Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Letter From Elsewhere: Come See The Future!

Letter From Elsewhere from Anne Else
“Come see the future,” said the real estate ad. “Secure private fortress.”

I don’t know what the recently routed Queenstown council was planning to build when they carved a great chunk out of the green hillside of trees above their town, to make way for a “development” they called the Commonage. But I wouldn’t mind betting that it involved building some form of secure private fortress.

No one could accuse Peter Blake of retreating to a fortress of any kind. He was right out there calling attention to one of the world’s two most urgent problems: the crisis in the natural environment. But it was the crisis in the social environment that lay behind his death last week.

Brazil is a rich country, but it has some of the worst wealth disparities on earth. The two crises are really one and the same. The forces keeping so many Brazilians in wretched poverty are the same as those threatening the Amazon rainforest.

The “water rats” who killed Peter Blake in the course of grabbing a few hundred dollars’ worth of watches and equipment are close kin of the as yet unknown people who killed two old men and a cleaner, and seriously injured another woman, while robbing the Mt Wellington-Panmure RSA Club.

I am not claiming that poverty, dispossession and despair justifies such murders. Nor were those who pointed out the links between US foreign policy, CIA actions, the Taliban and Saudi Arabian power claiming that these justified the murder of over 3,000 people on 11 September.

The point is simply that there can be no individual or national security in a world where such gross disparities and distortions flourish, fertilised and even celebrated by those with the most money and the most power.

Some of the best minds in the world have come to the same conclusion. Two days after Peter Blake died, as Scoop reported, one hundred Nobel prize winners put out a statement warning that future security depends on immediate environmental and social reform.

These were no woolly liberals. Among them was New Zealand’s Alan MacDiarmid, awarded the prize for chemistry in 2000. Most of the others were scientists too.

“It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek to shelter behind walls”, they wrote. “Instead, we must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world. These twin goals will constitute vital components of stability as we move toward the wider degree of social justice that alone gives hope of peace.”

If we fail, the headlines announcing murderous death – in North and South America, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa, New Zealand - will go on rising, along with the gales, the storms and the floods.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news