Pesticide Poisoning, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Lupus, Lyme, Neurological, Mold (Mycotoxin), MS, Metabolic Syndrome & All Manner of Environmental & Legal (System) Assaults Upon Human Health.


By Murray Thompson (BAppSci Environmental Health 1998; Hons I Social Ecology 1999, University of Western Sydney)

Essay URL:  https://poisonedpeople1.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/mining-destroys-environmental-health-creates-martian-wastelands-human-health-human-rights
Short link:  http://wp.me/p2DVqC-20

The grave results of the way we mine today: Enviro and Human Rights impacts at the behest of mining fascism.

“When mining companies level West Virginia mountains to get at the coal beneath, whole towns disappear. When a Michigan power plant burns coal to make electricity, it triggers asthma attacks among children living nearby. When coal ash blows onto a Paiute reservation in Nevada, elders die… Mountaintop removal mines in Appalachia have demolished an estimated 1.4 million acres of forested hills, buried an estimated 2,000 miles of streams, poisoned drinking water, and wiped whole towns from the map” (HUFF POST GREEN, 2012).

Irian Jaya, Indonesia: The 25-year-old Grasberg Mountain mine, situated in Irian Jaya (western New Guinea), is valued at $50-60 billion. In 1996 New Orleans-based Freeport-McMoRan earned around $400 million. CEO Jim Bob Moffett netted $83 million for 1995/1996. Otherwise, and on the flip-side of marvellous corporate values and obscene paypackets, the gold mine is a nightmare for Irian Jayan people. The indigenous Amungme tribe have been displaced by the mining operation…

Freeport-McMoRan have never recognized the tribe’s land rights, nor have the tribe members received compensation for the environmental damage caused by the mine. They have, rather, encountered violent tyranny and exploitation for their complaints against exploitation and despoliation (Kennedy 1997:21).

More specifically, in terms of Freeport-McMoRan’s environmental legacy in this area, the company is responsible for disposing of 125,000 tons of potentially toxic tailings (rock waste) into Irian Jayan rivers… daily. This is acknowledged in the company’s annual report. This output is currently increasing to 200,000 tons per day and, in the estimation of the company, resulted in a total of more than 40 million tons of rock waste disposed of into the Ajkwa River in 1996… The copper and gold mining in the Puncak Jaya Mountain range has destroyed thousands of acres of what amounts to the second largest tropical rainforest in the world, and has reduced the river valley below to a wasteland (Project Underground, circa 1998a:1) (my emphasis).

And, in terrible summary:

“The U.S. State Department, in its 1995 report on Indonesia, states, “where indigenous people clash with development projects, the developers almost always win. Tensions with indigenous people in Irian Jaya, including the vicinity of the Freeport McMoRan mining concession near Timika, led to a crackdown by government security forces, resulting in the deaths of civilians and other violent human rights abuses”” (Project Underground circa 1998b:3).

And elsewhere? On January 4, 1993, 300,000 Ogoni (Nigerian) people gathered to peacefully protest Shell’s environ-mental devastation of their homeland [the Ogoni live in a small area – 404 square miles – in the oil rich Niger Delta]. It was the largest demonstration ever against any oil company. Since that day when the Ogoni began their campaign of nonviolent resistance, over 2,000 of them, including Ken Saro-Wiwa, have died at the hands of a military that is armed by and paid for by Shell. “The issues of the Niger Delta haven’t gone away – Shell still get a substantial portion of their oil from the Delta, they continue to use the hugely polluting practice of gas flaring and there are regular, major oil spills” (http://www.remembersarowiwa.com/ 2008).

In 1996, for the second year in a row, Shell was the most profitable corporation on the planet (Project Underground, circa 1998; circa 1998a:1; http://www.remembersarowiwa.com). And, look what they have done to the Gulf of Mexico…


HUFF POST GREEN, 2012 [Online]. “West Virginia Mountaintop Removal: How Coal Mines Have Changed The Appalachian Way Of Life (PHOTOS); October 13, 2012 EDT; Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/10/west-virginia-mountaintop-removal-images_n_1954656.html; accessed: 13 October 2012.

Kennedy, D. 1997, ‘The magic mountain’, San Francisco Bay Guardian, http://www.sfbg.com, June 4.

Project Underground, circa 1998. Project Underground (Newsletter), Project Underground, 1847 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94703, USA (http://www.moles.org).

Project Underground, circa 1998a. “The Flames of Shell: Oil, Nigeria and the Ogoni” (Project Underground Factsheet), Project Underground, 1847 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94703, USA (http://www.moles.org).

Project Underground, circa 1998b. “Freeport in Indonesia: Mining the earth in the face of ecological devastation and human rights violations” (Project Underground Factsheet), Project Underground, 1847 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94703, USA (http://www.moles.org).


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