Dear God these people are stupid

The global mining, oil and gas industries have expanded so fast in the last decade they are now leading to large-scale \”landgrabbing\” and threatening farming and water supplies, according to a report by environment and development groups in Europe, Africa and India.

\”The catalogue of devastation is growing. We are no longer talking about isolated pockets of destruction and pollution. In just 10 years, iron ore production has more than doubled, coal has risen 45% and metals like lithium by 125%.

And why has lithium mining increased? To make the bloody batteries for your electric cars you twats.

Jeebus, Dear God and Mother Mary on a pogo stick. How can anyone think that we can change technologies without changing the raw materials we use?

12 comments on “Dear God these people are stupid

  1. God forbid that the poor downtrodden masses of the dark continent actually have a chance to join the global economy, like their peers in Asia.

  2. I suspect a lot of that isn’t for the dark continent itself, but for China, which seems to be quite actively engaged in Africa.

  3. I have a feeling oil and gas has been lumped in there without much thought. Almost all the major developments of the past decade have been offshore, and hence are unlikely to have had much impact on farming and water. LNG plants are built on land, but usually miles from anywhere and nowhere close to population centres; and even those projects with a large onshore component have been in places like Sakhalin, Kazakhstan, and Australia in areas where there is not much farming to disrupt. I’ve not heard of the oil sands projects in Canada causing Canadians to go short of water and food.

  4. Tim Newman, you’re right. I found that the literate and semi-literate parts of the population always welcomed exploitation by a vast impersonal multi-national.

    But we shouldn’t rage that commodity extraction never destroys habitat. (There’s those drill rigs in teh Amazon.)
    But mining, O&G etc pale in comparison with the thick local farmers. They see big tree, they think big crop. Wrong! Why do trees grow? Because the soil is too poor to support grass or other ground cover, which would otherwise throttle new trees at germination.
    So slash and burn nomadism is actually sustainable (with a small population). Ranching and crop rotation without vast amounts of hydrocarbon made fertiliser aren’t.

  5. “Why do trees grow? Because the soil is too poor to support grass or other ground cover”: oh balls. In most of Britain – and presumably France – trees are the spontaneous growth that you get if you stop cultivation and grazing.

    “So slash and burn nomadism is actually sustainable”: not in Britain (for instance) . Our native deciduous woodland won’t burn.

  6. Dearie: I refer you to “Woodlands” by Oliver Rackham.
    And BTW tropical trees won’t burn either because it rains at 4 p.m. But slash and burn is a historical fact.
    Spontaneous forest fires are basically limited to Mediterranean-type climates and the trees there (Pine, Olive, Eucalyptus etc) are actually more resistant to burning.

  7. “So slash and burn nomadism is actually sustainable (with a small population). Ranching and crop rotation without vast amounts of hydrocarbon made fertiliser aren’t.”

    Sorry bif but that just ain’t true. Large portions of England were originally under deciduous forest. Dig in one of the remaining patches & the topsoil rarely goes down more than a few inches before you’re into clay & gravel. Now do the same in an adjoining field & you’ll be talking feet rather than inches. Often the surface level in the field is noticeably higher. That’s hundreds of years of cultivation, all but the latest without artificial fertilisers.
    Forests are almost always a zero sum game. As much biomass gets consumed as produced so the total at any one time remains the same. Cultivation, particularly when using crop rotation & ploughing, is continually forcing biomass into the soil. Even better if part of the cycle’s growing nitrogen fixing plants & animals are let to graze on the fallow part. Slash & burn’s about the most destructive form of agriculture going. Most of the nutrients are already in the trees & there isn’t enough topsoil to trap them. What the crops don’t use washes away & the crops themselves don’t put much back. When the soil’s impoverished, the farmers move on to do more slash & burn but what they leave behind is very poor growing conditions to get a forest re-established on. Little holding the soil in place. Low or very seasonal rainfall & winds & you’re on the way to creating a desert.

  8. BiS
    I think we are actually in agreement. Trees will grow in poor soil, but y’know they grow over centuries not years.
    Grass will grow annually.
    When the Spanish saw the mid west (more than a metre of humous) they saw a desert, which is now the corn belt. When they saw the Amazon (piffling nutrients on laterite) they saw El Dorado.
    As I say, slash and burn IS a sustainable agriculture if you only use about 1/1000th of the land and cut only small plots which are not blown away.
    You’re also right about medieval agriculture and returning nutrients to the soil but if you want to shovel shit for a living be my guest.

  9. Thornavis
    Not sure what link you’re looking for.
    The bio-ethanol disaster is well documented, starting in Brazil (high yield but land hungry) and ending up with world food shortages because we’re all growing bio-maize in places (UK, US) where it is just as land and water hungry but has much lower yields.
    For natural / man made fire and where & why it happens try World Fire by Stephen J Pyne, or the follow up Vestal Fire. But not the sort of thing that goes straight to paperback.

  10. blokeinfrance,

    I’d be the first to admit that oil companies have in the past recklessly destroyed local environments and shat all over local populations, and these include supermajors. However, nowadays it simply doesn’t happen, at least insofar as the private western oil companies are concerned (I’m sure a lot of national oil companies still behave in much the same way). It is simply not possible to shit all over a community or wantonly damage the environment any more, and I have yet to hear even a peep out of anyone in an oil company – even speaking privately or socially – who says otherwise.

    This is part of the reason why much of the large developments of the past decade are offshore, there are no communities to engage with. In the case of Nigeria, this not only makes the job easier but a lot more secure too (much harder to sabotage an FPSO 200km offshore than a pipeline running next to your village). And the author in the piece was talking about the recent rush for oil and gas impacting communities and destroying farmland, I guess she must be either talking about China or Venezuela or she’s just lumped the oil industry in with mining through ignorance.

  11. bif
    I was looking for a link in Tim’s post, which appears to be a quote but I don’t know what it is he’s referring to, everyone else seems to, so either I’m thick or there’s something missing from my view that others can see, either is a possibility. Now you’re talking about bio-ethanol and Tim’s comments refer to mining so I’m even more confused.

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