MINING, CAPITALISM, AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
October 11, 2018
Capitalism has changed how the people treat nature. The locality or geographical space where the mining is done has become a commodity. It earns from the investments of the capitalists. The way people see this area has also changed. The people from that locality view this natural resource as an opportunity to get jobs to be able to provide for the needs of their families. These factors make them have better living conditions compared to neighboring areas where there are no investments or development. From their mountains being protected areas, capitalists have turned them into productive areas while simultaneously creating problems in the community and environment. The mining industry is already threatened by climate change with the occurrences of droughts and floods. However, the foreign capitalists in Southeast Asia have the means to adapt to these changes by developing technologies to provide them the water they need during drought or the engineering solutions to facilitate the transport of equipment, supplies, and laborers during adverse conditions. But the workers, the local community, and their nation feel the harmful effects of climate change because they have not yet reached the level of development that would allow them to mitigate its effects. Mining activities have made the mountains and their surrounding areas vulnerable to climate change while the capitalists are safe in their homes in their developed countries. The politics in the particular geographical area has to ensure the protection of the interest of the people and the environment. But most of the time, laws favor those who have the power and wealth and their interests take precedence over the common good. This is the sad reality in Southeast Asia. They cannot stop mining because their economy depends on it but nature and climate change are now finally charging man for the things he has done.