- Politics and Social Issues
And This Is O.K. With You/
Mismanagement of our natural resources stunts our economic growth. This is well understood after the fact. Ignoring the rules of soil management has yielded frustrating results for farmers who didn’t believe the rigamarole about rotating crops. Forest resources have disappeared when forest conservation measures weren’t taken. The whaling industry lost large money-earners when it depleted the worlds stocks of blue, right, and hump-back whales. Just look what happen to the fishing industry off the Maritime coast. There are many examples of this. And this is okay with you?
Why haven’t we learned our lessons? Because the mega-corporations have taken over the ownership of our natural resources and making a profit is their number one goal. Mega-corporations have very strong lobbying endeavors and they spend hundreds of millions of dollars to preserve their status quo. And yet the cost of cleaning up the environment and protecting our environment would be a lot less.
The oil and gas industry spent an all-time high of nearly $84 million to push its agenda in Washington last year (2007). Most companies considered it just a cost of doing business and a small cost compared to what potential harm that can be enforced upon them from Washington in the form of regulations. And yet the cost of cleaning up their act in terms of emission controls and energy conservation would only amount to $26 million a year. And these large oil and gas companies are making profits of over $10 billion a year. These companies have no desire to protect the health, well-being of their citizens nor preserve the natural resources for future generations. And this is okay with you?
And here’s another example.
There are many cases right here in Alberta of ranchers suffering from contamination of their water wells by coalbed methane mining. Gas companies have threatened landowners not to go to the courts. What are they scared of? The farmers and ranchers have a story to tell, but if they try to take it to court, the oil and gas industry tries to settle out of court with a stipulation not to report to anyone about their situation. Thus, we will never know what is really happening to our water supplies and even to the soil in which our food is grown. You have to admire the ranchers and farmers who spent their own money on lawyers to bring justice. It has cost a lot of money and many years. The farmers and ranchers only want to protect their families, livestock and crops from irreversible damages. And this is okay with you?
And here’s another example.
Farmers are now finding their own hands are tied. Through the use of patents, seed companies have made it illegal for farmers to sell their seeds to other farmers. (amendment to the Plant Variety Act) Farmers who purchased seeds from a seed company may find, because of patent laws, that they can only buy seeds from the same company in the future. Thus, transnational companies, like Monsanto and DuPont force farmers to buy their seeds from them. Most of these seeds purchased have been genetically modified so that they are resistive to a particular pesticide. And the pesticide belongs to one of the two afore mentioned companies above. Since these pesticides won’t effect the crops, farmers can spray as much pesticides as they want. Thus, the effect on the soil, water and corresponding ecosystems are usually ignored. It is a money-making racket, money spent on both seeds and pesticides. These genetically modified seeds can travel to other farms by wind, from water, pollinators, passing trucks,etc, and if a representative from the seed company finds the farmer illegally growing a genetically modified crop not purchased from them, the company can sued the farmer for millions of dollars. And they have! And this is okay with you?