"As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems." .. (Pope Francis)


Millions of Dead Fish Mysteriously Surface in Lake in Mexico | Vocativ

Gaze across Lake Cajititlán here in western Mexico and normally you’ll see fisherman cutting their nets and tourist boats gliding over the blue-green water. But that picturesque scene turned grim last week when more than 4 million dead fish suddenly surfaced, turning the water a sinister shade of gray.

For days, the smell of rotting scales lingered in the air as locals joined government workers to scoop up more than 156 tons of freshwater popoche chub, a sardine-sized species native to the western state of Jalisco.

It’s still unclear what killed the fish, but the incident was the worst in a spate of environmental disasters in Mexico this year. Early last month, a river in the northern state of Sonora took on a sickly brown-red color after workers from a nearby mine dumped thousands of gallons of sulfuric acid into the water. In Veracruz state, near the Gulf of Mexico, a gasoline spill contaminated almost 5 miles of a small river near the town of Tierra Blanca. And last Thursday, the Pacific coast of Sinaloa state also saw a sudden and seemingly inexplicable mountain of dead fish rise to the surface.

Mexico, like many developing nations, has a poor environmental record, but it was still unusual for the country to experience such a quick succession of environmental disasters. What ties them together, critics say, are lax environmental standards, a complete lack of industry oversight and an inability to penalize people and companies that pollute.

“These cases are just the tip of the iceberg of the opacity in which industries in Mexico operate,” environmental watchdog Greenpeace said last week in a statement. “The laxity of the laws permit them to contaminate in exchange for derisory fines posing as ‘reparation of damages,’ without taking into account any external factors.”

The case of Lake Cajititlán is a classic example of how disasters often unfold in Mexico. Environmental experts are still trying to figure out what killed the fish, but that hasn’t prevented the authorities from bickering over who or what was to blame.

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i should get paid for the hour before and after the eight hour workday because the hour before is all about getting there and the hour after is about decompressing. from the second i get out of bed to the second i peel off my work socks and get into gym shorts i should be getting paid money

I put the connection between capitalism and climate change up front because the fact that the life support systems of the planet are being destabilized is telling us that there is something fundamentally wrong with our economic system. What our economy needs to function in a capitalist system is continuous growth and continuous depletion of resources, including finite resources. What our planet needs in order to avoid catastrophic warming and other dangerous tipping points is for humans to contract our use of material resources.

Noami Klein on the connection of capitalism and climate change in a interview with the Indypendent’s John Tarleton. 

Read it here

David Harvey described some of these tactical arrangements between the governance of markets and the governance of difference when he noted that forms of racialized nationalism once vital to capital accumulation became irrelevant with globalization and thus one effect of neoliberal capital was a class-based alliance among a set of transnational actors. Harvey’s argument is that when racialized antagonisms were good for capital we had racial antagonism, when it was bad for capital we did not. … In Harvey’s analysis neoliberal capital may well have reorganized racialized national antagonisms but in doing so it seems to have opened the potential for new global forms of identity—the precariates, the new anarchists, the new animists, et cetera. Thus, I am not interested in cultural difference and the cultural other within capitalism, but rather in the otherwise to both.
—  Elizabeth Povinelli, Geontologies of Late Liberalism