UNSUSTAINABLE MINING: HOW CAPITALISM HAS ENDANGERED THE LIVES OF THE POOR
December 10, 2019
The Philippines is a developing country that is rich in natural resources. Mining is one of its top industries and laws in this country allow foreign companies to explore and operate mining activities in its domain. Mining, which is one of the main industries of the richest countries in the world, contributes to climate change with their use of energy in excavating different parts of the mountain regions. The Philippine mining law allows mining companies to adopt a mountain.
Companies can reforest and take care of the mountains where they quarry. But this also gives capitalists and mining companies exclusive control of its use and development and can lead to exploitation of the natural resources to maximize their profits. Misuse and abuse of nature in this particular geographical space put the local community at higher risk for the harmful effects of climate change. Some of the mountains where miners operate are also the ancestral domains of the indigenous peoples.
The indigenous peoples are displaced from their natural environment which makes them very vulnerable. When the effects of climate change hit their land, many lives are at stake because the people have no shelter, especially during extreme weather conditions.
Capitalism furthered inequality in an expanding pattern. In this example, we can see how the problems in the local community can reach a national scale. The workers are at risk of losing their jobs once mining companies pull out their investments and they would lack the means to provide for their families. Possible flooding could affect the local community and adjacent areas.
They could lose their homes, properties, and even lives when disaster strikes. Being a Third World country, the Philippines does not have enough resources to mitigate the effects of climate change in their society. Thus, we can see how capitalism has affected their part of the world and their capacity to cope with climate change.