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Heythrop College, University of London, Kensington Square, London, W8 5HQ New Internationalist JULY Issue 413 Viva Yasuníí!
It was sam Martingell, one of our street campaigners, who sowed the seed for this issue. He knew two young people who were desperate to communicate the wonders of Ecuador’s Yasuníí rainforest, with a view to saving it and the cultures of its peoples from imminent destruction at the hands of oil companies. Sam put the two – Ginéés Haro Pastor and Georgina Donati – in touch with NI’s publications team. The result is a stunning photo book Yasuníí Green Gold which will be published in September. But we wanted to do more to draw attention to a potentially revolutionary proposal for tackling climate change: compensating oil-producing countries for loss of revenue as a result of their deliberately not exploiting fossil fuel reserves. Hence this month’s issue of NI, which we hope will help to explain the idea, stimulate interest, and save this ecologically crucial corner of the Western Amazon. The next few months are vital as the price of oil bites and the pressure on the Ecuadorian Government exerted by petroleum companies intensifies. But this could be the beginning of something quite momentous – a turning point not only for oil producing countries like Ecuador, but for all of us who would like to go on inhabiting this planet.
You can do your bit by sending this magazine – or a copy of the book – to a key decision-maker. See www.newint.org/yasuni Also this month we venture into a territory less common for a current affairs magazine – verse. ‘As if poetry mattered’, is how NI co-editor – and poet – Dinyar Godrej puts it, and his international selection is both refreshingly immediate and hauntingly relevant. On the subject of creativity, few manage the fusion of politics, passion and imagination as well as Billy Bragg, whose latest album we review. And to show that even those with massive clout don’t always win, we report on how the combined power of President Bush, BP, Barclays, Coca-Cola and Ford have failed to squash a multimillion dollar lawsuit accusing them of persecuting South Africans by doing business with the apartheid regime. The groundbreaking case, launched by former political prisoner Lungisile Ntsebeza and others, is profiled in this month’s Currents.
From the New Internationalist Co-operative
PS We would like to thank the Municipal Government of Orellana, Ecuador, for allowing us to use the pictures of Yasuníí that appear in this magazine.
4 endgame in the Amazon Is Ecuador’s bold proposal not to exploit a billion barrels of oil in the Yasuníí National Park a serious option for combating climate change? If so, the world is going to have to move fast, warns Vanessa Baird.
12 ‘speak to us first!’ People from the Ecuadorian rainforest tell Fabríício Guamáán what they think of their Government’s proposal to leave petroleum in the ground.
14 toxic Blocks No-one said oil was clean. But Ecuador’s experience of extracting fossil fuels is about as bad as it gets, reports David Ransom.
17 Costing the earth Adam Ma’anit navigates the snakepits of global carbon trading in the context of Yasuníí.
21 sPeCIAL FeAtURe As if poetry mattered Poems that confront human challenges – an international selection.
Regular Features 2 Letters Burma’s exploited refugees; questing ethical oil; crucifixion issues; get real about indigenous peoples. PLUS: Maria Golia tackles taboos about money in Cairo. 25 Currents The companies making a killing from the food crisis; Planktos – RIP; apartheid accomplices Coca-Cola, Barclays, BP et al are heading for court; inside China’s jails; women in Orissa, India, have ways of dealing with calamity. PLUS: Wordpower and Seriously 28 Big Bad World PLUS: NI Prize Crossword 29 Worldbeaters Presidential hopeful John McCain gets the treatment. 30 Mixed media Includes fado diva Mariza’s box of delights and Billy Bragg’s latest; a bestselling novel from Egypt inspired by taxi rides; an earthy fusion of cultures in Abdellatif Kechiche’s film from France; and, better late than never, a blackand-white classic from the US gets its release – 30 years after it was made. 32 Southern Exposure Blue eyes in a Bangalore stone quarry captured by photographer Selvaprakash L. 33 Making Waves Dheepthi Namasivayam interviews the Indian Community Welfare Organization. 34 Essay: FOK-U: The Faççade of Kindness & Understanding A seminar in effective leadership (PR & Spin) by Peter Greenwall. 36 Country profile: Timor Leste
Front cover photos: http://yasunigreengold.org Mauro Burzio. Magazine design: Andrew Kokotka. All monetary values are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise noted.