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Less of What We Don't Need
Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.
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In the lithium mining region of Antofagasta, the Coronavirus positivity rate was a stupendous 46.1%... Amid this Coronavirus chaos, the Chilean lithium sector is poised to economically expand itself due to an anticipated increase in demand... Lithium serves as an important modality for substituting fossil fuel extractivism with green extractivism and consistently maintaining a relentless system of commodification. Instead of “tackling the systemic bloating of northern economies and the excessive demands this places on the world’s resources”, green lithium extractivism allows capitalists to stabilize the unequal imperialist architecture of core-peripheral countries... Lithium imperialism, therefore, involves the perpetuation of core-periphery relations under the discursive regime of climate change...
In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, myself and other U.N. special rapporteurs consistently raised concerns about the approaches taken by the government of Japan. We have been concerned that raising of “acceptable limits” of radiation exposure to urge resettlement violated the government’s human rights obligations to children. We have been concerned of the possible exploitation of migrants and the poor for radioactive decontamination work. Our most recent concern is how the government used the COVID-19 crisis to dramatically accelerate its timeline for deciding whether to dump radioactive wastewater accumulating at Fukushima Daiichi in the ocean.
Biomass plant, Williams, California. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.
As a former environmental activist and environmental journalist with a brief appearance in Jeff Gibbs’ film Planet of the Humans—I was the guy trespassing at the biomass facility—I’m blown away by the amount of discussion the film has generated.
POTH brings up a slew of critical environmental issues ranging from ecosystem destruction to species extinction to climate change; the impacts of fossil fuels and limitations of alternative energy; the successes, compromises, and failures of the mainstream environmental movement; and, at the root of it all, our culture’s collective delusion of infinite economic growth on a finite planet. Intriguingly, the film also acts as a kind of Rorschach blot for people to read whatever message they want into it, whether it’s there or not.
Call us troublemakers. Call us advocates of due diligence with all new technologies. While COVID19 has shut down most auto factories, kept consumers from car dealerships, generated relief bills that support electric vehicles (EVs), and led to an oil price drop that leaves no way for an EV to recover its manufacturing or operating costs, we propose re-evaluating EVs' true costs before anyone makes or buys another one.
When Stan Cox was writing his book, The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Stil