How economic growth has become anti-life


An obsession with growth has eclipsed our concern for sustainability, justice and human dignity. But people are not disposable – the value of life lies outside economic development

Vandana Shiva, Friday 1 November 2013

Economic growth begins when seeds are genetically modified and patented, leading to farmers having to buy seeds every season’. Photograph: Raminder Pal Singh/EPA
Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians. It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to measure the wealth of nations, has emerged as both the most powerful number and dominant concept in our times. However, economic growth hides the poverty it creates through the destruction of nature, which in turn leads to communities lacking the capacity to provide for themselves.

The concept of growth was put forward as a measure to mobilise resources during the second world war. GDP is based on creating an artificial and fictitious boundary, assuming that if you produce what you consume, you do not produce. In effect , “growth” measures the conversion of nature into cash, and commons into commodities.

Thus nature’s amazing cycles of renewal of water and nutrients are defined into nonproduction. The peasants of the world,who provide 72% of the food, do not produce; women who farm or do most of the housework do not fit this paradigm of growth either. A living forest does not contribute to growth, but when trees are cut down and sold as timber, we have growth. Healthy societies and communities do not contribute to growth, but disease creates growth through, for example, the sale of patented medicine.

Water available as a commons shared freely and protected by all provides for all. However, it does not create growth. But when Coca-Cola sets up a plant, mines the water and fills plastic bottles with it, the economy grows. But this growth is based on creating poverty – both for nature and local communities. Water extracted beyond nature’s capacity to renew and recharge creates a water famine. Women are forced to walk longer distances looking for drinking water. In the village of Plachimada in Kerala, when the walk for water became 10 kms, local tribal woman Mayilamma said enough is enough. We cannot walk further; the Coca-Cola plant must shut down. The movement that the women started eventually led to the closure of the plant.

‘Water extracted beyond nature’s capacity to renew and recharge creates a water famine’. Photograph: Joe McNally/Getty
In the same vein, evolution has gifted us the seed. Farmers have selected, bred, and diversified it – it is the basis of food production. A seed that renews itself and multiplies produces seeds for the next season, as well as food. However, farmer-bred and farmer-saved seeds are not seen as contributing to growth. It creates and renews life, but it doesn’t lead to profits. Growth begins when seeds are modified, patented and genetically locked, leading to farmers being forced to buy more every season.

Nature is impoverished, biodiversity is eroded and a free, open resource is transformed into a patented commodity. Buying seeds every year is a recipe for debt for India’s poor peasants. And ever since seed monopolies have been established, farmers debt has increased. More than 270,000 farmers caught in a debt trap in India have committed suicide since 1995.

Poverty is also further spread when public systems are privatised. The privatisation of water, electricity, health, and education does generate growth through profits . But it also generates poverty by forcing people to spend large amounts of money on what was available at affordable costs as a common good. When every aspect of life is commercialised and commoditised, living becomes more costly, and people become poorer.

Both ecology and economics have emerged from the same roots – “oikos”, the Greek word for household. As long as economics was focused on the household, it recognised and respected its basis in natural resources and the limits of ecological renewal. It was focused on providing for basic human needs within these limits. Economics as based on the household was also women-centered. Today, economics is separated from and opposed to both ecological processes and basic needs. While the destruction of nature has been justified on grounds of creating growth, poverty and dispossession has increased. While being non-sustainable, it is also economically unjust.

The dominant model of economic development has in fact become anti-life. When economies are measured only in terms of money flow, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the rich might be rich in monetary terms – but they too are poor in the wider context of what being human means.

Meanwhile, the demands of the current model of the economy are leading to resource wars oil wars, water wars, food wars. There are three levels of violence involved in non-sustainable development. The first is the violence against the earth, which is expressed as the ecological crisis. The second is the violence against people, which is expressed as poverty, destitution and displacement. The third is the violence of war and conflict, as the powerful reach for the resources that lie in other communities and countries for their limitless appetites.

Increase of moneyflow through GDP has become disassociated from real value, but those who accumulate financial resources can then stake claim on the real resources of people – their land and water, their forests and seeds. This thirst leads to them predating on the last drop of water and last inch of land on the planet. This is not an end to poverty. It is an end to human rights and justice.

Nobel-prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen have admitted that GDP does not capture the human condition and urged the creation of different tools to gauge the wellbeing of nations. This is why countries like Bhutan have adopted the gross national happiness in place of gross domestic product to calculate progress. We need to create measures beyond GDP, and economies beyond the global supermarket, to rejuvenate real wealth. We need to remember that the real currency of life is life itself.


Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2013: Vandana Shiva – Growth = Poverty

Published on 10 Nov 2013
When natural resources like timber, water and mineral deposits can be extracted from ecosystems, they become assets with dollar values that can be bought and sold internationally and enable developing countries to grow and participate in the global economy. If growth is the key to emerging from poverty, then this might seem like a good thing. But what if these same resources being sold to richer nations come from an ecosystem that people depend on for their livelihood? What if new growth is actually proportional to the creation of new poverty?

The cult of ‘growth’ has dictated policy for decades. But if well-being, not growth, is our goal, selling resources that bring long term wellbeing to communities for short term gain is a very bad deal. Hard as it may be for the West to understand, protecting the ecological resources of communities might be more important than GDP figures.

Vandana Shiva holds a PhD in physics, but is best known as an environmental, and anti-globalisation activist and as a leading figure of ‘ecofeminism.’ Shiva is based in India and is the author of over twenty books, including Staying Alive and Biopiracy. She is a former recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize.

Chair: Simran Sethi is an award-winning Indian American journalist. She is currently undergoing a research fellowship at the University of Melbourne in Australia on the loss of agricultural biodiversity in our food system.

Israel Steals Gaza’s Offshore Natural Gas: $15 Billion Deal with Jordan



Photo: “Gaza electricity; ‘enemy of the (Jewish) state’” wrote the Middle East Online during the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead.

While Gazans suffer from daily power shutdowns, Israel is signing an important deal to sell gas to Jordan, gas which, researchers say, was stolen from Palestinians.

In addition to confiscating Palestine’s energy resources, Israel has destroyed Gaza’s only power station in its latest military offensive.

On July 29, 2014, RT reported:

Over a million people in Gaza could be without electricity after Israeli tank shells hit the fuel depot of the enclave’s only power station, causing it to shut down. Its director, Mohammed al-Sharif, said, “The power plant is finished.” (Gaza’s only power plant shut down by Israeli shelling, RT, July 29, 2014)

The Middle East Monitor reported September 4, 2014 that a Memorandum of Understanding ”is due to be signed between Israel and Jordan in the reservoir of…

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Bacteria from US threatening the Mediterranean


Very disturbing information has emerged recently in several foreign news outlets: the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is threatening to destroy the centuries-old olive trees in Italy. According to The Daily Mail newspaper, the microbe, which was previously located only in America, has already infected 800,000 olive trees in the municipality of Salento, located in the Italian province of Apulia.

The province produces more than a third of the national harvest of olives, i.e. about 11 million tons of olives per year. The produced varieties of olive oil in Apulia are among the best in the world. The epidemic has already cost the producers nearly 250 million Euros and it is expected that losses will only continue to increase. As noted by Angelo Corsetti, the representative of the Italian agricultural organization Coldiretti, the Italian olive oil producers now need to create a sanitary zone covering an area of 8,000 hectares, where olive trees will have to be destroyed.

Concern about the spreading of the Xylella fastidiosa epidemic is also being expressed by olive oil producers in other Mediterranean countries: by Southern European countries (particularly in Greece, Spain and France), North African countries (Tunisia and Morocco) and Middle East states, where the cultivation of olive trees is a centuries-old tradition and remains the foundation of agricultural production.

According to experts, the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa of the class Gammaproteobacteria is a serious pathogen of plants and earlier was never located in the Mediterranean area, coming there from America. It is located in 30 US states, mainly Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Texas, Virginia and several other states.

According to US experts, the pathogen attacks not only olive trees, but also a number of grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This fact has already caused increasing concern on the part of wine producers in the entire Mediterranean, afraid that the epidemic will spread to their vineyards.

In addition, a very dangerous situation involving the spreading of the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium has developed in the banana market. The banana fungus epidemic has already ruined plantations in Southeast Asia and is now spreading to the Middle East and Africa, threatening the global banana market. Affected is the root system of banana trees of the Cavendish variety, which accounts for 95% of global exports. Traces of the disease have been discovered in Latin America, Jordan and Mozambique.

According to the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), the first indications of the olive tree epidemic appeared in southern Italy in mid-October 2013, when a member of the general public posted a message about this on his Facebook page. Several independent sources have pointed out that the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria were brought to Europe from the USA through imported vines and the German corporation BAYER has even created a computer code for the bacterium: XYLEFA.

In such circumstances, European farmers are wondering why the EU authorities did not take timely action to prevent and localize the Xylella fastidiosa epidemic. Why were they, as of late carried away by political games and sanction policies in line with the anti-Russian policy in Washington, not concerned about the domestic problems of European farmers and why did they not impose tougher quarantine policies for agricultural products contaminated with the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa? As a result the financial losses from this epidemic are only increasing. European observers are under the impression that no one is carrying out a thorough investigation on how the EU contamination of agricultural products began by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, and who should be responsible for the blunders. Under present conditions, only food speculators are raising prices and rubbing their hands.

Experts and farmers of the Mediterranean are also trying to figure out why the United States, actively developing its biological defense system (BDS) on its own territory and abroad, failed to timely localize the spreading of the epidemic, since, to some extent, the US bears responsibility for allowing the epidemic to spread beyond its borders. Previously, the bacterium was located only on the American continent.

By constantly expanding the BDS, the United States is actively connecting new states to the program and in 2012 alone spent more than 60 million dollars for these purposes. In recent years, the White House has engaged several countries to the program, which involves several hundred Pentagon created biological laboratories located abroad; the countries include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, India, Iraq, Tanzania, South Africa, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The people of these countries cooperating with the United States under the BSO program are not being informed of the Pentagon’s secret projects in this field. Work under the BDS program is carried out with the active participation of the Pentagon and American intelligence services. And the result, as is the case with the spreading of the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium, makes you wonder about the genuine goals and directions of the BDS program implemented by the US government and paid for by American taxpayers.

Vladimir Platov, Middle East expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


Why I’ve put this article under this Blog I’ll make clear to you.
When I read this article, immediately there were ringing several bells in me:
* The olive agriculture, industry and export of the Gaza Strip, constantly being destroyed by Israel
* (Heinrich” Kissinger with his war againsts humanity by foodcontrol
* Biological warfare!
* Economical Warfare!

So therefore some video’s and documents, which makes clear, that it’s not only my ringing between my ears!

Israeli Soldiers Shooting at Farmers in Abassan Jedida

Gaza’s olive industry continues to suffer amid the Israeli blockade

Israeli Solider Attacking Civilians while Harvesting Olives

Published on 9 Aug 2014
Israeli Soldiers and settlers attacked Palestinian civilians while they were harvesting the olives in Jallod Village near Nablus on 21st of October 2011. I was Surprised that the Soldiers started shooting at us live bullets and tear gas on the civilians. I told them We are leaving, and their response was more violence toward us. I was with a group of children, and the worse thing was that i heard their voice crying and could not do anything.

Free Gaza: olive picking under shooting by israeli army

Uploaded on 23 Oct 2008
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) announced on Sunday that it would take part in olive picking along the Gaza-Israeli border lines to help Palestinian farmers pick their olive trees without fear.

In a statement, emailed to press, the ISM confirmed that its upcoming action would be focused in the southeastern parts of the Gaza Strip as well as in the north of Gaza, where the movement has established contacts with local farmers.

The ISM will take part in picking olive trees for the next several weeks in a bid to send out a message of support and solidarity with Palestinian farmers who are subject to Israeli gunshots near border lines with Israel, the statement read.

In June of this year, the Israeli army set a buffer zone along the Gaza-Israel border lines in eastern Gaza, where Palestinian residents are prohibited to move within a range of 300 meters.

Many of the Palestinian farmers who own farm lands in said areas have been exposed to Israeli army gun fire over the past four months.

Approximately 10 percent of the Gaza Strip area has been razed by the Israeli army from the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in 2000 to the end of 2007, according to the Almizan Center for Human Rights in Gaza.

Video made by Fida,

By Vik, italian blogger in Gaza:

“Farmers and Eaters Unite!”

Henry Kissinger’s 1974 Plan for
Food Control Genocide

Henry Kissinger’s 1974 Plan for Food Control Genocide…1995.html#link

“Kissinger’s 1974 Plan for Food Control Genocide
by Joseph Brewda
Dec. 8, 1995

On Dec. 10, 1974, the U.S. National Security Council under Henry Kissinger completed a classified 200-page study, “National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” The study falsely claimed that population growth in the so-called Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) was a grave threat to U.S. national security. Adopted as official policy in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, NSSM 200 outlined a covert plan to reduce population growth in those countries through birth control, and also, implicitly, war and famine. Brent Scowcroft, who had by then replaced Kissinger as national security adviser (the same post Scowcroft was to hold in the Bush administration), was put in charge of implementing the plan. CIA Director George Bush was ordered to assist Scowcroft, as were the secretaries of state, treasury, defense, and agriculture.

The bogus arguments that Kissinger advanced were not original. One of his major sources was the Royal Commission on Population, which King George VI had created in 1944 “to consider what measures should be taken in the national interest to influence the future trend of population.” The commission found that Britain was gravely threatened by population growth in its colonies, since “a populous country has decided advantages over a sparsely-populated one for industrial production.” The combined effects of increasing population and industrialization in its colonies, it warned, “might be decisive in its effects on the prestige and influence of the West,” especially effecting “military strength and security.”

NSSM 200 similarly concluded that the United States was threatened by population growth in the former colonial sector. It paid special attention to 13 “key countries” in which the United States had a “special political and strategic interest”: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. It claimed that population growth in those states was especially worrisome, since it would quickly increase their relative political, economic, and military strength.

For example, Nigeria: “Already the most populous country on the continent, with an estimated 55 million people in 1970, Nigeria’s population by the end of this century is projected to number 135 million. This suggests a growing political and strategic role for Nigeria, at least in Africa.” Or Brazil: “Brazil clearly dominated the continent demographically.” The study warned of a “growing power status for Brazil in Latin America and on the world scene over the next 25 years.”

Food as a weapon

There were several measures that Kissinger advocated to deal with this alleged threat, most prominently, birth control and related population-reduction programs. He also warned that “population growth rates are likely to increase appreciably before they begin to decline,” even if such measures were adopted.

A second measure was curtailing food supplies to targetted states, in part to force compliance with birth control policies: “There is also some established precedent for taking account of family planning performance in appraisal of assistance requirements by AID [U.S. Agency for International Development] and consultative groups. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases in food demand, allocation of scarce PL 480 resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production. In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion.”

“Mandatory programs may be needed and we should be considering these possibilities now,” the document continued, adding, “Would food be considered an instrument of national power? … Is the U.S. prepared to accept food rationing to help people who can’t/won’t control their population growth?”

Kissinger also predicted a return of famines that could make exclusive reliance on birth control programs unnecessary. “Rapid population growth and lagging food production in developing countries, together with the sharp deterioration in the global food situation in 1972 and 1973, have raised serious concerns about the ability of the world to feed itself adequately over the next quarter of century and beyond,” he reported.

The cause of that coming food deficit was not natural, however, but was a result of western financial policy: “Capital investments for irrigation and infrastucture and the organization requirements for continuous improvements in agricultural yields may be beyond the financial and administrative capacity of many LDCs. For some of the areas under heaviest population pressure, there is little or no prospect for foreign exchange earnings to cover constantly increasingly imports of food.”

“It is questionable,” Kissinger gloated, “whether aid donor countries will be prepared to provide the sort of massive food aid called for by the import projections on a long-term continuing basis.” Consequently, “large-scale famine of a kind not experienced for several decades—a kind the world thought had been permanently banished,” was foreseeable—famine, which has indeed come to pass.

To read the entire NSSM 200 document, click here.

Alternative forms of Biological warfare:

Weapons of Mass Destruction:

Search for: “Xylella fastidiosa” [Ctrl+F]

Plant pathogens as biological weapons against agriculture

Sunday Aug.17, 2014

The Resources Israel Blockades from Gaza Will Shock You | Think Tank