September 2014

The absurdity of gold

This month we take a look at our crazy lust for the shiny yellow metal. Once tied to our currency, gold now floats free in value, completely unconnected to any actual use to us in our daily lives. Dipping yesterday, zooming up today, tomorrow who knows?

Best buy some just in case. Store it away for a rainy day. People steal it, kill for it, destroy entire eco-systems to get their hands on it. It’s not for nothing it’s called the gold rush. We are now mining more of the stuff than ever before. Its soaring value is turning even remote and difficult mining sites into viable 'ore'. In an era when we desperately need to rethink core notions of growth and our unsustainable ecological footprint, we are intensifying destructive goldmining for no other purpose than to make a few people rich.

Features include:
- The myth of ethical gold
- Bunker economics
- India's love of gold
- The psychology of our attraction
- All that glitters - history and future
- Decision time: water or gold?

今月のNew Internationalistでは、光り輝く金属に対する人間の欲望に焦点を当てる。かつては通貨と連動していた金相場であるが、現在の相場は関連せずに動き、実生活とは何のつながりもなくなっている。その相場は毎日変動し、明日どうなるのかは誰にも分からない。









Stories making the news this month
6 Children swept up in Egyptian repression
6 Solomon Islands’ environmental tussle
7 Lost identities
7 Censorship resurgent in Serbia
7 Introducing Joko Widodo
8 Swedish far-right power bid
8 Migrant-baby court battle in Australia
9 Burmese monks’ assault on interfaith love
9 The big Greek beach sell-out
PLUS: Scratchy Lines by cartoonist Simon Kneebone and Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Big Story
10 Stop the gold rush
The value we place on this yellow metal is absurd – and dangerous, argues Richard Swift.

14 Gold – the facts

15 Churning up the cloud forest
Roxana Olivera on a Peruvian community’s struggles to defend its rights against a mining corporation’s dirty tricks.
16 The myth of ethical gold
Certification schemes notwithstanding, clean gold is a bit of a scam, says Stephanie Boyd.

18 A tale of two Indias
How sinking cash into gold is rocking the country’s economy and deepening the wealth divide, by Jaideep Hardikar.

20 A 10-step plan to end gold addiction

22 View from the ridge
Jewellery designer Jane Theobald’s meditation on the true price of the shiny stuff.

24 Bunker economics
Philip Pilkington on the delusion of worshipping the gold standard.

28 An indivisible and living whole, from the mountains to the sea
In New Zealand, one river now has the legal rights of a person. By Jen Wilton.
Mixed Media
34 Film reviews
Mystery Road, directed by Ivan Sen; Two days, One Night, directed by Jean-
Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

35 Music reviews
Bloody Rain by Sarah-Jane Morris; The Island of Dr Electrico by The Bombay Royale.

36 Book reviews
S Street Rising by Ruben Castaneda; Nowhere People by Paulo Scott; How to be Alone by Sara Maitland; Adventures in the Anthropocene by Gaia Vince.
PLUS: Also out there…

32 Chris Coltrane
Buy a share in the fun.
PLUS: Polyp’s Big Bad World cartoon.

33 Mark Engler
Why is college so damned expensive?

32 Kate Smurthwaite
Cupcakes can fuck off .
PLUS: Polyp’s Big Bad World cartoon

4 Letters

5 Letter from Bangui
Ruby Diamonde finds herself in a town with deep scars and an uncertain future.

26 Country Profile: Mauritania

29 Making Waves: desmond D’Sa Veronique Mistiaen meets the South African environmental justice crusader.

30 Southern Exposure Special Co-founder Shahidul Alam looks back at 25 years of the groundbreaking Drik photo agency, and rediscovers some iconic images.

38 And Finally
Comedian and activist Josie Long tells Jo Lateu about her passion for social justice and extols the joy of cold-sea swimming.




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