Saturday, August 14, 2010

BP: Dossier on an Eco-Catastophe

The Deepwater Horizon spill, and the environmental disaster unfolding as a result of it, symbolizes the moral and ecological bankruptcy of capitalism. It’s all there: corporate power, state collusion in ensuring profits at whatever cost, a planet under threat, ordinary people losing their lives and livelihoods at the dictates of our rulers’ need for profit and power.

Here’s a dossier of articles from ‘unembedded’ journalists, activists and scholars analyzing the disaster, and drawing conclusions for activists.

Rebecca Solnit in the London Review of Books provides eyewitness reportage from the Gulf region, and dissects the connections between Big Oil, the area’s history, race, class, ecology,
and oppression.

Dahr Jamail has a damning account of current efforts to minimize the scale of the damage, and to make it “out of sight, out of mind”, while this speech from veteran radical journalist Jeffrey St Clair outlines the connections and collusion between corporate criminality and the state.

Deepwater Horizon didn’t come out of nowhere, of course, and Ellen Cantarow’s article on Big Oil’s war on the world and this backgrounder on the making of this eco-catastrophe provide vital background and context.

Finally, we need to understand the links between capitalism and climate change, and between the profit system and the way the planet is being wrecked: Liz Ross’ review of a recent book on ecology and socialism offers some starting points.

-Dougal McNeill, Socialist Aotearoa Wellington

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