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The Coronavirus Is Devastating Already Devastated Communities

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/18/coronavirus-devastating-already-devastated-communities

Another Cancer Alley that’s not been mentioned nationally is right here in Port Huron and towns downriver, including Walpole Island, an Anishinabe Reserve, along with a much smaller one just south of Sarnia. Industry built up Chemical Valley in Sarnia, because it was an intersect point between water, rail, and road transportation. They make some really nasty stuff there. The cancer rate is St Clair County is the highest per capita in the state, along with asthma and COPD. I developed asthma within a year after moving here. Most of my neighbors developed cancer. (So far, so good…) Spills, leaks, fires, you name it. One year lightning struck a holding tank, causing it to explode and catch other tanks on fire.
Other “working” rivers on Turtle Island have similar cancer hot spots. And, we’re also a Covid hot spot here in Michigan.
Poison draws poison to it. Here’s another cancer hot spot that’s never been publicized-northwest Ohio’s limestone industry small towns. Big old open air quarries deep enough to poison the shallow aquifers that surrounding farms draw on, not to mention the hills of tailings leaching chemicals into the soil and groundwater. Did I mention the area is relatively poor?

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The Klondike Gold Rush was over 100 years ago and occurred in a pristine area in Canada’s Northern Wilderness. This long before the boom in the petrochemical and chemical industry where toxins manufactured as a matter of course.

The area is still not recovered. They used arsenic and the like to leech the gold from the rock and that area still has high levels of arsenic.

Now this is small potatoes when compared to what occurs around all of those Chemical plants and in the Appalachians and the tarsands in Northern Alberta but it helps to demonstrate how long those toxins will remain with us.

The Corporations responsible will never bear the costs of cleanup. It just more of that externalized costs under which Capitalism operates. There are only a handful of Corporations in the entire world that would remain profitable if they had to bear the full costs of the destruction they wreak on the environment. Capitalism is a failure. It a cheat. It does not create wealth, it just shovels the costs of operations onto our ecosystems. It only creates “monetary” wealth by destroying the natural wealth of the world around us.

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