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Less of What We Don't Need

Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.

A Huge Mining Conglomerate Wanted to Poison This Country’s Water. After a Long Fight, They’ve Finally Lost.

By: 
Pedro Cabezas

The people of El Salvador and their international allies against irresponsible mining are celebrating a historic victory. After a long battle against global mining companies that were determined to plunder the country’s natural resources for short-term profits, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly has voted to ban all metal mining projects.

The new law is aimed at protecting the Central American nation’s environment and natural resources. Approved on March 29 with the support of 69 lawmakers from multiple parties (out of a total of 84), the law blocks all exploration, extraction, and processing of metals, whether in open pits or underground. It also prohibits the use of toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury.

The Curse of Bigness

By: 
Christopher Ketcham

THE NEXT TIME I HEAR a politico or banker or Detroit executive talk about institutions “too big to fail,” I’ll direct them to the 34 percent of Americans who are obese. Last I heard, these big Americans, themselves a kind of cultural institution, were failing en masse, racked by diabetes, asthma, heart trouble, and bound for early death. The human form can only grow so big. Or I could point them to Pig #6707. Conceived in the laboratories of the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the 1990s, Pig #6707’s embryo was genetically altered with a human growth gene to develop a super-pig, bigger and faster-growing and more productive of meat. But the genetic alterations produced a monster, impotent and nearly blind, its legs arthritic, its body crippled, the creature able to stand up and be photographed only with the support of a plywood board. When asked by a reporter why he created the sick pig, the lead researcher said his intent was to make livestock more efficient.

Limits to economic growth?

By: 
Brian Davey

Limits to economic growth? | Feasta

On April 3 in the Guardian there was an article about Christine Lagarde of the IMF concerned that the growth of productivity in many “developed countries” has been falling. There is a problem for the finance sector if growth falls away since additional income is needed for people to be able to service and repay their debts. Without growth the finance sector is destabilised and, indeed, it has been necessary to bring down interest rates to manage the situation.

But the problem is not only a practical one. Growth of production is central to the core ideology of the current economic system, to the idea of “development” and “progress”. It is central to the legitimacy of the people who run the global economy. Without it there is a legitimacy crisis.

Life in a ‘Degrowth’ Economy, And Why You Might Actually Enjoy It

By: 
Samuel Alexander

What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever.

But what is a steady-state economy? Why it is it desirable or necessary? And what would it be like to live in?

Life in a ‘Degrowth’ Economy, And Why You Might Actually Enjoy It

By: 
Samuel Alexander

What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever.

But what is a steady-state economy? Why it is it desirable or necessary? And what would it be like to live in?

This California couple uses more water than all of the homes in Los Angeles

By: 
Josh Harkinson

Rafaela Tijerina first met la señora at a school in the town of Lost Hills, deep in the farm country of California’s Central Valley. They were both there for a school board meeting, and the superintendent had failed to show up. Tijerina, a 74-year-old former cotton picker and veteran school board member, apologized for the superintendent — he must have had another important meeting — and for the fact that her own voice was faint; she had cancer. “Oh no, you talk great,” the woman replied with a warm smile, before she began handing out copies of her book, Rubies in the Orchard: How to Uncover the Hidden Gems in Your Business. “To my friend with the sweet voice,” she wrote inside Tijerina’s copy.

Why mining and violence are inextricably linked

By: 
Jasper Finkeldey

Last year South Africa's bountiful Wild Coast saw the assassination of Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, activist against proposed dune mining on his homeland. The commemoration of Rhadebe who went by the name Bozooka coincided with this year's Human Rights day. At least 500 people came to stand together in solidarity to call for an end to violence under the glaring sun of the Wild Coast far off the tarred national roads.

Saluting the deceased Rhadebe, leader of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, gun shots were fired in the air giving a vivid demonstration of the sound of death that was heard on the Wild Coast a year ago. Mark Caruso, CEO of the company that applied for a permit for titanium mining on the Wild Coast had (according to local media) previously bragged in an internal email: "I am enlivened by [the] opportunity to grind all resistance to my presence."

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