Tag Archives: Belgium

GIVING A DAM

As the world’s attention, (courtesy of the mass media of course) remains focussed on the events that took place in Brussels yesterday, a number of things passed by un-noticed, buried beneath the wheels of the media juggernaut that rolls out whenever events of that nature occur.

One of those things was WORLD WATER DAY 2016, which tries valiantly to bring awareness to the very real and vitally important issue, that this planet is really struggling at the moment, to utilise adequate and safe water supplies for a growing number of people.

There is more than enough information in regard to yesterday’s events already available, both in the mass media and on the Internet, so this site can add very little that’s new, is certainly not interested in ‘click-bait’, and will not be speculating on whether the events in Belgium were a ‘False Flag’ – or whatever else is doing the rounds of the usual suspects within the alternative media.

The Outlaw will instead, highlight an article that was published in ‘National Geographic’ at the beginning of March, which attempted to bring attention to one of a number of things, that will in not too much time, undoubtably bring about catastrophic environmental changes to the world we currently live in, and may also end up having a devastating effect on all life that exists on this planet.

Which is I think, as important as anything the mass media would have you believe, as it’s been predicted for a long time, that a lack of water could at some point – bring about a global conflict that would be unprecedented in all of written human history, and make the ‘War on Terror’ look like a children’s playground scrap.

 

“An ‘unprecedented boom’ in dam construction on three of the world’s largest rivers could have dire environmental consequences”

They dominate the hydrological systems of three major continents, and collectively hold one-third of the planet’s freshwater fish species, many of which are endemic to their respective river basins.

Yet, the Amazon, Mekong and Congo rivers have also become ever more attractive to developers keen to increase the capacity for relatively low carbon hydropower energy. Until now, dam construction on all these rivers has been relatively small-scale, located only in upland tributaries. However, a new report by 40 international scientists has drawn attention to almost 450 new dams proposed for these three major rivers, with many others already being built.

The report warns of the negative environmental and economic consequences that could arise without sufficient analysis of the outcomes.

‘Major dams are usually built where rapids and waterfalls boost the hydropower potential, the same sites where many unique fish species adapted to life in fast water are found,’ explains Dr Kirk Winemiller from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Science at Texas A & M University. 

‘We wrote the paper to bring global attention to this problem, partly in hopes of stimulating research on tropical rivers, and partly to stimulate better approaches for hydropower development that balance true costs and benefits in the context of culmunative impacts.’

One key impact is the effect thus vast succession of dams will have in fish migrations. There are 2,300 known species of fish in the Amazon, around 1,000 in the Congo, and 850 in the Mekong, and the report argues that insufficient attention has been paid towards how their various migrations will be affected, and what impact this will have in the human populations dependant on these stocks for their survival.

There are also major concerns regarding how the 334 dams currently planned for the Amazon, for example, might further deteriorate a rainforest already battling against deforestation.

‘Transparency of the ramifications caused by these structures is limited,’ says Winemiller. ‘For example, Brazil’s Belo Monte complex, that is nearing completion on the Xingu River, will rank third in the world with installed capacity of 11,233MW. However, it may also set a record for biodiversity loss owing to its location.’

He also highlights the Tonle Sap in Cambodia, host to one of the most important inland fisheries, with species that migrate there from the Mekong. The inland fisheries in the Lower Mekong were recently valued at $17Billion a year, and directly support three million people in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

‘Far too often in developing countries, major hydroelectric projects are approved and begun before any serious assessments of environmental and socioeconomic impacts have been conducted,’ says Winemiller.

The report calls for dam sites to be evaluated not only for economic potential, but also for environmental sustainability, in order to prevent construction of the very worst offenders.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 

THE HUMAN ZOO

Throughout the 1950s, Africans and Native Americans 

Were Kept In European Zoos As Exhibits

By M.B. David

Throughout the early 20th century, Germany held what was termed a, “Peoples Show,” or ‘Völkerschau.’ Africans were brought in as carnival or zoo exhibits for passers-by to gawk at.

Throughout the late 19th century, and well into the 1950′s, Africans and in some cases Native Americans, were kept as exhibits in zoos.

Far from a relic from an unenlightened past, remnants of such exhibits have continued in Europe as late as the 2000′s.

Only decades before, in the late 1800′s, Europe had been filled with, “human zoos,” in cities like Paris, Hamburg, Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Milan, and Warsaw.

New York too saw these popular exhibits continue into the 20th century.

There was an average of 200,000 to 300,000 visitors who attended each exhibition in each city.

Carl Hagenbeck of Germany ran exhibits of what he called, “purely natural,” populations, usually East Asian Islanders, but in 1876, he also sent a collaborator to the Sudan to bring back, “wild beasts and Nubians.”

The traveling Nubian exhibit was a huge success in cities like Paris, London, and Berlin.

The World’s Fair, in 1889 was visited by 28 million people, who lined up to see 400 indigenous people as the major attraction.

The 1900 World’s Fair followed suit, as did the Colonial Exhibitions in Marseilles (1906 and 1922) and in Paris (1907 and 1931) which displayed naked or semi-naked humans in cages.

Paris saw 34 million people attend their exhibition in six months alone.

Just four years shy of the 20th century, the Cincinnati Zoo kept one hundred Sioux Native Americans in a mock village at the zoo for three months.

In 1906, the amateur anthropologist Madison Grant, who was the head of the New York Zoological Society, put a Congolese pygmy Ota Benga, on display at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.

The display was in the primate exhibit, and Ota was often made to carry around chimpanzees and other apes.

Eugenicist and zoo director William Hornaday labeled Ota, “The Missing Link.”

The public flocked to see the display.

Benga shot targets with a bow and arrow, wove twine, and wrestled with an orangutan.

Although, according to the New York Times, “few expressed audible objection to the sight of a human being in a cage with monkeys as companions,” controversy erupted as black clergymen in the city took great offense.

“Our race, we think, is depressed enough, without exhibiting one of us with the apes,” said the Reverend James H. Gordon, superintendent of the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum in Brooklyn.

“We think we are worthy of being considered human beings, with souls.”

In 1906, the Bronx Zoo kept Ota Benga on a human exhibit.

The sign outside of her fenced in area of the primate exhibit read, “Age, 23 years. Height, 4 feet 11 inches. Weight, 103 pounds. Brought from the Kasai River, Congo Free State, South Central Africa, by Dr. Samuel P. Verner. Exhibited each afternoon during September.”

These types of, “human zoos,” continued even later.

The Brussels 1958 World’s Fair kept a Congolese village on display.

Even as late as April 1994, an Ivory Coast village was kept as part of an African safari in Port-Saint-Père (Planète Sauvage), near Nantes, France.

In Germany, as late as 2005, Augsburg’s zoo in Germany had similar exhibits.

In August 2005, London Zoo also displayed humans wearing fig leaves, and in 2007, Adelaide Zoo housed people in a former ape enclosure by day.

They were, of course, allowed to return home at night, unlike many of the earlier incarnations of these displays.

Many people console themselves with the belief that the racism of yesterday remains safely in the past.

But the echoes of the, “human zoo,” into recent years show that this is far from the case.

THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF HUMAN ZOOS