And the suspicion arises that, behind all these manifestations of extraction, lies the same emotional and metaphysical vacuum – a hole in the heart as long and wide as the Berkeley pit: unappeasable, irrational, and ultimately incapable of ever being filled.
In sum, the energy transition right now is powered, in many places, by appalling destruction and poisoning in the extraction of raw materials. It does not have to be that way.
Today’s extractive industries such as gas, oil, and mining have an egregious reputation of violating human and environmental rights and supporting highly controversial political and economic reforms in poor countries.
The Woodland Community Land Trust was incorporated in 1979, making it one of the oldest Community Land Trusts (CLTs) established in the United States. Located in the Clearfork Valley of northeastern Tennessee, a low-income Appalachian community dominated by extractive industry and concentrated land holding, economic, and political power, Woodland recently marked its 40th year in operation.
Given the lengthy and often difficult process of obtaining formalization, it is clear that Indigenous peoples’ rights to land and territory need to be ensured through policies on a national scale, whether through simplifying bureaucracy or through providing support for regional governments and the communities themselves.
Last month, four residents from Louisiana neighborhoods impacted by air pollution traveled far from their Mississippi River parishes to Washington, D.C., and Tokyo, Japan, seeking help in their struggle for clean air.
We can only successfully overcome the crises triggered by extractivism if the voices that have been marginalized up until now, especially those of women, claim a space in the center of the process of change.
The 80-mile stretch along the river known as Louisiana’s “Petrochemical Corridor” is often referred to as “Cancer Alley.” Simmering frustrations among its communities, which are exposed to the industry’s pollution, recently led the new coalition of environmental and civil rights activists and Louisiana residents to rebrand it “Death Alley.”
Our project, MappingBack, envisions mapping as a weapon and tactic to resist extractive industries. We see it as an excellent way to express complex Indigenous perspectives and relationships with the land.
The use of heavily armed RCMP to enforce a court injunction and tear down an Indigenous blockade against TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline in northwestern British Columbia last week was part of a familiar pattern, say criminologists.
Your body makes itself from the matter around you. What you eat, drink, inhale, touch, and experience literally becomes you. You are your environment, and it is you. Releasing toxic substances into the environment means injecting them into bodies, human and non-human. The climate system connects everyone’s environments.
To state the obvious, sand mining is—mining. Whatever one might be digging for at the end of their personal rainbows—coal, gold, a short cut to China, or sand—it involves a violation of earth’s surface.