“They saw it coming!” and yet the masters of Puerto Rico’s debt allowed the island’s infrastructure to deteriorate so far, Hurricane Maria merely provided the coup de grace. Now, a month after that devastating storm, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, “unincorporated territory of the United States,” shattered in every sense, is ripe for the vulture’s picking.
It’s ‘disaster capitalism’ in its purest form, leveraging catastrophe to privatize and monopolize essential services, while gorging on aid money provided ostensibly to ease the people’s suffering. And it’s those people, says my first guest, the ones who’s needs are most dire, who’ll pay dearest.
Investigator, journalist, author, and filmmaker, Greg Palast has reported from the jagged edge of the news on both sides of the Atlantic for the better part of two decades, breaking stories for BBC flagship news program, Newsnight and The Guardian newspaper in Britain, and filing stories with the Nation Magazine and Rolling Stone stateside.
His books, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy have all resided on the New York Times’ bestseller list, while Vultures’ Picnic was named Book of the Year by BBC Newsnight Review. His latest documentary film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits is newly recut, and can be got through his website, Gregpalast.com.
Greg Palast in the first half.
And; the election of a new government in British Columbia hasn’t eased fears of expanded Liquid Natural Gas, or LNG, mining in the province. LNG means “fracking”, or hydraulic fracturing, the environmentally detrimental method currently used to extract hydrocarbons locked in rock formations beneath the surface; and, the newly ensconced NDP government is curiously quiet about the future of this most fractious industry.
In the dying days of BC’s recent elections, a group of health professionals concerned an issue posing such deleterious environmental and human health effects was not getting the media coverage it deserved rallied supporters to make of it an election issue.
Amy Lubik holds a PhD in cancer research, and is a member for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Public Health Association of BC and Bridge for Health Coop. Amy mobilized along with the BC chapter of CAPE, or the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment last April in an operation hoping to deliver a moratorium on Fracking in BC.
Following up with Dr. Amy Lubik and FRACTURED BC: Fracking, Site C, Health and Human Rights in the second half.
And; Victoria-based horticultural guru and green entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with this week’s installment of the Left Coast Events bulletin. But first, Greg Palast and Puerto Rico’s vultures.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live Thursdays, 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and streaming at: cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/ and @Paciffreepress on Twitter.