[Originally posted on Papua New Guinea Mine Watch]
Gary Juffa, Governor Oro Province, MP
The race for resources by man is driving the world ever closer to certain global disaster. Arrogantly inconsiderate of the plight and the rights of other life forms, man, possibly the most intelligent and certainly the most destructive citizen of planet earth, appears to be steaming ahead with his seemingly insatiable appetite for the worlds non-renewable resources bringing all of the world as it is known to the a screeching halt, full circle, where life began with nothing left.
The collective actions of mankind are certainly the reason for the ever escalating destruction of its environment and ecosystems, careless exploitation of non-renewable resources and inconsiderate use of the commons – water, air, nature – it is not all of mankind but merely a miniscule fraction, whose actions that highlight a disregard for life and future, whose arrogance and accumulation of power control the entire population of life on earth and throughout history have dragged the entire membership of mankind into the march towards what may be final destination doom.
This miniscule but powerful portion of mankind are the primary beneficiaries of the free market, executive members of Corporatedom, the new empire, set to overtake the US shortly and relegate China and India to mere lackeys of its whim and will while the rest spectate and follow salivating for the crumbs it casts here and there, leaving shattered economies of what were once powerful independent forms and dark shadows in developing economies where poverty and civil war compete for attention.
Yes, all bow to Corporatedom, the new empire of our time, Corporatedom is here, the new empire. Corporatedom is the creation of western capitalist nations who subscribed to “democracy”, now itself an effigy. Corporatedom was expected to bring about great happiness to the world. At least that’s what everyone was told by the nations promoting it.
And it did: for the rich economies and the rich in all economies. Yet, Happiness remained an elusive concept for much of the world’s poor populations, more evident in the poor countries and less so in the rich economies whose poor are kept entertained by media and democracy now just a blow up doll or effigy, as Corporatedom set the pace for exploitation and rampant aggressive profiteering, making the rich gleefully richer and thus happier and the poor miserable, warring, sick, homeless and dying everywhere.
The so called civilized world subscribing to Corporatedom is very much aware of the consequences of the final march of life on earth led by intrepid Man: Man the hero, Man the proud, Man the arrogant, Man the destructive and at this rate, soon to be Man, the extinct.
The facts are in the grasp of any who can obtain them, read and discern with some intelligence anywhere in the world where there is free or reasonable access to radio, television, print and other media, books and internet. Even citizens of nations that do not allow the freedom of expression and control life are aware. Citizens of nations that profess freedom of expression and refrain from excessive control of life choose not to care and live blissfully in the matrix of consumerism created by Corporatedom for that very purpose: cultivating apathy and the citizens of both the controlled world, and the less regulated, either or saturated with varying degrees of consumerism, gather, discuss and protest and dissent, but all to no avail. They are the rats that sense a sinking ship. But there is nowhere to swim to when this ship goes down.
Meanwhile, extensive research and studies galore have been carried out, whether by genuine concern or reaction to genuine concern by many nations, especially those who are the executive members of Corporatedom. The results continue to raise the alarm ever more and the lights flash brighter and the bells toll louder. But Man the blind, Man the deaf, Man the ignorant, continues.
In direct contrast to his efforts to satisfy his greed and build his profits, Man’s efforts to monitor, review and bring about changes to stop or check the destruction of the world’s ecosystems, preserve endangered flora and fauna, regulate and revive the polluted commons is negligible and insufficient. Man the petulant, sees no urgency to change his way.
Examples abound throughout the world of the selfish actions of Man the self-appointed owner, keeper, custodian of Planet Earth. There is the destruction of the world’s rainforests in Africa and South America, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. There is the extraction of all manner of minerals in all continents and the rampant harvesting of the world’s last wildlife source of nourishment: the sea.
Now man is stepping into an area never before ventured: under the sea and beyond, deep, where the seabed, virtually untouched, where tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust align and clasp the globe together, where the Earth’s mantle and core and inner core reside. Apparently there are valuable minerals to be found on the seabed and under it. Not surprisingly, this has attracted the attention of Corporatedom which is also researching possible mining on other planets and the Earths polar caps, stretching the frontiers of Humanity to wherever its imagination takes it.
Where does this heinous demonstration of Corporatedom’s latest act of greed and stupidity take place? Our very own home: beautiful, exotic, tropical and mysterious. In the warm pristine clear waters of Papua New Guinea, coastal communities and island people enjoy an idyllic lifestyle with ready access to all manner of treasures from the sea, teeming fish and stretches of black and white sandy beaches, coconut palms and cool breezes, clear blue skies and laughing children having fun.
Papua New Guinea, population 7 million and growing rapidly; tropical island nation sitting astride the border of Asia and Pacific, home to the largest reserves of rainforest outside South America and saturated with mineral and energy resources. Home to the largest butterfly in the world, the only known poisonous bird, world’s largest tuna breeding grounds and many more species of flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world not yet “discovered” by the West, home to more than 830 languages and the first known location of horticulture, cultivation of sugar cane, banana and other crops.
It is also the location of rising sea levels and disappearing forests, rampant crime, ethnic violence, growing unemployment and the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic. At a glance, the people of Papua New Guinea are at once residing on perhaps the richest piece of real estate and are at once some of the world’s poorest people by Western standards (US Dollar per day average household income). Here the average Papua New Guinean is expected to live to 62 or thereabouts, 50 out of every 1000 children born die at birth and the death rate of mothers during childbirth is the one of the highest in the world.
The last known Pacific island to interact with the rest of the world in so far as Western “civilization” is concerned, it attained “independence” on the 16 September 1975 and has since deteriorated to a state of pathetic nationhood, striving to be a country but failing to care for its people or their interests adequately for the last 37 years. Rich and poor, potential abounds, development lacks, a nation where its people come to grips with globalization and struggle to manage their tribal obligations.
It is also here that Nautilus Minerals Ltd, a Canadian Exploration Firm, has convinced the former Government of Papua New Guinea, the 8th Parliament, that it will mine for minerals under the ocean and on the seabed of Papua New Guinea’s territorial waters, using all manner of sophisticated marine equipment and exposing the marine environment to gallons of poisonous chemicals and all this would benefit the people of PNG and indeed its economy. Of course whether the reassurance was needed is anyone’s guess given the timing: just before the 2012 elections. Nautilus Minerals Ltd is an executive member of Corporatedom or at least it enjoys the privileges and the protection.
Nautilus has assured Papua New Guinea profusely that nothing bad will ever come out of this and in fact, only good could and would result, for instance perhaps in the employment of a few hundred Papua New Guineans as labourers and donations of a few classrooms, an aid post and church or two for the people of New Ireland and Milne Bay.
Who would really benefit? According to Nautilus Minerals, a Chinese company standing by to purchase the minerals would be the primary beneficiaries. The Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group has indicated that it will purchased 1.1 million tonnes of material per year for three years. Credit to the company, it has managed to convince the Papua New Guinea government to fork out money to contribute towards the development of this project for its own resources and also forgo extensive Taxes and Customs Duties.
Here, in Papua New Guinea, developing country, without the necessary infrastructure to be able to respond to a disaster, manmade or otherwise, Man intends to delve into the very fabric and foundations of Earth itself. And what should happen in this Pacific island should suddenly the hole to be in the Earth’s floor creates a reaction that disturbs the Earth’s very mantle and core and perhaps even the inner core? This is the stuff of Steven Spielberg movies, science fiction that needs to be written.
Will PNG and perhaps the rest of the world suddenly disappear down a man-made plughole into who knows where? Or what would seep out? And how would disturbance of the ocean bed’s various ecosystems and currents affect life on earth?
Not a bit if you believe Nautilus Ltd.
But should we take the chance? Will we be happier? Will Corporatedom prevail and the miniscule percentage sip champagne in their fancy country clubs and congratulate each other on booming profits while Earth groans as its very joints and ligaments are attacked?
This will all depend on the recently elected 9th Parliament of Papua New Guinea who stand as keepers of the gates of their economy…111 elected parliamentarians who convinced their people that they would stand up for their interests…already three groups are forming…one that is vehemently opposed, another that is suspiciously silent and one that is willing to risk the livelihoods of millions of its coastal and island communities and threaten their way of life…
Expect the answers, in the land of the Unexpected…