report by dozens of public health and medical experts from around the world. This important report is sounding the alarm about a too-often neglected and ignored ‘silent emergency’ – or as author Rob Nixon calls it, ‘slow violence.’
You are here
Biodiversity / Biodevastation
Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.
Activists from Australia and beyond are joining forces to prevent what is set to be one of the world’s biggest ecological catastrophes. The massive Carmichael coal mega-mine will devastate the Great Barrier Reef, contribute massively to global climate change, and further marginalise Australia’s First Nations people.
Far from bringing about an ecological transition, allowing the ruling class to gain control of the global thermostat would more likely result in new commodity frontiers and capitalist expansion, along with the development of new weapons to be used against opponents of empire – as the US attempted in Vietnam through weather modification. A review of the most prominent geoengineering technologies reveals that the impacts of deployment would disproportionately fall on peasant and poor communities in the Global South. Socialist support for geoengineering would be a striking reversal for a political tradition based on international solidarity with the oppressed and exploited.
People yearn for alternatives to industrial agriculture, but they are worried. They see large-scale operations relying on corporate-supplied chemical inputs as the only high-productivity farming model. Another approach might be kinder to the environment and less risky for consumers, but, they assume, it would not be up to the task of providing all the food needed by our still-growing global population.
Only one country comes even close to delivering the good life in a sustainable way: Vietnam succeeds on six social indicators — including a life expectancy above 65 years and providing sufficient nutrition — while staying within its limit on every environmental threshold except carbon emissions.
Since last August, protesters have occupied facilities associated with two open-pen fish farming sites, both of which are up for relicensing in June. The facilities, operated by Norwegian company Marine Harvest, are located on Swanson Island and Midsummer Island in the Broughton Archipelago in northern British Columbia, an important wild salmon migratory route. Occupiers are sending a clear message to government they want their rights as Indigenous people upheld and the licenses cancelled.
Earth’s ecosystems support all life, though collapsed ecosystems would be like stepping outside of the international space station not wearing a space suit. Pop! Bam! Gone!
A recent academic study about signals of ecosystem collapse throughout history fits the space suit analogy. Terrifying truth is exposed: The all-important biosphere is sending out warning signals of impending crises… worldwide. It does not seem possible that ecosystems collapse and life dies off. That’s too hard to believe… but, what if it does collapse?
The ecosystem is the quintessential essence of life on our planet, and this crucial life system is showing signs of breaking down. It is likely a more pressing problem than climate change. Time will tell but time is short.
The ecosystem consists of all living organisms that interact with nonliving components like air, water, and soil contained within the biosphere, which extends from the bottom of the oceans to the top of the mountains. Although unannounced by authorities or professional orgs, it is already becoming evident that the ecosystem is breaking down. Alas, it’s our only ecosystem.