The wealthy (The feral rich, NI 459) need to become willing not only to surrender some of their wealth to prevent disruptive social unrest but to surrender even more to deal with global warming before the impact of climate change makes it impossible to maintain a viable capitalist economy.
But the wealthy will not forego any of their wealth for the common good. People never have enough, we always want more, and nobody willingly surrenders what they have. We always believe we’ve earned it or are entitled to it, regardless of the consequences of our selfishness. Wealth is not just how much you have, it is an attitude of mind, whether you are a wealthy individual changing nationality to avoid taxes, a corporate CEO sacking or unfairly exploiting workers to cut costs, or a Unionist allowing other workers to be sacked so that you can keep your overtime and penalty rates. A poor person is happy when they actually have enough; a wealthy person never has enough no matter how much they actually have.
Peter Schaper Biggenden, Australia
Re: your snippet ‘Solar deal’ (Agenda, NI 459). Surely such an initiative has resonance with indigenous communities in Australia. With government backing, such a project could bring income, employment, dignity and independence to native Australian groups and at the same time take a much needed step towards producing clean energy.
John Wood and Ingeborg Fina Bolton Point, Australia
Resistance to GMOs is much more than the ideological battle Mark Lynas asserts it to be (Argument, NI 457). It is resistance to a failing model of agriculture that is poisoning our water sources, depleting nutrients from our topsoil, while humans and animals are ingesting chemicals.
Two compelling online documentaries teach us about GMOs. The 2008 The World According to Monsanto reveals corruption and deceit in how GMO crops were allowed into our food supply. Monsanto, formerly a chemical company, has repositioned itself as a ‘life sciences’ company. The movie’s ultimate question is: why would we trust the future of our food supply to the same company that brought us Agent Orange, PCBs and dioxins?
Genetic Roulette, The Gamble of our Lives by Jeffrey Smith (2012) provides extensive evidence that the same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock and pets that were fed GM foods are now on the rise in humans, and when people and animals stop eating GMOs, their health improves.
Perhaps we need also to pay attention to what the farmers have to say. La Via Campesina, an international agrarian group, has stated that small-scale sustainable farming is the way to feed the world.
Tsiporah Grignon Gabriola, Canada
On ‘The feral rich’, NI 459
Capitalism has always bred inequality. And as capitalism has expanded to every corner of the globe, destroying traditional and sustainable cultures, inequality has only increased. Virtually everyone in the world has been incorporated into the capitalist system that is controlled (owned) by a very small minority (although another 20 per cent of the world’s population also benefit relatively significantly). Tragically, in the era of globalization, more than half of the world’s population has become disposable, due to technology rendering them redundant as producers and poverty precluding them as consumers.
On ‘Help the rich, hate the poor’, NI 459
I see this every day in Britain. People going on and on about ‘welfare scroungers’ and how ‘lazy’ and ‘undeserving’ they are. It makes me feel sick that our government is encouraging these arguments and even instigating them. I have to keep telling people that welfare fraud is nothing compared to the tax avoidance of the rich. I have to keep telling them that we are the ones paying for the recklessness of the banking institutions and the governments that just let it all happen. Yet most people just don’t seem to be interested...
On ‘How the US has been sponsoring terrorism in the Sahara’, NI 458
Sickening hypocrisy if this is true! Is the same tactic being used in northern Nigeria? Greed is turning this planet to an increasingly scary and unpleasant place! God help us all!
In last month’s ‘Unreported Year’, the Zimbabwean elephant photo on page 33 was incorrectly credited. The photographer was Gemma Catlin. The text was written by Aaron Gekoski and Gemma Catlin.