". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Niger Delta's Half A Century Of Oil Catastrophes

Finally, some major media outlet makes the connection between the oil corps' destruction of the Niger and the Gulf of Mexico, which has been going on in Nigeria for many decades, which is larger, and which no one has minded.

From the UK Guardian, naturally -- not any media in the U.S:

It is impossible to know how much oil is spilled in the Niger delta each year because the companies and the government keep that secret. However, two major independent investigations over the past four years suggest that as much is spilled at sea, in the swamps and on land every year as has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico so far.

One report, compiled by WWF UK, the World Conservation Union and representatives from the Nigerian federal government and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, calculated in 2006 that up to 1.5m tons of oil – 50 times the pollution unleashed in the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster in Alaska – has been spilled in the delta over the past half century. Last year Amnesty calculated that the equivalent of at least 9m barrels of oil was spilled and accused the oil companies of a human rights outrage.

According to Nigerian federal government figures, there were more than 7,000 spills between 1970 and 2000, and there are 2,000 official major spillages sites, many going back decades, with thousands of smaller ones still waiting to be cleared up. More than 1,000 spill cases have been filed against Shell alone.

Last month Shell admitted to spilling 14,000 tonnes of oil in 2009. The majority, said the company, was lost through two incidents – one in which the company claims that thieves damaged a wellhead at its Odidi field and another where militants bombed the Trans Escravos pipeline.
So why are we surprised at what BP Oil Criminals are being allowed to do in the Gulf of Mexico? We've already been trained that the destruction and disappearance of entire eco systems and regions -- and even cities -- by Big Corps, particularly by Big Oil and Big Banking -- is perfectly acceptable. It's been going on since at least Nixon, here in the U.S., and certainly, long before that, all over other parts of the world.


New Orleans Ladder said...

Hey Fox,
Wish I'da gotten to this one sooner. Can you put me on some sort of Drip Feeder?
We got you hangin'5X5 though on todays Ladder.
Ahem, I have decided to thump me some Wonkette! Grrrrr, pull my chain.
All woik and no play makes Editilla a pissy junk yard dog.
Hey, did you check your emails for my email about emails?
We may have to start moving fast so let's all get on the same oil-soaked hurricane blown page.

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder

Foxessa said...

I did, and you shoulda received the response. The info has been forwarded. Many, many thanks. I know you all were busy on Sunday with the demonstration and so on. In the rain.

Much love.