Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Defend Nature. Support the Tribes. Remove Buffet's Dams on the Klamath River

Klamath Tribes News


The salmon was put here by the Creator for our use as part of the cycle of life. It gave to us, and we, in turn, gave back to it through our ceremonies… Their returning meant our continuance was assured because the salmon gave up their lives for us. In turn, when we die and go back to the earth, we are providing that nourishment back to the soil, back to the riverbeds, and back into that cycle of life. Carla HighEagle, Nez Perce


Richard Mellor

Afscme Local 444, retired



I find the megastore Costco to be very depressing. I don’t have a membership and would rather shop at my local grocery for many of my needs, I was there accompanying someone else. It just imprints on my mind the overconsumption and eventual waste that is produced in the US that consumes about 25% of the world’s energy with 5% of the population last time I checked. I was, astounded at the size of food portions when I first came here, and the waste. It’s no wonder we have an obesity problem and US fast food outlets export that disease worldwide.


I wanted some salmon as, second to sardines, it’s one of the best fish to eat, that’s important to me as I have heart issues. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t find wild salmon anywhere, everything was farm raised. After seeing the documentary Artifishal that I urge readers to watch, even when these vendors say “wild caught” that does not mean it is fish raised in nature, in its natural habitat. In the documentary there is a scene of two---food scientists I guess----in a river catching a male and female salmon. They take the eggs from the female the sperm from the male and mix them in one of their vats. When the fish reach a certain age they release them in to the wild.

The problem is that they are genetically different and often carry diseases and such. They don’t eat what wild salmon eat that’s for sure. Watch the documentary and share it. So real wild salmon are threatened by the release of these farm raised fish, their existence is not strengthened by it but undermined by it.


One of the major problems is that the rivers that salmon use to return to their breeding grounds are blocked by dams. All the experts and scientists working in the interests of capital or those who are well intentioned but limit their solutions to those that maintain a system of food production that is driven by profit and not social needs, that refuse to demand the taking of this industry in to public ownership and management and out of private for-profit hands will see their efforts fail. At some point, wild salmon will be extinct if this is not done.


And it is not only the salmon that are threatened. Here in California and the West Coast, Native American tribes are in the forefront of the struggle to save the Salmon which has been a major source of food for them for thousands of years.


The fish is not simply food, it occupies a special place in the religious and cultural practices.   The Sahaptin people of the Columbia River basin call the salmon “wy-kan-ush.”:

From a tribal legend, we learn that when the Creator was preparing to bring forth people onto the earth, He called a grand council of all creation. From them, He asked for a gift for these new creatures—a gift to help the people survive, since they would be quite helpless and require much assistance from them all. The very first to come forward was Salmon, who offered his body to feed the people. Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission


In every part of the planet where humans lived near the seas, the Salmon is or has been a central part of their culture. From the Sami, the indigenous peoples of Northern Europe to the Ainu in Japan, or the Inuit in Canada or the ancient tribes of Hibernia and Ireland.


In the Klamath River basin in Northern California Native tribes have been waging a decades long war to have four obsolete dams removed that would restore the salmon runs and keep their culture alive.


For all of us, saving salmon and fighting to save the environment is not simply to save a food source but about preserving human history and learning from tribal cultures that are still with us as opposed to those in Europe that have entered the history books with rise of class society, slavery, feudalism and capitalism. Throughout the world today, those still tied to the land and dependent on it directly (we’re all dependent on it in general) are closer to it spiritually, just like we are to other animals. Capitalism and industrial society has separated us from our natural ties to the land and nature.


Capitalism is destroying the planet and will end life on this orb as we know it if it is not overthrown. It is poisoning the oceans and overfishing. Vulture capitalists and so-called entrepreneurs are raising funds to increase lab produced meat, produced from animal cells. I do not know enough about this but I know this; I don’t trust tech millionaires or Warren Buffet to lead us in to the future.


It is Warren Buffet who owns the four obsolete dams I mention above.  According to what I read, even the dashing millionaire California Governor, Gavin Newsom who threatened to lay off San Francisco city workers if they didn’t accept a lower standard of living has politely asked the billionaire Buffet to tear down the dams. As of 2020 the cost was a meagre $450 million. This year, the social parasite Elon Musk’s net worth is $268 billion according to Forbes. Warren Buffet is worth $116 billion. Oxfam, in its yearly report on global inequality that it releases before all these parasites meet in Davos says that the world’s ten richest men, doubled their wealth during the pandemic. “Their wealth grew from $700bn to $1.5tn between March 2020 and November 2021”.


Warren Buffet is portrayed as this cuddly little old man who lives in a modest home in Omaha. The truth is that you have to be an absolutely ruthless individual to accumulate their sort of wealth; you can’t get rich working as my mum used to say and she left school at 14. You have to be prepared to close your eyes to the suffering your activity causes in order to stay ahead. Capitalism is a ruthless filthy system of production and ultimately it is the system that has to go, removing individuals or revenge activism is pointless. They are products of this mode of production and their own existence is threatened by their actions but they cannot stop themselves.  All US presidents are killers, the role demands it. Not Obama the liberals will say; he’s so nice, so cultured, so eloquent, Michelle too. He is indeed, so was Queen Victoria and all of the British ruling class that once controlled 23% of the world’s population. Don’t be fooled by that. 


Marx so eloquently pointed out that special feature necessary to be a successful capitalist:

“The restless never-ending process of profit-making alone is what he aims at. This boundless greed after riches, this passionate chase after exchange-value is common to the capitalist and the miser; but while the miser is merely a capitalist gone mad, the capitalist is a rational miser. The never-ending augmentation of exchange-value, which the miser strives after, by seeking to save his money from circulation, is attained by the more acute capitalist, by constantly throwing it afresh into circulation” The Transformation of Money in to Capital.


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