War Against Nature in an Age of Austerity

My October started with the ‘Science and Environment Communication’ section at ECREA (European Communications Research and Education Association) conference in Hamburg. Four days of research presentations mostly focused on our abysm failure to protect the ecological health of this planet and to communicate to the public the scope of the problem left me completely deflated. One possible good outcome could be the formation of an International Association of Environmental Communicators, which could function as a body to expose the avalanche of misinformation and deception practiced by corporate entities who have an interest in a certain mis-representation of nature.

On my return I dragged old friends out to the Crude Awakening action on October 16th. The day was a success. A few days later, the revelation that the police had planted an informer to pose as a friend for almost a decade in our community set shockwaves through activist’s networks. This discovery of a long term police i nformant demonstrates the extraordinary lengths the state will now go to in order to spy on environmentalists.

Protests  and resistance to the brutal austerity cuts started in earnest while the government announced plans to dismantle the social and environmental agencies. Corporate tax evaders such as Vodaphone have been let off the hook and the banks continue to benefit from the huge transfer of public wealth into their coffers while all agencies working towards protecting the natural world have been severely cut or eliminated.

The cuts demonstrate that the austerity measures are truly warfare of the financial and corporate elites against those without political power – including Nature. The cuts take the war against Nature into a new realm in this country. We will find it even more difficult to protect Nature’s interests now that those agencies established to describe her needs are being eliminated.

The sum effect of the events this month would be deeply demoralizing if it were not for the protests movements that have resisted and demonstrated that we will not allow government to destroy the social infrastructure and institutions needed to safe-guard the environment.





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