January 31, 2017
As I was looking into what Trump will do and won’t do to preserve what’s left of the American environment, I read Robert F Kennedy Jr’s book, Crimes Against Nature.
The book not only details wholesale destruction by pollution, it offers a foundation for understanding corporate crimes.
Kennedy keeps it simple. He proclaims himself a champion of the free market—which comes as a shock, until you realize what his addendum is:
CORPORATIONS SHOULD ABSORB THE FULL COST OF MANUFACTURING THEIR PRODUCTS.
AND THAT COST INCLUDES THE HARM THEIR PRODUCTS CAUSE.
For example, if Smithfield’s giant pig farm-factories allow highly toxic open-air feces lagoons to sit in the sun and spread into the soil for miles, they should have to build sewage treatment plants at those sites to process all the waste before it escapes.
“To handle all that [pig-farm feces] waste, farmers in North Carolina use a standard practice called the lagoon and spray field system. They flush feces and urine from barns into open-air pits called lagoons, which turn the color of Pepto-Bismol when pink-colored bacteria colonize the waste. To keep the lagoons from overflowing, farmers spray liquid manure on their fields nearby. The result, says Steve Wing, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is this: ‘The eastern part of North Carolina is covered with shit’.” —National Geographic, 10/30/14
Here is what Robert F Kennedy Jr. told radio interviewer, Rachel Lewis Hilburn on 6/3/16: “…a hog produces ten times the amount of fecal waste by weight as a human being, so if you have a facility that has ten thousand hogs in it, it’s producing as much sewage as a city of a hundred thousand people. Smithfield has one plant in Utah—they call it Circle Four Farms—that has a million hogs on it, so it’s producing the same amount of waste as New York City every day.”
Get it? If a corporation releases toxic excrement across the land, part of the cost of making their product (pork, bacon, sausages) is cleaning up the land. (For more on the ‘pig-farm feces’ story, click here.)
This dictum doesn’t exonerate companies from criminal prosecution, but it forces them to understand a clearer concept of the marketplace.
Pollution becomes an element of making a product. It isn’t a “mistake” whose remedy is forever fought over after the fact.
The free market is maintained. But it doesn’t absolve corporations from paying their full rightful cost.
This would redefine what it means for a company to price its products.
“Well, if we have to pay for killing a billion fish and erasing commercial fisheries, what will we sell our electric motors for? Looks like it’ll be fifty times what we’ve been charging for them. I guess we should rethink our business model…”
Of course, offering this revised notion of the free market doesn’t mean that any major corporation will accept it. But it does create a starting point for activism that doesn’t just hand over the whole issue of pollution to the government—which leads to extremism on the other side. Kennedy isn’t saying that. I am. The government wants to make thousands of rules when they have the green light to do so; and many of the rules are inhibiting and insane for businesses.
What Kennedy is proposing isn’t perfect by any means, and he knows it. There would be inherent conflicts and battles all the way along the line. But it’s a start, as I say, and it clarifies what “free market” means.
The finished product a company makes, and the cancer and brain damage and genetic disruption that ensues, are not two separate events. The second is part and parcel of the first.
Kennedy is the head of an organization called Riverkeeper, dedicated to protecting the Hudson River. He describes journeying up the River and talking with many people whose businesses and homes and families were impacted by the gross pollution in the River. Some of these people weren’t…
Continue Reading At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.