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Satanic Mills and The Pigs of Steel

A black-hat carvoaria in Piauí — entire debt-enslaved families engaged in illegal deforestation and the defrauding of carbon-steel production standards.  

It is a shame that Brasil Econômico is hiding today’s report on the black-market carbon industry behind its pay-to-play firewall.

Although it has taken some time to get up steam, the BE — which takes the place of the late, lamented Gazeta Mercantil — thoroughly explores the proposition that specialty steels used by automakers could not be produced sustainably without Brazilian slave and child labor and black-market carbon manufacture.

To be precise, the coverage is largely based on a 7-year study by the Observatório Social, whose methods and means are closely scrutinized. The Observatório titles its report “The Steel of Devastation.” It is itself a steely-eyed and devastating document.

The Observatório describes how companies dedicated, pro forma, to the use of legally produced carbon in their production of pig-iron are really just overlooking the illegal back-door introduction of slave labor-based, environmentally predatory carbon production into the supply chain of “certified” carbon producers.

The illegal facilities are generally located some 10km from the Potemkin villages that front for them — far enough away for plausible deniability, close enough for midnight runs with unmarked trucks with no onboard manifest.

Steel producers — unlike industries that scream for the economic sense and moral rectitude of “self-regulation” — claim that oversight of standards and practices is not their responsibility, Brasil Economico reports.

Again, the real grabber here is the claim that the entire industry would not be sustainable under any other regime now practicable — such as eucalyptus plantations for carbon production — if it were not for slave labor-produced predatory deforestation.

This report really ought to be Englished, and Englished proficiently, o quanto antes.


Marina and the Greens | Plus, Big Sousaphone Solo

Newsvine | A Fair and Balanced Interview with Marina Silva by Globo. Mirabile Dictu.. That is me doing a quick bit of translation about the collision between politics and environmental policy in Brazil.

Brazil has only had a forest service for 10 years, to our 110. The obscenely well-organized agribusiness lobby is more interested in billions of hectares of monoculture sugarcane than in actual environmental preservation, despite the fact that this huge country can feed and fuel itself eleven times over:

I only contribute to these stupid churnalism sites like Newsvine — now in the hands of MSNBC, where the MS stands for Melissa Gates, board member of the Washington Post — to keep myself from succumbing to boredom. The most I ever saw in my account at the end of the month was $5, which I kept for myself and bought a good cigar with.  Back when the dollar was worth something, this was — a puro habano, even.  Continue reading

“Internationalization of the Amazon: Lula’s Surprise Counterattack”

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There’s gold in them there iron mines: Carajás, in Pará.

GEOLOGO.COM.BR is a groovy little international news service, in Portuguese, on the global mining sector.

It noted in June:

Nos últimos anos aumentou, exponencialmente, a pressão de várias entidades internacionais no sentido da internacionalização da Amazônia. Esta pressão, infelizmente, consegue influenciar uma série de decisões governamentais, nem sempre boas para o País. Sempre que o assunto é abertura de estradas, barragens, minas ou qualquer obra de porte na Amazônia, estes mesmos grupos aplicam pressões e o Governo Brasileiro, frequentemente, titubeia e acaba sucumbindo com medo das repercussões internacionais.

Pressures from various international bodies have mounted exponentially in recent years with respect to the proposed internationalization of the Amazon region. This pressure, unfortunately, has influenced a series of Brazilian government decisions, not all of them good for the country. Every time the topic of constructing new roads, levees, mines or any other large-scale infrastructure project in the Amazon arises, these same groups pressure the Brazilian government, which often vacillates and winds up giving in, fearing international repercussions.

Do ponto de vista da geologia a Amazônia encerra um potencial mineral e econômico simplesmente gigantesco. Estamos falando de petróleo e gás, do ferro, manganês, alumínio, cobre, níquel, ouro, cromo, tântalo, estanho, caulim, zinco, chumbo, prata, nióbio, terras raras, platina, diamante e das gemas…enfim de um elenco de metais e minerais de profundo interesse econômico que povoam os recantos amazônidas como o Carajás, Tapajós, Pitinga, Amapá, Roraima, Rondônia, Mato Grosso….e por aí afora. Todos ainda inexplorados, a espera de um minerador que possa converter este sonho em realidade.

From the geological point of view, the economic and mineral potential of the Amazon is simply vast. We are talking about oil and gas, manganese, aluminum, aluminum silicates, copper, nickel, gold, chromium, tantalum, tin, zinc, lead, silver niobium, rare earths, platinum, diamonds and gemstones … in short, a long list of metals and minerals that are of profound interest to the people of Amazonian regions like Carajás, Tapajós, Pitinga, Amapá, Roraima, Rondônia, Mato Grosso … and so on. All still unexplored, just waiting for a mining concern to turn the dream into a reality.

Continue reading