Sunday, November 1, 2009

India

On Friday I wrote about the destruction of open cast mining of the Karanpura Valley in India, today I find in the Guardian another terrible tale of environmental devastation in India, again because of the hungry search for minerals to fuel their economy. Rivers, forests and in this instance the Niyamgiri hill part of a range of hills are to be reduced to nothing in the search for bauxite, and I can only quote Arundhati Roy as to what will happen if this annihilation takes place...

“If the flat-topped hills are destroyed, the forests that clothe them will be destroyed, too. So will the rivers and streams that flow out of them and irrigate the plains below. So will the Dongria Kondh. So will the hundreds of thousands of tribal people who live in the forested heart of India”

Sometimes we are very parochial in our bid to save the planet from disaster, wind turbines are seen as a disaster in this country to a few who don’t want their view obscured, we half-heartedly yell at the bankers and their bonuses, but yet forget that their bonuses are built on the wealth of banks and stocks and shares that are in the very quarry and mineral industries that ruin the life of other people.
Environmental degradation hits us all in the end, whether it is the tar sands of Canada, Alaska’s oil, rainforest destruction in the Amazon, or the forests of India, we become responsible for not speaking out, for allowing our governments to ‘weasel word’ their way out of a responsibility to the Earth on which we live – short term gains equal long term disaster for all our grandchildren.
The comments make interesting reading in the Guardian article, the argument against the Maoists and the argument for taking people out of their way of life and giving them a 'better' life in the cities, I argued in the Karanpura Valley news that cultural heritage was important and should be saved - there is a dilemma over the issue and perhaps one can only fall back on the environmental destruction that will take place, and leave for others to judge how the indigenous people of these forests and hills should respond to their own lives and the place they live in.

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