Thursday, June 26, 2008

Debts, past and future

Greg Palast (Court Rewards Exxon for Valdez Oil Spill) gives his account of a broken promise in the first world:
[The] Alaskan natives ultimately agreed to sell the Exxon consortium this astronomically valuable patch of land -- for a single dollar. The Natives refused cash. Rather, in 1969, they asked only that the oil companies promise to protect their Prince William Sound fishing and seal hunting grounds from oil.
Mike Davis (Welcome to the next epoch) piles on the pessimism regarding prospects for global equity:
In a sobering study recently published in the Proceedings of the [U.S.] National Academy of Science, a research team has attempted to calculate the environmental costs of economic globalization since 1961 as expressed in deforestation, climate change, over-fishing, ozone depletion, mangrove conversion, and agricultural expansion. After making adjustments for relative cost burdens, they found that the richest countries, by their activities, had generated 42% of environmental degradation across the world, while shouldering only 3% of the resulting costs.
Elsewhere, Simon Donner takes a dispassionate look at emissions scenarios.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if what Palast writes stands up since most of it about happened 20 years ago or more. I would add, I don't know what the Chugach natives were like in the 70s and 80s, but today, the Chugach Native Corporation is Alaska's second largest business, with about $900 million in annual revenues and 6,000 employees worldwide. . Not the impression you'd get from Palast.

Also, apparently there are SOME beaches, where a few inches down, you can still find/smell oil residue, but it's not everywhere in Pr Wm Sound.

That said, nobody in Alaska, from fishermen to the conservative governor, is happy about the Supreme Court decision.