By Will Watson, Ph.D.
Long Beach, MS
December 18, 2011
(This is reprinted here with permission from a letter also sent to the Sun Herald (Gulfport) and the Clarion Ledger (Jackson).
Time’s designation of The Protestor as “Person of the Year” makes perfect sense.
On every hand, the world’s ruling elite aggrandize their power and wealth while the planet dissolves into social carnage and climate chaos. Even in the USA, the evidence of this is overwhelming.
Almost 50 per cent of Americans now live near or below the poverty threshold. 15-20% of Americans face hunger on a regular basis. Without social security, unemployment compensation, food stamps, and the like, conditions would resemble the Great Depression. Yet corporate-funded conservatives work to shred the social safety net and push for lower taxes for corporations and millionaires. The US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision will transform American elections into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street and Koch Brothers Oil. But no Wall Street “banksters” have gone to jail for wrecking the economy.
Meanwhile, the collusion of corporate and state power recalls Mussolini’s definition of fascism: “perfected corporatism”. Oil companies, for instance, practically bribe Congress to pass carbon-heavy energy policies that spell disaster for the climate. Record amounts of CO2 were pumped into the atmosphere in 2010, and the number of billion dollar US weather-related disasters, almost certainly driven by global warming, hit an all-time high in 2011. Yet big oil demands that the President permit the Keystone XL and detonate the largest carbon bomb in North America, the Alberta tar sands.
In Mississippi, corporate power and state power collude on such ecocidal and extravagant “development” as Mississippi Power’s Kemper County boondoggle. Commercially unworkable wherever attempted, MPC’s “clean coal” scam will raise residential rates by 45% and includes a massive, filthy strip mine that will poison the Pascagoula River headwaters. Meanwhile Coast elites blow Katrina and BP-spill restoration funds on parking lots, a dolphin prison, and a megalomaniacal port expansion that will turn central Gulfport into a combination traffic jam and pollution sink.
Whew! Given all that, if you’re not ready to protest, you’re not paying attention.
Will Watson, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi (Long Beach) and has studied this project in great detail. He has coauthored with Julia O’Neal an extensive “White Paper” which was submitted to the Department of Energy in 2010 prior to DOE’s approval of a 300 million dollar grant and loan guarantees for this atrocity. Readers can access a copy from another post made here.