“Too much land for too few indigenous people.”
The Amazon is a tropical rainforest, it represents the largest extension of primary forest in the world, i.e. whose vital functions and ecosystem exist in their original state. Its importance in terms of biodiversity and regulation of global Earth’s climate is well known.
The natural resources of this region are considered national wealth to be exploited at any cost: from precious woods to fossil fuels, from rare earths to minerals.
We have been witnessing for decades, with the alarming intensification of recent years, the criminal activity of deforestation and fires in the Amazon, to make room for soybean cultivation and livestock, and to allow access to forest and mineral resources.
The exploitation of the Amazon is an international issue, which makes it the scene of the interests of the big American, European and Chinese capitalists and industrial economic groups.
It is the most ruthless and violent neoliberalism that is literally devouring the forest, invading indigenous lands and forcing people to starve and die.
These days the discussion on the MARCO TEMPORAL is on the table of the Supreme Court, a bill that was approved by the Brazilian chamber of deputies and which recognizes the right to land only to those peoples able to demonstrate their presence in the area claimed on the date of promulgation of the Constitution, October 5, 1988.
“Plastic is wonderful because it is durable, plastic is terrible because it is durable”.
In 2022, the OECD presented the first global analysis of all plastics ever produced since the last century, estimating that only 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment.
Plastics are generally made from petroleum, they are almost all non-biodegradable and involve onerous processes to be recycled as well as a reduced number of life cycles, unlike other materials such as glass or metals.
Inadequate disposal of plastic materials at the end of their life cycle causes environmental pollution; in particular, damage can be found to wildlife, for which it is estimated that around seven hundred species have been harmed, including marine, land-dwelling organisms and birds. In Lord Howe Island, 600 km northeast of Sydney, seabirds are found dead with their stomach completely full of plastic.
They are migratory seabirds and pick up food from oceans all over the world and bring it back to their rookeries, feeding their chicks, accidentally filling their gut with plastic.
Many of the marine creatures are eating plastic fragments, floating in our ocean world wide, and they are in our food chain, this literally means that this plastic is getting inside of us.
There is an increasing number of scientific papers focused on the detection of plastic particles inside humans, revealing that traces of plastic have been found in several samples of placenta and in the main filtering organs of our body.
Moreover, plastics absorb chemicals that are free floating in the oceans, leading to possibly endocrine disruptive properties.
“Environmentalism without class struggle is gardening.”
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is the body founded by the UN in 1988, which deals with the analysis of all the scientific data available worldwide on climate change, for their understanding and dissemination for the benefit of governments, the scientific community and public opinion.
In March 2023, the IPCC just released the final piece of the Sixth Assessment Report, which states that human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming, with global surface temperature reaching 1.1°C.
This warming has and will continue harming places and people, where those who have contributed the least, experiencing the greatest negative impacts.
It is not human action that is harmful in general, as the most simplified narrative of the problem highlights, but that deriving from the activities of production, distribution and consumption in a capitalist context.
For centuries, capitalism has taken advantage of the environment both as an “inexhaustible” source of natural resources that can be transformed into goods and as a repository for waste from the production process.
However, the Earth’s ability to “resist” such a mechanism is reaching its limit and this is exactly what we are experiencing today.
The widely diffused idea for a solution to the ecological problem sees the individual as the central point, who must be sensitized and urged to adopt a more responsible consumption model.
Unfortunately, the influence of the behavior of single individuals on the environment is far less relevant compared to the contribution of industrial activities.
Furthermore, not all social classes are equally responsible for climate change. Oxfam has highlighted how over the last 25 years, 50% of the population, the poorest half of the planet, has been suffering the consequences of the lifestyle of the most privileged and richest 1%.
Climate change is a class issue.
“And what do you do with those stars?”
“What do I do with them?”
“Nothing. I own them.”
“You own the stars?”
“And what good does owning the stars to you?”
“It does me the good of being rich.”
“And what good does it to you to be rich?”
“It lets me buy other stars, if somebody discovers them.”
“How can someone own the stars?”
“They belong to me, because I thought of it first. When you find a diamond that belongs to nobody in particular, then it’s yours. When you find an island that belongs to nobody in particular, it’s yours. When you’re the first person to have an idea, you patent it and it’s yours. Now I own the stars, since no one before me ever thought of owning them.”
“And what do you do with them?”
“I manage them. I count them and then count them again,” the businessman said. “I own a flower myself,” the little prince continued, “which I water every day. I own three volcanoes, which I rake out every week. I even rake out the extinct one. You never know. So it’s of some use to my volcanoes, and it’s useful to my flower, that I own them. But you’re not useful to the stars.”
The businessman opened his mouth but found nothing to say in reply, and the little prince went on his way.
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1943
Video art from archive footages
Additional video credits by: Cottonbro Studio, St Petersburg – Russia
Tom Fisk, Kelly Lacy, Mikhail Nilov – United States
Video editing: GOLD MASS