Surviving Depression in a Depressing World-What Happens when we are Disconnected from Nature?

Why does the contemporary Western lifestyle influence the rise in mental illness and depression? Why is our separation from Nature detrimentally affecting human health and consciousness? Our growing distance from Nature doesn’t serve the Earth or us. It is clear there is an increasing need for humanity to reconnect with Nature and why it is crucial that western society needs to become more ecologically sustainable within the means of the Earth’s natural limits.

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

Video by Carlita Shaw.

Author of

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

 

The Silent Ecocide, a Crisis of Human Consciousness

 

Thanks to videoveo and pexels.

Protection of Ecosystems is Critical for the Future of the Planet- We are running out of time to save them.

Three Monkeys in a Tree by Quang Nguyen Vinh

Monitoring and tracking the protection of every countries’ ecosystems – from wetlands to reefs, forests and more – is critical to protecting Earth’s biodiversity. That’s the plea from The University of Queensland, Australia and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Professor James Watson, as policy makers from 190 nations prepare to meet in Rome next week to develop the UN’s Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Professor Watson said the current strategic plan for biodiversity was not working, and the new plan must address the conservation of ecosystems. “Since 2010, targets for conserving species have shaped policy and galvanised efforts to halt species loss worldwide, as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity,” Professor Watson said.

“Yet no such targets exist for ecosystems — despite the wealth of evidence showing that their health and functions are essential to the processes that maintain all life. The last decade has seen an extraordinary increase in our ability to map ecosystems and the pressures human increasingly place on them. We must act now as we’re running out of time to save them, with many already severely damaged.”

Professor Watson and his colleagues assessed more than 2800 ecosystems in 100 countries across all continents, finding 45 per cent of those systems were at risk of complete collapse.

“There is no excuse to ignore the fate of ecosystems in the post 2020 agenda,” he said.

We need targets that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely – the SMART parameters – that are essential to project planning and have proved to be effective in policies that seek to address global problems.

For example, during the 1980s, a group of 20 nations agreed to set various limits on the production and consumption of chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs.

This helped to guide the phase-out of these substances under the Montreal Protocol, which came into effect in 1989.

It’s now possible to establish a SMART target for ecosystems, as well as metrics to track progress in meeting that goal.

All we need is the political will to set an ambitious ecosystem target, alongside an ambitious species target.

This will be a game changer for biodiversity, as it will ensure the level of accountability needed for both nations and industry to enact change.”

Professor Watson’s commentary piece has been published in Nature (DOI: 10.1038/d41586-020-00446-1).

Media: Professor James Watson, jwatson@wcs.org, +61 409 185 592; Dominic Jarvis, dominic.jarvis@uq.edu.au, +61 413 334 924.

 

Evolve to Ecology News

The Silent Ecocide 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

New Book-Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, An Ecological Perspective.

My new book is now published and available here in Paperback and Kindle
This book provides a fresh perspective on the exponential rise in depression and suicide in modern western society. It’s an alternative book for alternative people who  have tried conventional medicine or who aren’t interested in treating depression with allopathic options, and who are open to trying other options. Scientists have studied depression is in fact a normal response to a global environmental destruction, with growing scientific peer reviewed papers that confirm our degrading environment affects our mental health. There is an urgent need for humanity to reconnect with nature and change society to become more environmentally friendly. The author offers advice on how to manage depression better with nutritional advice and controversial health hacks, recommended lifestyle changes including learning the art of living after surviving grief, deep trauma, and loss.
The aim is to help the reader see their depression as a calling to look within, connect with their truer inner being and begin to nurture themselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Furthermore, this book invites the reader to consider their own place in human evolution and redefine their lost purpose to one that is more aligned to Ecology than to Western Materialism, to become self-empowered, not a victim of depression. We look at talk therapies and radical new alternative therapies for managing depression in a challenging world.
Contents-
Introduction
Poem-Faithful Black Dog
Chapter One- I am Not my Story
Poem-The Exiled Dissidents
Chapter Two-Corporate devolution vs Ecology
Poem-My Friend, My Shadow
Chapter Three-A Brief History of Depression
Poem-The Thief
Chapter Four- The Art of Living
Poem-The Heart’s Compass
Chapter Five- Gluten Free Living, Health the Gut, Heal the Mind
Poem-Patented Flower in a Planet Sized Laboratory
Chapter Six- Health Hacks to Avoid Inflammation and Depression
Poem-Beat Your Drum
Chapter Seven- A Look at Different Talk Therapies
Poem-Illusions of Polarities
Chapter Eight- The Therapeutic Benefits of Entheogens and CBD oil
Poem–Merging Galaxies
Chapter Nine- The Noosphere, Consciousness and Biosphere
Poem-Love
99951 word count
414 pages

by C S

Author of

The Silent Ecocide 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

 

Evolve to Ecology News

Illegal Gold Mining in the Amazon, destroying the Brazilian rainforest in just 7 months.

The indigenous lands of Kayapó, in Pará, house mining fronts with an area equivalent to dozens of soccer fields. Photo from Planet Labs

A significant expansion of illegal Gold mining outbreaks in Amazonian indigenous lands is destroying the rainforest at an accelerated rate in Brazil, which began to emerge since January of this year. This is confirmed by the satellite images analysed by BBC News Brazil.

The indigenous and environmentalists are critically concerned with this development  occurring  in different parts in the states of Pará and Roraima, in the north of Brazil, the mining activity has increased since the public statements and hate speech of President Jair Bolsonaro against indigenous people and in favour of the exploitation of minerals in indigenous lands and what they consider a weakening in the fight against environmental crimes by the government.

The mining invasion of one of these reserves in the Amazon has also resulted in a murdered indigenous leader of the Wajãpi tribe , which occurred following a plea for help from the leader, that miners had entered their territory with guns and weapons.

The Wajãpi indigenous community who reside in the west of the state of Amapá, reported  last Saturday that a group of miners assassinated Emyra Wajãpi  last wednesday. The indigenous leader, Wajãpi ´s death was the beginning of an attack to the Mariry village that took place between Friday and Sunday with the invasion of 50 gold seekers to the place.

The Coordination of the indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB) issued a statement condemning the invasions and showing their solidarity with the Wajãpi people.

“The Coordination of the indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), together with its base organizations on a state, regional and local level, mainly with the APOINAP (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples and Amapá and Northern Pará Organizations), are here to express publicly their complete solidarity and support for the Waiãpi indigenous people, in lieu of the recent events in which metal seekers invaded their territory, while we express our deep and vehement repulsion towards this kind of action, that has intensified itself, fomented mainly by intransigent and irresponsible, authoritarian, judgemental, arrogant and disrespectful positions of the current government, especially from the president of the republic Jair Bolsonaro, for the attacks he has been making against the rights of the people of this country, especially the territorial rights already guaranteed in completely demarcated and regularized indigenous lands in light of the Constitution of the Federal Government of 1988 and which this government is constantly trying to set back.”  – Reported to Latin American News

Opening these ancestral protected lands to mining and other extraction industries such as oil and gas drilling have devastating consequences for indigenous communities and irreversible ecological devastation such as mercury poisoning of the Amazon waterways which people use to fish and bath in.

Previous affected indigenous people were also the Yamomami people in on-going illegal gold extraction in 2013 and before.

The deforestation of the Amazon has accelerated with the arrival of Bolsonaro to the presidency of Brazil, since the president has been encouraging racial discrimination and persecution of indigenous people in the Amazon whose lives  and ancestral lands are being destroyed and  threatened by mining and oil extraction.

The mine outbreak occurred at a time when the National Space Research Institute (INPE) has claimed that there is a high rate of destruction in the Amazon, which has been questioned by President Bolsonaro, who said the publication of data on deforestation could affect the country’s international negotiations.

The images evaluated by the BBC are from Planet Labs , an American company that orbits more than 100 satellites and takes daily photographs of the world.

Illegal gold mining in the Indigenous Land Kayapó, Pará, in July 2019. The clearest points indicate recent activity.

The activity was monitored in three of the Brazilian indigenous lands that suffer the most illegal gold extraction: Kayapó, Munduruku (both in Pará) and Yanomami (in Roraima and Amazonas). The three territories occupy an area equivalent to that of the state of São Paulo and house some of the most conserved sections of the Brazilian Amazon.

In three Brazilian Amazon territories, there was an increase in these areas of mining extraction to reopen old mines, some created more than a decade ago – and in those created more recently.

The satelite photographs were sent to two satellite imagery specialists: to geologist Carlos Souza Jr. of Imazon (a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the Amazon rainforest); and to the geographer of the business intelligence software Arcplan, Marcos Reis Rosa.

Both confirmed that the mines are expanding their gold extraction activities. Some are even occupying areas the size of dozens of soccer fields.

Gold in Yanomami

In June, the BBC published a report that showed that in 2019, gold became the second most exported product in the Roraima area , although none of the mines  operate legally.

Officials are investigating whether the metal has been illegally extracted from the territory in Yanomami, where, according to the natives, at least 10, 000 miners are currently operating.

The executive coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), Sonia Guajajara , says that indigenous people from different parts of the Amazon have reported “an absurd increase” in mining companies since the beginning of the Bolsonaro government, this is due to Bolsonaro´s hate speech against indigenous people and encouragement of mining in these areas, desperation is increasing as Brazil on the verge of recession.

 While Bolsonaro served as a federal deputy and, later in his presidential career, he repeatedly said he agreed with the economic exploitation of these territories to improve the living conditions of indigenous communities, but this doesn´t improve their lives or living standards, their land is illegally taken from them and their Amazon waterways  and fish are killed and polluted with mercury and other toxic poisons.

The 1988 Constitution provides for the exploitation of minerals in indigenous lands as long as it is regulated. But as laws in this field have never been passed, the activities are continuously illegal.

Since 1996 , Congress has tried to pass a bill to regulate mining in indigenous lands. Now, the Bolsonaro government is trying to unlock the agenda.

“Bolsonaro is making Brazil the exterminator of the environmental future”: the harsh message of 8 former Brazilian environment ministers

However, according to Sonia Guajajara, the vast majority of Brazilian indigenous communities oppose the regulation of the activity because they fear their social and environmental impacts.

At the end of 2018, Amazon’s geo-referenced socio-environmental information network – which brings together eight environmental NGOs from Latin America – published a report on threats to the Amazon. The document identified illegal mining on 18 indigenous lands in Brazil. There is also a prior report written by Jasmine Plummer investigating the environmental laws on this activity and how it affects the   from 2007

In some territories, rafts are installed on the Amazon riverways, to look for precious metals in the riverbed. In addition to the rafts, industrial machinery such as backhoes and dredgers form Deforested craters in the forest. This is the case of many of the mines in the Tapajós de Pará region , where satellite images exhibit important “scars” open in the forest.

In addition to logging, the activity causes sedimentation of rivers , diverting their courses and creating artificial lakes that become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Not by chance, malaria is common in the mining areas of the Amazon.

In some areas the damage is permanent, with no possibility of complete regeneration.

“Scars” caused by the extraction of gold in the Tapajós de Pará region, in an image taken in July 2019.

Gold mining is also associated with an increase in conflict, increasing human trafficking, prostitution and disease in the indigenous areas where it operates.

For forest engineer Paulo Barreto, an associate researcher at Imazon, deforestation in the Amazon has been stimulated not only by Bolsonaro’s statements, but also by the weakening of regulatory environmental agencies.

“It has created a climate where everything  and anything goes, and people think it will not be punished,” Barreto told the BBC.

By order of Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, the annual budget of Ibama, the main federal environmental agency, was reduced by US $ 23.57 million this year, a quarter of the total.

Meanwhile, destruction of the Brazilian Amazon has doubled in just a few years from  7%, in 2008, to 13%, in 2017. Data released in 2018 by the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – INPE (National Institute of Spatial Research) 

The indigenous lands of Kayapó, in Pará, have mining activities which have destroyed with an area equivalent to dozens of football fields.

This week President Bolsonaro was again criticized by environmentalists. After the president insisted that deforestation figures released by the National Space Research Institute (INPE) were a lie and could hamper Brazil’s negotiations with other countries, such as those related to the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union .

European leaders have expressed concern about the increase in deforestation in Brazil and Bolsonaro’s actions in the environmental sector.

In April, a letter published in the journal Nature signed by 607 scientists and two indigenous organizations criticized the Bolsonaro government for “working to dismantle deforestation policies.”

The signatories of the document denounce that “the new administration of Brazil threatens indigenous rights and natural areas.”

In the words of the Yanomami’s foremost
shaman-activist, Davi Kopenawa Yanomami-

The Earth cannot be split apart as if the forest were just a leftover part. With leftover trees and leftover rivers, leftover game, fish and humans who live there, its breath of life will become too short. That is why we are worried. We shamans simply say we are protecting nature as a whole thing. We defend the forests’ trees, mountains and rivers, its fish, game, spirits and human inhabitants.

by Carlita Shaw

Using Carbon Dioxide to Produce Graphene, An Innovative Alternative Energy material

Graphene can act as an insulator and superconductor.

It is a general consensus that carbon dioxide is considered to be adding to greenhouse gases and its global warming effect. However, for chemical reactions, carbon dioxide can also be a helpful raw material.

Carbon dioxide is significant for chemical reactions, a scientific research group has now announced at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), on this phenomenon and how it could be applied in a way to increase the development of an essential material that could revolutionise clean alternative energy harnessing, with Carbon dioxide. They discovered they could utilise carbon dioxide as a raw material to produce graphene, a technological material which is currently the subject of intense study.

Back in 2011, Justin Hall-Tipping was the first scientific pioneer to use graphene in Nano Solar energy, which was a huge innovation in nanotechnology, that few people still have not heard much about today. This technology will put an end to nuclear and coal power stations. Tippin and his group of nano-tech and solar energy scientists produced a clear film of transparent plastic, that you can stick to your window, turning a window of any building into a an electricity generator or a modern power station to produce all your power needs or send others energy if they need it.

The entrepreneur, Justin Hall-Tipping, sought out the world’s leading nanotechnology scientists to harness the electron and create energy through nanotechnology, now they have a company called Nanoholdings, which consists of team of scientists, investors and innovators working at the cutting-edge of nanotechnology to develop solutions to the world’s growing energy problems. Working in partnership with the world’s best universities, they have developed products and companies that will revolutionise the way we use and generate energy. Imagine you live in a building that has very large windows, you can use each window much like a solar panel, simply by using a thin plastic film with energy harnessing systems, embedded inside the film as fine or finer than a human hair, the plastic sheet can be stuck onto the window panes of a house or office building to use the light and heat energy beaming in through the window. This becomes a powerhouse using nanotechnology to convert light energy from the sun to power up the building for heat or to cool or generate electricity and if it is not required there, it can then be sent to someone else who needs it more.


(Hall-Tipping, 2011).

Now this new discovery about graphene announced at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), on using Carbon dioxide to produce graphene, adds even more exciting developments to the nanotechnology exotic altenative energy possibilities of the future of free energy.

The current archaic combustion of fossil fuels, includes coal and oil which emit large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and even more so when the oil or gas has been drilled from the Amazon rainforest. Every day, destruction of vast areas of rainforest is at a critical scale, the trees and disturbed soil, where the carbon dioxide had been naturally sequestered, (acted as a carbon sink before being disturbed), are then released into the atmosphere. Cutting this causal chain is what motivates Kit scientists to search for the opportunity of producing electricity from graphene, but additionally for alternative uses of carbon dioxide. One opportunity could be to look at carbon dioxide as a valuable resource for the synthesis of other precious elements, sequestering it back to the natural cycle, the result would not only clean up the planet, but also provide cleaner energy materials and off grid resources.

An example can be found in nature. During photosynthesis in the leaves of plants, the combination of light, water and carbon dioxide creates biomass, closing the natural material cycle. In this process, it is the job of the metal-based enzyme RuBisCo to absorb the carbon dioxide from the air and make it usable for the further chemical reactions in the plant. Inspired by this metal enzyme-based natural conversion, researchers at KIT are now presenting a process in which the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide together with hydrogen gas is converted directly into graphene at temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Celsius with the help of specially prepared, catalytically active metal surfaces.

The team of scientists were inspired by a metal enzyme-based natural conversion, therefore they are actually presenting a system wherein the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide together with hydrogen gas is converted at once into graphene at temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Celsius, with the assist of specifically prepared, catalytically active metallic surfaces. This innovation was drawn from the role it has in photosynthesis in plants, the combination of water, sunlight and carbon dioxide creates biomass, the metalic-based enzyme RuBisCo can soak up the carbon dioxide from the air and make it usable for more chemical reactions in the plant.

Graphene is the two-dimensional form of the chemical element carbon, and as mentioned earlier has been used in nanotechnology to enhance solar energy cells to be able to harness energy through a transparent plastic film. Graphene has been used in a number of alternative energy generators and is known to have interesting electrical properties and is therefore an choice for innovative off-grid clean alternative energy generators, likely to be met with the same counterpressures as other alternative generators however the difference is this is nanotechnology, this industry has been growing rapidly and there is a great deal of money in this system, It is unlikely this innovation can be derailed in the same way other forms have. Its discovery and workability in 2004 brought about international, intensive studies and earned the discoverers, Andre Geim and Konstanin Novoselov, received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010.

The Scientific workgroup at Kit have join forces to publish and present the technique within the ChemSusChem journal for setting apart graphene from carbon dioxide and hydrogen by way of a metal catalyst. “If the metal surface exhibits the correct ratio of copper and palladium, the conversion of carbon dioxide to graphene will take place directly in a simple one-step process,” explains the head of the study, Professor Mario Ruben, from the Molekulare Materialien working group at the Institute of Nanotechnology (INT) and the Institute for Inorganic Chemistry (AOC) at KIT.

In other developments with graphene, the research group have been even capable of produce graphene several layers thick, which might be exciting for feasible programs in batteries, digital compounds, or filtering compounds. Following research is to form functioning energy components from the graphene. Carbon based materials such as graphene and magnetic molecules could be the constructing blocks for future quantum computers along with other possibilities. Therefore, using Carbon Dioxide to produce Graphene, could develop exotic nanotechnologies even more as a driver for graphene based electrity generators in alternative energy and help restore climate balance at the same time,. The days of the coal or nuclear power stations are numbered as graphene and nanotechnologies are developing.

Written by Carlita Shaw
Author of The Silent Ecocide

You can also follow my ecological projects and articles on Ecosolutionaries at Steemit.

Thanks

Original Press Release at Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT).
Source: http://www.kit.edu/index.php

Journal Reference:

Concepción Molina‐Jirón, Mohammed Reda Chellali, C. N. Shyam Kumar, Christian Kübel, Leonardo Velasco, Horst Hahn, Eufemio Moreno‐Pineda, Mario Ruben. Direct Conversion of CO 2 to Multi‐Layer Graphene using Cu–Pd Alloys. ChemSusChem, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201901404

Image source- pubs.rsc.org

Margoth, Amparo and Amada, three brave women that defend the Pueblos Indígenas and the Amazon Rainforest.

Learn the story of Margoth, Amparo and Amada, three brave women that defend the Pueblos Indígenas and the Amazon Rainforest.

Please sign the petition for better protection of these brave environmental defenders  https://bit.ly/2ZPLvDh

Ecuador: In the absence of protection from the State, Amazónian women risk their lives to defend the Rainforest

The lack of capacity and political will of the Ecuadorian authorities to guarantee protection and adequately and effectively investigate attacks and threats against Amazonian Women defenders of the environment which puts their lives at risk, and those of other people who protect the Amazon against political and economic interests linked to large-scale extractive projects in indigenous territories, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

“They will not stop us” : The Ecuadorian government fails justice and protection for Amazonian women defenders of land, territory and environment, which exposes the failures of the Ecuadorian Attorney General’s Office in response to a series of attacks and death threats registered in 2018 against Patricia Gualinga, Nema Grefa, Salomé Aranda and Margoth Escobar. The four women are members of the Mujeres Amazónicas collective, made up of dozens of indigenous women from Ecuador who defend the environment in the Amazon and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The work of people who defend the environment, such as the Amazonian Women and other organizations of the indigenous peoples, is urgent and necessary in Ecuador and in the whole world, before the increasingly evident impacts of the global environmental crisis.

“Despite the promises made by the government of President Moreno, the lack of political will to seriously investigate the attacks against human rights defenders and to give them adequate protection sends a clear message to society: that these crimes are tolerated in Ecuador. This is unacceptable, “said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas director for Amnesty International.

The lines of investigation and the protection measures that the Ecuadorian authorities have offered to the victims seem to ignore possible motives of the attacks linked to their challenge to large-scale economic interests and to traditional gender roles, through their role as indigenous leaders. and human rights defenders.

“This attack is retaliation for my struggle to defend life and our territories against the threat of oil exploitation,” said Salome Aranda, after several strangers threatened and attacked her and her family with stones while they were at home in May 2018.

The Amazonian Women point out that the authorities in charge of investigating do not collect or analyze critical evidence in time, which could even help identify those responsible for the attacks against them. Faced with these failures, the defenders end up in practice assuming the burden of the investigation.

”We are united and we will continue in our fight for the defense of Mother Earth.”-
Patricia Gualinga, Amazonian Woman defender.

The Amazonian Women also criticize that the protection measures that they have offered are inadequate and insufficient in the face of the particular needs and the exceptional risks they face every day.

Regardless of the possible causes of these failures, their consequences on the lives of human rights and environmental defenders in Ecuador are clear and concrete. In a country where attacks against them are not punished and authorities do not assume their responsibility to guarantee their safety, many people face the permanent dilemma of risking their lives and that of their families to defend human rights and nature. .

“President Lenin Moreno and the new Attorney General, Diana Salazar, have in their hands the opportunity to put an end to this grave situation and guarantee justice and protection for the Amazonian Women and any person who defends human rights in Ecuador. For this, they must implement a national protection policy and a protocol to investigate crimes against them, “said Erika Guevara Rosas.

Despite impunity and lack of protection, Patricia Gualinga says they will not surrender: “We are united and we will continue in our fight for the defense of Mother Earth.”

by Carlita Shaw

The Silent Ecocide

#SaveTheAmazon #Valiente 👉 https://t.co/QFk98tuGcYExige a la Fiscal de Ecuador que actúe para la protección de las Mujeres Defensoras de la Amazonía firmando está petición: https://bit.ly/2ZPLvDh

Our Appetite for State of the Art technology is causing Ecocide, but most people are more concerned about the extinction of the cell phone instead

image-1
Illustration by Pawel Kuczynski

Gluttony for new technology is feeding African slavery and causing extinction of rare natural elements, a  heavier price for our insatiable consumer paradise, if we buy a new cell phone device or a laptop, we are part of this destructive predator named Capitalism, the beast of ‘First World Nations’ that is driving ecocide and modern slavery.  The predator that we feed, leaves behind a trail of destructive footprints across the planet, wherever it treads to extract and deplete, natural resources. The frightening thing is, no where on Earth is left sacred, protected or untouched any more, because Corporations are able to lobby, (legally bribe) politicians to rewrite environmental laws or any law that allows corporations to access minerals, oil, gas or any other biological resource, even in the most protected national parks, environmental laws have dwindled dramatically over the last forty years. All species, all ecosystems, all natural resources are dwindling at an exponential rate, as a result of this predatory insatiable appetite.

Every day, we dispose of over 416,000 mobile devices and 142,000 computers usually disposing of them in landfills and incinerators, where as a tiny portion are recycled, stated in a recent EPA survey. A BBC Panorama program said that every year 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste is generated worldwide.

Another EPA report reveals that by recycling one million cell phones, we can recover more than 20,000 lbs of copper, 20 lbs of palladium, 550 lbs of silver, and 50 lbs of gold. Then there are these other rare elements below that will soon be extinct, if we were able to recycle computers and cell phones without worrying about license laws, but with the care of the planetary resources in mind, we could millions of tons of reduce electronic waste each year and salvage rare elements that are becoming seriously depleted.

Diagram shows the scarcity of the elements. A new periodic table sizes the boxes for each element based on their relative abundance.  Credit: EuChemS/CC BY-ND

Our over-reliance on renewing our technological devices, is driving this unfolding ecocide, the consumerism of electrical goods such as ipads, tablets and android phones. All of these electrical devices rely on a highly unethical mining industry that uses slave labour to mine and assemble electrical products in inhumane conditions; in addition to driving the destruction of the last cloud forests home of the highly endangered Silverback Gorilla populations in Africa. This is well illustrated by the story of the Silverback Gorillas in the African Congo.

99pyu5ga1kws91ecjjkanazfstp5ietj4acvk9nvljpnusdtj6de638e8hbysgusmyhuk4qhnrucuyqtbefcg63hgqakm1retyfjxzb4cswn5w38omsi8ucrv7ncw4cqmq

The mining of Gold, Diamonds and Coltan, (Ta on the Periodic table-geological name – Columbite Tantalite), a mineral used in the microchips of every single new electronic device, cell phone or tablet and laptop, comes from the African Congo, in the Virungas National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The African Congo has a small area of biodiverse cloud forest ecosystem, where a small group of the world’s last pocket of remaining Silverback Gorillas which lend thanks to the work of Dian Fossey who was murdered on December the 26th 1985,  her work was to preserve and protect these primates, which are critically threatened with extinction from poaching and a continually eroded habitat due to these existing ‘Conflict Minerals’ being extracted in the area.  Including the mineral Coltan used for microchips,  the western greed for constantly renewing cell phones and laptops, is responsible for  this plundering. Other rare elements such as Indium are also depleting for the same reason –

Devices like computers and smartphones. Indium, for example, is a silvery metal used to create touch screens for phones and computers. According to Cole-Hamilton, the world’s indium supply is “extremely thinly spread” across the planet and could soon dry up if we continue chucking out our old devices every few years”-LiveScience

According the the European EuChemS new Periodic table on the rarest elements,  Coltan Ta is under serious threat of disappearing within the next hundred years. Coltan Tantalite is used primarily for the production of tantalum capacitors, used in every kind of electronic devices such as mobile phones.

ta

Niobium and Coltan Tantalum have a wide range of uses, including refractive lenses for glasses, cameras, phones and printers. They are also used in semiconductor circuits, and capacitors for small electronic devices such as hearing aids, pacemakers, and mp3 players, as well as in computer hard drives, automobile electronics, and surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters for mobile phones. Coltan is also used to make high-temperature alloys for jet engines and other engine  turbines.

Coltan can only be found in a few places in the world, one of which is in Australia, which was the world’s largest producer at Wodinga Tantalum mine in Western Australia, however they closed their mine in 2012 because it is cheaper to mine Coltan using child and adult slave labour in inhumane conditions in Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo and exposing these working communities to toxic chemicals. To make matters worse for the Silverback Gorillas, the SOCO International energy company are pushing to extract gas and oil reserves from under Lake Edward in the National Park. All this, at the cost of one of the last greatest African forests and majestic Gorillas which have only been given an estimated 15 years of survival amidst the adversities they face through our lack of global responsibility to better manage conservation of critically endangered species, because minerals, gold, diamonds and oil are far more important to the world than saving the Silverback Gorillas and their forest home.

The fact that global mining companies can cut corners to make a bigger profit at the expense of an entire endangered species such as the Mountain Gorilla and at the expense of hard working African miners, who are exploited slave labourers,
shows that international environmental and human rights laws are far too flimsy and ineffective.

However, the Western world conveniently lacks humanitarian and environmental ethics in business, which in turn perpetuates slavery, species extinction and ecocide. This has come so far as corporations suing and imprisoning entrepreneurs and innovators whose mere crime is to combat human waste and planned obsolescence to attempt to create sustainable solutions.

uploadscardimage776432e2c49274-e60e-4f24-bfec-9529c7a0e44d.jpg950x534__filtersquality90Eric  Lundgren, ecological entrepreneur was imprisoned for recycling computer circuit boards into reusable computers.         Image credit-David Sprague

Eric  Lundgren,  a 33 year old e-waste entrepreneur, from Los Angeles, United States, was imprisoned in 2018 for his success in a business which achieved  recycling  of 41 million pounds of e-waste each year from major corporations such as IBM and Sprint.

Microsoft took Eric Lundgren to court where he was then served a sentence of 15 months in prison and had to pay a $50,000 fine on April the 11th 2018. Microsoft’s argument was that Lundgren could potentially damage their future sales of new computers and new software licenses, the court  ruled in favour of Microsoft saying that he had infringed on Microsoft Corp. to the sum of $700,000.

Lundgren pleaded guilty, but he stated that the value of his discs to Microsoft was zero, as Microsoft, nor any computer manufacturers, sell them. He also explained that the discs could only be used to restore the software to computers already licensed for it. The licenses are good for the life of the computer.

Right-to-repair activists want legislation to remove the manufacturing and legal barriers that make it harder for consumers to fix their stuff. When people buy used devices and keep those devices working longer, fewer natural resources are needed for manufacturing and less e-waste ends up in landfills.

Planned Obsolescence needs to be revealed for what it is. People need to wake up to the damage corporations and consumers are causing to the environment and the perpetuation of slave labour, habitat destruction for mining and as a result species extinction.

 

by Carlita Shaw

The Silent Ecocide