If You Love This Planet, Dr. Helen Caldicott

Subhankar Banerjee on how corporate resource wars and global warming are decimating native peoples and forests worldwide


Banerjee (Jon Chase/Harvard News)

S. Banerjee (Jon Chase / Harvard News)

Subhankar Banerjee is an Indian-born American photographer, writer and activist. Over the past decade he has been a leading international voice on issues of arctic conservation, indigenous human rights and global warming, and over the past five years he has also been focusing on forest deaths from global warming. His photographs and writing have reached tens of millions of people around the world through exhibitions, publications and public lectures. His new book is called Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point. At the start of this interview, Dr. Caldicott refers to a September 2012 report of a massacre of members of the Yanomami Indian Tribe of the Amazon. A week after this program was recorded, the report was found to be false, yet the general situation of native peoples being displaced or killed when they stand in the way of resource extraction is an increasingly widespread scenario. Read the September 11 article, Campaign group retracts Yanomami ‘massacre’ claims. Among the topics discussed in this conversation are Dr. Caldicott’s trip down the Amazon river where she witnessed tribes uncorrupted by western civilization, Banerjee’s work with indigenous communities in the Arctic, how the mining industry and other corporations are harming native peoples globally and these crimes will increase to maintain an affluent western standard of living, the tremendous expansion of Earth-destroying mining for coal, uranium, and irone in Australia, and catastrophic forest fires and droughts induced by global warming. Read the September 2012 article Australian ‘mega mine’ plan threatens global emissions target: ‘Unprecedented’ increase in the scale of Australian mining would nullify an internationally agreed goal, Greenpeace warns. Dr. Caldicott mentions her book If You Love This Planet (revised and updated in 2009). Dr. Caldicott mentions Banerjee’s writings on the Arctic such as Ignoring Protest and Warnings, Obama Ushers in Era of Unprecedented Arctic Drilling, Shell Game in the Arctic and Resource Wars Connect Yanomami Massacre and Shell’s Arctic Drilling. Dr. Caldicott points to how oil drilling in the Arctic will cause even more global warming. Banerjee mentions his important 2010 article Why We Can’t Have Another One Hundred Years of Fossil-Digging in North America which covers five projects that he says would completely destroy the earth. Relevant to this interview is the January 2013 article ‘Smoking Gun’: Tar Sands Report Eviscerates Industry Claims. Dr. Caldicott and Banerjee also discuss why Obama capitulates to polluting industries on nearly every environmental front, including his support for the Keystone XL pipeline. Related to this point is Obama’s role as warmaker. Read Glenn Greenwald’s article The ‘War on Terror’ - by Design - Can Never End. Banerjee discusses the fall 2012 Smithsonian conference, The Anthropocene: Planet Earth in the Age of Humans about the unprecedented destruction our species is now causing on the planet. He also mentions Prof. Richard Muller of UC Berkeley. Read The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic. Also referenced is Michael Klare’s book The Race for What’s Left. Listen to Dr. Caldicott’s interview of Klare. Dr. Caldicott remarks on her attendance at a 2012 conference in Freiburg, Germany where she heard about the potential global temperature increases that may occur this century, and the implications for human life. Banerjee discusses Obama’s involvement in Arctic Ocean drilling. Read the July 2012 article Obama Is Fast-tracking an Environmental Disaster to Please Big Oil. Banerjee announces that he and global-warming expert James Hansen will give a presentation in February 2013 in Santa Fe. Later in the program, Dr. Caldicott and Banerjee discuss the role of the media in distracting the public from the environmental crisis, the need for a “citizens revolt”, and the “complete corporate takeover of democracy.” Dr. Caldicott talks about her interview with Helena Norberg-Hodge. Banerjee points to the inspiration of activist Tim DeChristopher and the need for nonviolent creative action. Listen to Dr. Caldicott’s 2011 interview of Banerjee.
For more information on the work of Banerjee, check out climatestorytellers.org and subhankarbanerjee.org.

One Response to “Subhankar Banerjee on how corporate resource wars and global warming are decimating native peoples and forests worldwide”

  1. Jens R. Jensen Says:

    This doesn’t have to be displayed on this page, but I will really appreciate it if this message can be delivered to Dr. Caldicott.

    Dear Dr. Caldicott.
    Being that this is the only way I know about to possibly get in touch with you, I take the liberty to contact you by writing here. I apologize in advance for my lousy english skills. The thing is that I’m trying to start an international organisation to mobilise people all over the world to protest against the nuclear, the chemical, and the oil industry. Of course in a legal, and non violent way. The organisation is to function totally without money. No donations, no member fees or anything like that. No one should have to pay for being safe, to have a clean world, or to have their say.
    I’m starting by making a webpage to spread information, and to use for organising demonstrations around the world. Any one can make a sign and take part in demonstrations, even if they don’t have a dime. And with a webpage where every one can see what, where, when, and why, it should be possible to arrange global demonstrations, if information about the existence of the page just can be spread effectively. All the things that scares people about the environment, their health, and seem so big that nothing can be done about it, they can protest about that way, and hopefully make a difference. We don’t have to just talk about it. We can do something active, and it will only take very little effort from each of us to do so. I will pay to keep the page running out of my own pocket, and dedicate all of my spare time to this. But of course I can’t do it all myself. As soon as the webpage is up and running I will start contacting all kinds of protest organisations around the world to see if some of their members will be interested in joining in. They have some valuable experience, and knowledge that can be very useful, when arranging the events. If I can get just a few people in each country to help arrange the events, get the permits for the demonstrations, and send information about it to me so I can put it on the webpage for every one to see, it should be possible to organise it, so protests can happen all over the world (or at least in so many countries as possible) at the same time. This should be noticed even if the press won’t report about it.
    A lot of valuable information can be found on the internet, but way to many people don’t know about it. They don’t even know that they should be looking for it. It’s necessary to take this to the streets where it can’t be covered up, and where people will start realising what is going on when the protests are clearly visible right in front of them, and where we can show all the greedy bastards who is gaining on destroying the environment, and on other peoples suffering, that enough is enough.
    Since the Fukushima disaster I have been doing a lot of writing to governments, and the press (and a lot of others) and encouraged them to first of all start telling the truth, and take action, to put pressure on the Japanese government to start treating the people and the victims af the disaster in a decent way. Get the people still living in the contaminated areas out of there, provide decent medical care to the victims, stop jamming contaminated food down peoples throat, and open up for international help, and expertise to get the plant under control, before it ends up destroying the whole northern hemisphere. I have send them loads of information about how bad the situation really is, and have encouraged them to start testing food properly, which is not being done at the moment. For instance contaminated food is being imported to Europe without proper testing, the maximum levels are way to high (of course you already know that), and the fall out over Europe is, and has been really serious, though they claim there is no danger at all. This adds to the already existing contamination from Chernobyl, and will make the cancer statistics rise even worse in the years to come. Claiming that all these matters is nothing to worry about, and not taking action, is a crime against mankind, and I’m not gonna put up with them not even answering. Therefore I have decided to do something different, and on a much larger scale. I’m aware that it can be very difficult to make this happen, maybe even down right impossible, but that is not going to stop me from trying.
    I have decided that the first event’s will be demonstrations in front of Japanese embassies in all the countries possible. This is kind of a test to see if it can be done. If I succeed in making this happen, I will move on to arrange demonstrations in front of government buildings against them covering up the truth, against them supporting the crimes the oil and nuclear industry is committing against the whole world, and against them for not doing what ever possible to avoid people eating contaminated food. I will also arrange demonstrations in front of all BP office buildings for what they are doing in the Mexican Gulf and other places. And I will do what ever possible to arrange demonstrations in front of as many news buildings, and tv stations as possible, for them being part of the cover up. I don’t think that any one has done that before, but it’s sure about time that some one did. This could really make a difference. If it could make a lot of people cancel their subscriptions, it would hit them where it really hurts: the money stream. This might make them get the message. And if the press really starts reporting the truth about whats going on, half the battle will be won.
    The reason that I write to you is that I need all the help I can get to make it happen, and maybe you can help me a little bit. If you know some people who might be interested in joining in, will you give them this email address so they can contact me? fukushimasporgsmaal@yahoo.dk. The webpage is not ready yet, I but hope to have it up and running right after new year, and I will write to you again as soon as it is. If you have a minute to take a look at it, and if you approve it’s content, maybe can mention it on the show, so a lot of people that way will know of it’s existence, it would be really helpful, and I hereby thank you in advance. I will of course advertise for your show on the page, and hopefully that way get more people to listen to your show.
    What we really need to do is to get all protest organisations around the world, no matter if they are big or small, to work together in a international cooperation. That way we can make the difference organisations have been working on for decades, while things just have kept getting worse, happen.
    I wish you the very best, and a merry christmas.
    Jens R. Jensen