Killings of environmental activists have risen by 20% in the last year, according to campaign group Global Witness.
Last year saw a spike in killings related to hydropower programs. Fourteen people died defending their land and rivers against dam projects.
Although Detroit sits next to one-fifth of the world’s freshwater supply, earlier this year the city decided to cut the water off from its residents who cannot not afford to pay for it.
This intersection of poverty and water access brings to mind the “food desert” (an area underserved by grocery stores). Food deserts have created a public health paradox: without healthy food, the poor are more likely to be obese, relying on corner shops stocked with junk food. The difference is that when it comes to water, there is no alternative – fast food and sugary cereal might be the food desert substitute to fresh vegetables and whole grains, but there is no substitute for water.
Eight years before the first Earth Day, in 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, a scientific book decrying the abuse wreaked on nature by chemical companies careless use of pesticides, fueled the start of the environmental movement.
Fifty-two years later, we still struggle to find harmony between our obsession over progress and nature’s capacity to keep up with this unbridled hunger. The question is whether all this advancement is necessary, or if it is simply a psychosis, a disorder we’ve let run wild far too long and that should be reined in before we lose our grip with reality.
“My family is breathing horrible fumes, we can’t enjoy our property and we’re trapped because no one else wants to live here. To protect our homes and our health, we’ve got no choice but to ban fracking.”
“State-funded public resources should not be going toward aiding the NSA or any other federal agency from indiscriminate spying on its own citizens and gathering electronic or metadata that violates the Fourth Amendment.”
All this waste is going underground for years, and then one day people start noticing their well water turning sometimes orange, sometimes black. The water stinks.
Tell Governor Brown: Don’t frack your legacy
Perween Rahman, an architect and urban planner by trade and one of Pakistan’s most prominent social workers, was brutally murdered in Karachi on March 13. Although some believe she was most likely shot dead by hit men contracted by the city’s powerful land mafia, when I met her, we talked about another equally dangerous and influential group that formed to benefit from Karachi’s stolen waters.
“The peasant squads used to be worried about petty crimes – a stolen cow and things like that – but now they are defending our land and water from multinational companies”
Thanks to our friends at Someoddpilot for building this amazing new home for our water stories. Happy Earth Day everyone!
Anyone who sets foot on corporate property in order to document environmental, animal welfare, and health violations of these industries would face criminal penalties.
“Vital stories pertaining to the environment, natural resources, food safety, fisheries and oceans are not coming out in Canada because, for several years now, the government has imposed rules which prevents its scientists from speaking freely about their publicly funded research”
“Plastic bottles have got to go. The bottles take so much energy to make, leach gross chemicals, and last forever. What’s convenient about that, man?”
“Everything we’re hearing is that there’s no good news for the Pacific bluefin. We’re seeing a very high value fish continue to be overfished”