An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Enemy of Nature

Why would the very countries who originated ecological science, who make their plans according to best scientific advice be so slow to deal with the latest findings of the world's leading researchers? Surely the irrationality of a Beck or Palin doesn't reach into the highest levels of the Western powers?

According to the most widespread faith today, global capitalism, market mechanisms should respond with solutions to a crisis of this magnitude. In fact, there is no real feedback mechanism that can be can check capitalism’s destruction of the biospheric conditions of civilization and most forms of life on this planet. On the contrary, whole new industries and markets aimed at profiting from planetary destruction are being opened up. Al Gore's status as the first carbon trading billionaire is a leading indicator for those who spy the next bubble.

The fundamental fact is that capitalism thrives on scarcity. Nothing dismays investment bankers more than the thought that we might create a planet where there would be abundant food, water and health for all. The loss of profit opportunities this would entail would be a genuine tragedy. What makes sense in a system like this are the waste and destruction of our natural resources. The costs of this destruction are externalized - assumed by the public, like the bank bailouts, and by nature as a whole, while yielding fat profits for the middle men.

The growth of natural scarcity is a golden opportunity to further privatize the world’s remaining accessible resources. Carefully study how the corporate media frames the water crisis. The solution invariably involves rapid privatization of fresh water, which has now become the new mega-market for entrepreneurs. It is precisely through the drying up and contamination of freshwater that these investment opportunities are created. In the words of GĂ©rard Mestrallet, CEO of the global water giant Suez: "Water is an efficient product. It is a product which normally would be free, and our job is to sell it. But it is a product which is absolutely necessary for life...Where else [other than in the monopolization of increasingly scarce water resources for private gain] can you find a business that’s totally international, where the prices and volumes, unlike steel, rarely go down?" Where indeed? Wake up to the real enemy.

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