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#646#647#648#649 Episode #650 - Fighting Nature To The Last Drop
(Resource Extraction in India and Alberta)


The Athabasca Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada

Sat 27 April 2013  Arundhati Roy, Ronald Wright, David Schindler, Bill McKibben, George Monbiot and others
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2Following last week's observations on the destructiveness of the money system in general, we look this week at two specific examples of devastaed communities and ecosystems. Firstly, an account by Arundhati Roy of the oppression of Indian communities by a government determined to extract resources. Secondly, a radio adaptation of "To The Last Drop", a film about the Athabasca Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada.
We begin with a recording from the 2011 Earth at Risk conference by Arundhati Roy. She reads from her book about the struggle of the Indian village communities to preserve their way of life, in the face of the combined efforts of government and multi-national corporations efforts to plunder resources as fast as possible.

Opining that the Indian government has never been shy to use military force to suppress any disagreement Arundhati Roy explainst that the Indian government was quick to label all opposition to its resource extraction policies as "Mauists". The government in turn was labelled as an MOUist force, after the MOUs ("memoranda of understanding" - i.e. secret deals) that they agreed with foreign multinationals to dispose of resources on Indian territory. Hew poetic account of life with the resistance, and the context of their armed struggle continues into our second hour.

We conclude the show with a Canadian example of the 'economic growth whatever the consequences' montif:- possibly the world's largest petrochemical deposit, the Athabasca Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada. We hear how the government again seems to be working as an agent of the multinational oil companies. Mandatory water quality monitoring is now done by the companies themselves, and the results are their proprietary data, so they are not disclosed to the public. Doctors and health researchers are reporting an emerging cancer cluster around Fort Chipewayn, the center of extraction, while local fisherman are reporting deformed fish in the rivers downstream, all of which tallies with the only independant investigation, which concluded that extraction of the tar sands has been releasing a wide range of toxic pollutants into the environment from the very beginning and continues to do so. Government and industry, predictably, continue to cast doubt on such evidence and try to undermine the credentials of the scientists publishing it.
Thanks to Niobe Thompson for the film, "To The Last Drop"
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