Coincidentally, after reading that the world’s last Amazon rainforest is disappearing for oil profits, a review on Matt Damon’s new film “Elysium” appeared on the same page. It described the earth as gray, barren, little more than a polluted prison for all those not wealthy enough to live on the luxury space station “Elysium,” hovering a short 20-minute shuttle ride above earth. The poor are left to fight in squalid conditions, which is the deplorable situation right now for over half the world’s children.
They are poor because for the last two centuries, industrialists have been raping the earth’s resources without restoring what they took, depleting community economies as they go; it’s a form of capitalism that is so ruthless that it defies the meaning of capitalism; it benefits a few thousand people at the expense of the human race, wildlife habitats, fresh water, oceans, forests—nearly everything that makes the earth a heaven instead of a hell. Read Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” for an in-depth explanation of this parasitical model of capitalism based on corporate privatization.
The Amazon rainforest is not only valuable for its medicinal value: we need it to regenerate crops and rain as we enter the age of climate change, man-made pollution that is escalating at an alarming rate. Last week, it was reported that the earth's climate is changing more quickly today than at any time since the extinction of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, according to a new report by a pair of Stanford University researchers in the latest issue of the journal Science.