Environment

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at five new books for ecosocialists.

Snam Rete Gas, a leading Italian company in the transporting and dispatching of natural gases, announced in 2004 a planned pipeline extending from Massafra (Puglia) to Minerbio (Emilia-Romagna).

Named “The Adriatic Line” (in Italian: “Rete Adriatica”), it aims to export natural gases (methane, in this case) to Northern Europe.

Monsanto, one of the world’s biggest pesticide and seed corporations and leading developer of genetically modified crop varieties, had a stock market value of US$66 billion in 2014. It has gained this position by a combination of deceit, threat, litigation, destruction of evidence, falsified data, bribery, takeovers and cultivation of regulatory bodies.

China’s Second Continent: How a million migrants are building a new Empire in Africa
Howard W French
Knopf
Published May 20, 2014
304 pages
www.howardwfrench.com

In his 2009 film Rethink Afghanistan, director Robert Greenwald suggested that the US should not try to control the world through military means, but by building schools and hospitals in the countries it wishes to invade.

Journalist Howard French's book China's Second Continent shows how such a model can work in practice.

Mainstream media outlets gave substantial coverage to the UN’s new report on the climate change crisis late last month, which said the Earth’s climate is warming faster than at any point in the past 65 million years and that human activity is the cause.

Disappointingly, though not unsurprisingly, the news reports dried up after only a few days.

Billionaires and Ballot Bandits
Greg Palast
Out September 18
www.gregpalast.com

If you really want to understand the forthcoming US presidential election, read this book.

Former corporate fraud investigator Greg Palast previously showed how the 2000 US election was rigged through "purging" black voters off the electoral rolls. He showed how the 2004 election was rigged the same way. In 2008, the same thing happened again, yet Barack Obama still managed enough votes to get in.

Five families are suing Xstrata, the Queensland government and the Mt Isa council over alleged lead contamination.

As part of their case, they commissioned US neuroscientist Theodore Lidsky to examine brain tests on Mt Isa children. His report found some Mt Isa children had brain damage from long-term exposure to lead, the families’ lawyer, Damian Scattini, told ABC News on September 17.

In Australia, the question of environmental protection has increasingly been linked to the need to reduce or contain the nation’s population level size. This is often tied to the argument that the high level of consumption in First World countries is unsustainable.

By Rosamund Dallow-Smith and Pip Hinman

SYDNEY – Conservation and other groups are opposed to the NSW environment minister Frank Sartor’s National Park development bill, introduced into the NSW parliament on June 2. The plan will shift the focus of National Parks away from conservation toward development. It will also allow tourism to be formally recognised as a purpose of national parks, contravening the long-held principle that national parks were only for nature conservation and visitation.

COCHABAMBA: Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma condemned the capitalist system in the opening session of the 1st World Conference of the Peoples on Climatic Change on April 20.

Morales, in his April 20 intervention in the inauguration, stated that capitalism is the main enemy of the Earth, only looking for profits, to the detriment of nature, and that capitalism is a bridge for asymmetries and inequality.

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