Greed is the Name of the Game

by Hermann Bellinghausen

The situation seems desperate and at the same time, no one knows what to do. The ticking of the world’s time against the clock is sounding (or at least some well-informed people are quite convinced of that) and nothing that should change is really changing. As if humanity, or a large part of it, could not be detained. The circus of powers, businesses and interests come together with the masters of the world, and they continue to do with it as they please. They always win in their wars and in our disasters. 

The dramatic aspect of the matter is that the machinery of production and consumption that guarantees the welfare of the so-called one percent, takes the better part of the global population,  appropriates its needs, and turns it into a captive clientele. Those who don’t fit, pariahs and condemned nations, will be cast aside. The shareholders and boards of directors of the mining companies and weapons manufacturers are the worthy heirs of King Leopold of Belgium, the killer of the Congo. Now, at a suicidal scale. 

It turns out that it is unthinkable for both populations and governments, even if they pass as legitimate and responsible, to stop the machines, the chains of unbridled production, the fever of money and the destructive construction that they call development, business, the divine mission  mere vanity and generates so much death among living beings and so much indestructible garbage. 

Scientists have been paying attention for decades, drawing conclusions, calculating projections. People across the planet feel every day more and more the effects of this global change in the climate and the 4 elements, the fluttering of a butterfly in the Desierto de Los Leones that causes an earthquake in China. 

There is no lack of organized and conscious resistance, but it continues to be dwarfed by the obstacles that it faces to influence essential changes. There are moderate or naive (adolescente or literally childish), radical, ruralist, performative, anarchist, of diffusion, of analysis, of alternative investigation. Rarely massive, easily persecuted, and not often together. Their fragility is extreme. Environmental defenders, for example, are assassinated constantly in Latin America and elsewhere in the South.

We have conglomerations of collectives, towns and entire regions that by tradition or conscience (or both) seek in agricultural production and sober existence, not only their sustenance, but the healing of the world. In them, the ancestral wisdom (in times when memory has an expiration date) and recent scientific knowledge come together — for once they have arrived at the same conclusions and enhance one another. 

Because of continuous combustion, the Earth is in peril. The temperatures are being shuffled, cold where it was hot and vice versa, epidemics, drought here, flooding there, rivers, air and soils poisoned by the residues of extraction and industrial production. And, how to avoid the urban sprawl and its addiction to energy?

Many were already convinced to stop the extraction and burning of petroleum and the exponential spread of its products and waste. But, who will get out of the car, turn off the heat, forego electricity, or the devices devouring lithium, coltan and other new minerals that feed technology? Will we stop emptying the oceans of fish? Or producing millions of tons of manure from cows in a stratospheric production chain? Stop pushing agricultural development for the most voracious capitalism?

Meanwhile, the poles and glaciers melt and drain into the sea, the coasts are inundated, the most beautiful forests and jungles burn. To top it all, for the benefit of those who seek to extract and extract and extract material to consume it.

It is known that mining, modern mining more than anything, is lethal for soils, people and life. Even so, nothing stops it. No speech, no hypocritical law stops the mining companies, be they national or Canadian, Russian, Chinese, it’s all the same. Here we have the gold mine that will devastate, before our eyes, the most beautiful and vital of the southwest of the state of Morelos, because of the legal delivery of its soil to Esperanza Silver (subsidiary of Alamos Gold Inc.)

According to the Morelos Movement Against Metal Mining Concessions, within a radius of 10 kilometers from the point where it it plans to carry out the project, spanning the surfaces of the municipalities of Temixco, Xochitepec, Miacatlán, Emiliano Zapata y Coatetelco, 200 thousand people will be irreparably affected in terms of their health, their environment, and the possibility of developing sustainable activities and their heritage, due to the dust, the contamination of the soil and surface and groundwater as an effect of mineral extraction and processing.

The damages will be irreparable in Temixco, an area of popular rivers and swimming holes; in the beautiful Rodeo and Coatetelco; in Xochicalco, archeological treasure of the mesoamerican classical period. Expendable soil, history and people: greed is the name of death.

This article was published in La Jornada on November 15, 2021. https://www.jornada.com.mx/2021/11/15/opinion/a09a1cul English interpretation by Schools for Chiapas.