Are we hostage to mining?

Paradigm Shift 4ZZZ fm 102.1  at noon, 18 December 2015.

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Andy and Ian present a show about the Brazilian dam disaster caused by BHP Billiton and Samarco. Ian talks with Weliton Menário, a biologist in a nearby state, Espírito Santo, that is affected by the disaster. Hectoria interviews Jac Nasser, the chairman of the board of BHP Billiton. Thanks to Eliza for setting up interview with Weliton Menário.

Track 1 – What happened when the dam walls burst. Mariana is the most affected town. People praying in the square. Whole population sending water and food.  People can’t grow their own food, farming impossible.

Track 2 – Environmental Crisis. ‘Ark of Noah’ operation where local people and researchers collect native species fish and transport them to fresh water for breeding and return to the Rio Doce when it recovers. People are poor and their livelihood wiped out. No alert given for the catastrophe. Samarco negligent. Fish can’t breathe.

Track 3 – Effect on Indigenous People. Brazil is a wealthy country. People can’t produce food now making handicrafts. Govt fined Samarco. Economic Crisis in Brazil. No really rich people in the small cities. Groups of indigenous people protested against the iron ore mine. Ignored. Poverty in Brazil much worse than in Australia.

Track 4 – The power of multinational company like BHP. Hard to change things through political process because you have to be very rich to win power. Mariana destroyed. People think you can’t punish Samarco too much because of dependency on the miner for income.

Track 5 – What can people in Australia do? Demonstrate that this is the biggest environmental disaster in Brazil’s hisotry. No need for money and supplies. Samarco has to help. Generally we need change. Money is not the main thing. Brazilian people are more than football (soccer).

Playlist
Joao Gilberto – Corcovado
Glitter Rats – Weevils in the flour
Zelia Barbosa – Cancao da terra
Pedro Munhoz – Procissao dos retirantes

Reference

Jac Nasser, chairman BHP Billiton, on the Samarco mining disaster in Brazil

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