I was struck this morning that only days after the last Chilean miners were rescued, mining accidents happened in Ecuador and China killing 21 and trapping others. No one in the media seems to recognize our own connection and complicity in these disasters.
They mine because we buy.
Copper mines in Chile help make our air conditioners run.
Coal mines in China fuel the energy demands of their booming economy fueled primarily by the cheap we goods we continue to gobble up even in this down economy.
This gold mine in Ecuador is still mining for the precious metal which our economy is only tangentially based on anymore, a leftover from the sordid colonial history of Latin America.
An excellent article titled Capitalism didn’t save the miners points out that even though the drill bit that rescued them was crafted by All-American ingenuity and made in the USA, capitalism also created the very conditions that forces poor people to continue to pursue one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet.
Rather than continue just reporting these tragedies as tragic human disasters and ignore the reality that continues to make them happen, why don’t we take these disasters as a chance to question the prevailing assumptions and economic order that places these people in peril in Chile, Ecuador, China and Appalachia.
Photo from FT.com