Stephen D. Shenfield
- Published on 02 June 2012
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From the mountaintops of West Virginia, decapitated for their coal, to the once unique natural paradises of the Caspian and the Niger Delta, now blighted and stinking with leaked oil, from the decomposing permafrost of the Arctic to our poisoned water and smog-choked cities, the system of business enterprise continues to devastate the global environment. Why does the devastation go on, almost unabated, despite the most ingenious efforts at control and reform?
This is the question tackled by guest contributor Lyla Byrne in part two of The Environment Book, which will appear by stages on this website.
- Published on 01 August 2010
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In his famous novel The Grapes of Wrath (Chapter 25), John Steinbeck described how food was destroyed during the Great Depression:
Carloads of oranges dumped on the ground.
The people come for miles to take the fruit, but this could not be. How would they buy oranges if they could drive out and pick them up? And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges… A million people hungry, needing the fruit – and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains.
And the smell of rot fills the country.
Burn coffee for fuel in the ships… Dump potatoes in the rivers and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out [with nets]. Slaughter the pigs and bury them…
And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificates – died of malnutrition – because the food must be forced to rot.
- Published on 04 July 2013
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Extreme weather events in the first half of 2013 included another summer heat wave with bush fires throughout Australia (in January), recent temperatures of 40 C + with forest fires in the American West, and numerous forest fires in Russia, eastern Canada, and Indonesia. In Alaska snow in May was followed by temperatures of 30 C + in June. Meanwhile, floods swept several regions in Central Europe, western Canada, the Philippines, Thailand -- and also Nepal and northern India, where several hundred people died in mudslides. And it is going to get worse. Much worse.
- Published on 20 April 2012
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Money and power bring privileges of many kinds. Not just command over goods and services, labor and other resources, but also social deference and very often immunity to legal penalties. As they say, there is one law for the rich and another for the poor.
- Published on 01 March 2008
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“A man labors in hell.” So opens an article on the work of artist Darren Almond (Guardian Weekly, 25 January), referring to his video about workers who extract sulfur from the Kawah Ijen volcano in eastern Java.