environment

Summer 1979
The near-disaster at Three Mile Island on March 28 riveted world attention onto the hornet's nest of nuclear energy production.

As a reactor in the plant spilled 250,000 gallons of radioactive effluent and vented unknown quantities of lethal steam over the surrounding countryside, the world press descended nearby Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Spring 1980
Farmworker militance, cultivated through decades of back breaking toil, poverty and discrimination, has scored major victories for the United Farm Workers Union in the Salinas and Imperial valleys of California.

Chicano/Mexicanos and women, who make up the bulk of agricultural workers, have defended their union magnificently in a fifteen-month battle against the union-busting growers and 17 large-scale lettuce and vegetable growers have been forced to renew UFW contracts.

A year ago last December, growers refused to renew these contracts.

February 1988

Survivors. Reading about the glow boys this morning.
The unemployed enticed with $60 to fix the core
of the nuclear plant. In space suits they jump
down into it. Acid rain, acid fog. “Just brush it off.”
The screen I stare at, typesetting, low level,
the low lying words. Statistics for jumpers:
only one fatal cancer per 100. Only!

October 2013

ENVIRONMENT

Appreciate analysis

I really appreciate the articles that have been appearing of late on the environment by Mark Drummond [Extreme energy, Vol. 34, No. 2; Global warming and the seas, Vol. 34, No. 1].

I always learn from the matters I want to be informed on, and having his Marxist perspective is invaluable. Please keep up the good work!

Luma Nichol, San Francisco


U.S. GOVERNMENT ON TRIAL

American Indians demand justice

October 2013

Ever since Manifest Destiny infested this green planet, Native Americans fought against the severe exploitation and horrific genocide that powered it. The struggle continues as Indian nations fight to ban uranium mining in their precious homelands.

Uranium mining mushroomed after the launching of the nuclear age. It provides the fuel for the reactors of nuclear power plants. Military demands for uranium, to build weapons of mass destruction, skyrocketed at the end of World War II.

October 2013

The nuclear floodgates are opening — and that’s not just a metaphor. While U.S. politicians and CEOs do their best to rehabilitate the idea of nuclear energy (see related story), radioactive water is pouring out of the Fukushima nuclear plant and into the Pacific Ocean at the rate of about 300 tons a day.

October 2013

Big business has run roughshod over the world’s working classes, public services, and the environment. You would think at some point its rapacious appetite would be sated, its global dominance secured. Leave that fantasy behind, it’s not how capitalists think. They want it all, and won’t stop until they get it.

The latest in their long string of crimes can be found in the form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is yet another free trade agreement, which if successfully negotiated will take global capital’s hegemony to an entirely new level.

February 1991

Two endangered species of the Pacific Northwest are front-page news these days — the northern spotted owl and the logger. Portrayed as irreconcilable antagonists, they are in fact ecological kin, dependent on the same environment. Their existence is threatened by the same voracious predator — the timber industry.

August 2013

On the heels of the largest climate change demonstration in U.S. history in February, eco-activists are ramping up to protest extreme energy across the nation. Grass-roots activists and NGOs have put energy corporations on notice with a week of civil disobedience that signals stepped-up resistance to dirty fossil fuels.

“We’re through with appealing to a broken political system that has consistently sacrificed human and nonhuman communities for the benefit of industry and capital,” said Eric Whelan, spokesperson for the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance.

May 1991
On May 24, 1990, Earth First!ers Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were driving in Oakland, California when a pipe bomb exploded in their car and sent the two activists to the hospital. Bari was there for over a month. Cherney was treated for a lacerated cornea and released-only to be arrested immediately by the Oakland police, who charged him and Bari with "illegal possession and transport of explosives."

The prosecution had no evidence and eventually dropped its case.

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