Concrete infrastructure, Hereford. Access for all, emissions and ecological destruction for several lifetimes. Photo by me.

 

“Court blocks Lafarge bid to scrap Syria crime against humanity charge” 

Ah, yes, those corporate men who pay lip service to equity and resilience. Who might abuse those surviving under the most extreme circumstances?

Please, let me point out that, according to Carbon Brief and other well-known carbon data analysis organisations, concrete (largely Portland cement) accounts for 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions

 

EIGHT PERCENT

 

not accounting for any other mineral or ecological extractions required along supply and demand chains.  Lafarge is top of the pops in the game of global concrete. And the Americans lap it up, by far the biggest importer of the stuff.

By comparison, aviation accounts for just 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions (still, not to be ignored).

Let’s be careful driving forward any “Green New Deal” infrastructure purported to protect the most vulnerable and to facilitate a new era of ecological and “zero” emissions in daily life, without looking with intense scrutiny at the land (LIFE), materials, and energy extracted and used-up in that mission. We (all life) can no longer afford to make the same mistakes in this damnation of an Anthropocene.

Should such an ethic be nobbled by those who celebrate the green dollar or pound sterling under the disguise of jobs and equity? It’s not hard to imagine, at scale. “Eco”modernists are persistently very sneaky and content to gaslight us all with their sympathies to various causes or concern for the expediency of “compromise” under time pressures. I’m rather sick of it. So will be those suffering at the frontline of extreme climate change and the ones who will suffer down the line.

What is good for LIFE comes, by nature, in flows. Concrete blocks flow, or at least it slows it down a thousandfold and more until it breaks down with the same forces that break down rock. Let’s stop with the concrete, even when it comes to rising sea levels, coastal “protection,” and river flooding. All we are doing, yet again, is knocking problems downstream in time and space. There are alternatives; ancient proven methods. They may not be so easily commodified (eg rammed earth), but they exist, bioregionally.

Concrete (French, Chinese, Green New Deals), wherever it is poured as if from an infinite tap, is an experiment that has failed and will continue to fail. Just like fossil fuels.

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