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Friday, September 10, 2004

Problem, man

Ivan is heading for Jamaica (the small island south of the eastern part of Cuba). I was in Jamaica in 1991 as part of a Methodist mission team building a medical/dental clinic in Falmouth, a small, poor town about 40 miles east of Montego Bay. Very nice people. I highly recommend the documentary film Life and Debt, which I am now rewatching on a library DVD after having seen it at the Michigan Theater two years ago. It documents the catastrophic effects that "globalization" has had on Jamaica, effects just as dramatic and almost certainly more permanent than anything Ivan will dish out. Watching Jamaican dairy farmers dumping milk on the ground and selling their cows off for slaughter, because subsidized American powdered milk has been dumped on the Jamaican market at prices far below what Jamaican farmers can match, is incredibly sad. Globalization is turning a country more than able to feed itself into a dependent basket case. And that was clearly the intent of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, the WTO, and all other surrogates for the Washington imperialists. Rather than allowing Jamaicans to happily produce what they need for each other, which in paradise doesn't really require that many hours a day, the globocons have undercut local agriculture, leaving thousands of Jamaicans with no choice but to work in near-slavery conditions in the resorts or in the sweatshops of Kingston.

In any case, I hope Ivan isn't too terrible on Jamaica or Cuba, or Florida. I do see the global warming question being raised a lot more often now; how long it will take to move from the American consciousness to American behavior is anyone's guess.