Images via – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasuni_National_Park
The latest environmental catastrophe seems inevitable as the relentless quest for oil continues in areas that really should remain untouched The Ecuadorian government – in debt to the Chinese for $9 billion in loans – is currently planning to auction a vast swathe – more than 11,500 square miles of -pristine rain forest – to oil companies competing for the rights.
For years, big corporations have been steadily clearing forest to make way for beef ranchers – illegal cattle ranching continues to represent a huge threat, but now oil interests could make the situation much worse, despite Ecuadorian government sources stating unequivocally that the oil blocks on offer will be developed under strict sustainability guidelines.
Anybody can see clearly that the companies involved will cause major devastation – and even though the debt mountain is huge for the authorities, they should perhaps take note of what is happening in Peru, where the government has now declared a state on national emergency – in a remote Amazon area where one of the country’s largest oil fields is located.
This is because Argentinian oil company Pluspetrol drilling operations, allied to very slack regulation by the authorities, has led to contamination in the Ecuadorian border Pastaza river basin, where high levels of barium, lead, chrome and other compounds found in the soil and are poisoning the local people. Pluspetrol has been given 90 days to clean it up, but realistically it will take years, id indeed it ever can be truly cleansed.
Alarmed environmentalists in Ecuador, alongside indigenous groups, are fighting the proposed sale, claiming rightly that Chinese auction participation would be against both international law and green credit guidelines, but the massive debts incurred by the country in recent years need addressing, and the oil rights may be their only way out. The price that must be paid would be catastrophically high for the whole world, but may be one that inevitably has to be paid.
I have been writing for pleasure for half a century, but only started writing for money around 1994. Since then I have had a few thousand articles, stories and poems published on line and in print all round the world.
I am now 63 years old, male, from Burnley in the UK, and apart from writing, I love to read - mainly crime thrillers, conspiracy theory books and science fiction, though I also love films, gardening and chatting with my wife who is also my best friend.
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