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Slime
Hamburg
By Ralf Falbe
22 Dec 2015

Singer Dirk Jora of the German Punk Band Slime performs at the club Fabrik in Hamburg, Germany.

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Oil in Tabasco 14
Nacajuca
By jforde89
15 Dec 2014

A retired "Petrolero" fishes as a marine perforation facility which was being repaired departs from the port of Dos Bocas. Chances are the foreign companies get their promised oil share offshore, since social conditions will probably make it too "rough" inland.

Eliazar Benitez, 65, is originally from Aguascalientes in the centre of Mexico but moved to this area 40 years ago. He has worked with many different companies but all within the oil industry.

"There are some 120+ oil rigs that sit off the gulf coast with an average of 200-300 people working on each and the workers are mainly foreigners: Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Americans and Venezuelans.," he said. "They keep the majority of foreign workers off land as not to upset the locals, but you can easily see them when they finish their 28 days on and are flown to land via helicopter. A large percentage end up in local brothels, and it is not unusual to see prostitutes waiting for the workers when they come to land."

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Oil in Tabasco 01
Nacajuca
By jforde89
14 Dec 2014

The economic history of the state of Tabasco, located in southern Mexico, can be resumed in one word: Extraction. One million hectares of lush rainforest were turned into pastures during the logwood and mahogany booms from the 17th century. Cattle were introduced into the cleared areas to make sure the natural ecosystem will not regenerate, and feed the meat markets of Mexico City. In the 70's the prime natural resource of our time made it's grand appearance and the oil boom started.

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Oil in Tabasco 03
Nacajuca
By jforde89
14 Dec 2014

The oil region of Tabasco is a densely populated swampy area of around 10,000 square kilometers, known as "La Chontalpa" the land of the Maya-Chontal people. This region was the cradle of civilisation in Mexico and is one of the most diverse regions in the world, culturally and biologically. Most of it's inhabitants remain impoverished and few opportunities are present for young men.

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Oil in Tabasco 09
Nacajuca
By jforde89
14 Dec 2014

Most of the labour force contracted by the oil industry is not local. The local population have created a myriad of syndicates as a negotiating entity to get "a share of the cake".

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Oil in Tabasco 11
Nacajuca
By jforde89
14 Dec 2014

The Maya-Chontal Villages went from naturally being flooded 3 months a year to 9 months of flooding every year due to some water diverts made to protect the capital city and oil business center Villahermosa.

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Oil in Tabasco 12
Nacajuca
By jforde89
14 Dec 2014

The local youth dream of becoming a "petrolero", but chances that they will get a spot in the industry that involves more than cleaning are low.

Pedro, 17, gets basic cleaning jobs at Poza 123 (Pool 123), if he is lucky donning the signature orange jumpsuit once a month. Julio De La Cruz, a teacher at a primary school in Tapotzingo says that, "None of the people from the surrounding areas have been allowed to enter work on the oil fields other than cleaning, and not one peso has been given back to the communities."

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Oil in Tabasco 02
Nacajuca
By jforde89
13 Dec 2014

Pemex is a state company created in 1938 after the nationalisation of the oil industry. It is the biggest company in the nation and the worlds second largest not publicly listed company (after Cargill). It provides a third of all Mexican government tax revenues collected and employs more than 150,000 people. Despite these facts it has been advertised by the media as a burden for Mexico for almost twenty years.

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Oil in Tabasco 04
Nacajuca
By jforde89
13 Dec 2014

Foreign oil companies have been working in Tabasco for many years. The recent oil reform promoted by president Peña Nieto supposedly will end PEMEX control over Mexico's oil and will turn foreign companies from contractors to shareholders. In the picture we see two Schlumberger employees taking a rest.

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Oil in Tabasco 05
Nacajuca
By jforde89
13 Dec 2014

The ecological damage has been critical in some points and has generated protests among the rural population since the beggining of the boom. One of the first protest initiatives was the "Pacto Ribereño" (a pact among the riverside communities) created to defend the countryside in 1975.

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Oil in Tabasco 06
Nacajuca
By jforde89
13 Dec 2014

The swamps are exceeded on their filtering services, and patches of oil are omnipresent in the lowlands of the region.

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Oil in Tabasco 07
Nacajuca
By jforde89
13 Dec 2014

Fish, the natural main source of protein of the region where 40% of the fresh water in Mexico Discharges, is now poisoned with heavy metals like mercury, nickel and lead.

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Oil in Tabasco 08
Nacajuca
By jforde89
13 Dec 2014

Fish, the natural main source of protein of the region where 40% of the fresh water in Mexico Discharges, is now poisoned with heavy metals like mercury, nickel and lead. The Santo Tomas environmental organisation has put in place an oil watch programme they to monitor oil spills on land. However, Hugo Ireta Guzmán, who works with the organization, says that the pollution at sea still poses problems to the local economy.

"There have been many problems with the local camarones (shrimp)," he said. "Many people used to rely on this as a main source of protein, but now the region imports a lot from other parts of Mexico because of contamination in the sea."

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Oil in Tabasco 10
Nacajuca
By jforde89
13 Dec 2014

The area intricate system of rivers once were the avenues for the Maya-Chontal indigenous communities. They were used to take out their cacao to the shores and control the sea trade all the way from Veracruz to the Coast of Honduras before the spanish conquest of Mesoamerica.

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Oil in Tabasco 15
Nacajuca
By jforde89
13 Dec 2014

The perforating tower comes once a good amount of oil is detected in the underground. On average almost 500,000 barrels of high quality oil are extracted each day in Tabasco along with almost 1.5 millions of cubic feet of natural gas, that means 1 barrel for every four inhabitants of the region a day. The Tabasco Shore produces another 300,000 barrels a day. That makes around 30% of the oil produced in Mexico, the rest comes from the shores of the state of Campeche.

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Oil in Tabasco 13
Nacajuca
By jforde89
13 Dec 2014

Halliburton's labourers take a lunch break in front of a perforation tower. This company has brought a high number of Venezuelan citizens to work in Tabasco.

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Tabasco's 'Petroleros:' Mexico's Pern...
Nacajuca, Mexico
By jforde89
12 Dec 2014

Oil is everywhere, our way of life depends on that non-renewable resource in a level we could have never imagined. But the "bags of sun" as Carl Sagan called the oil fields are not omnipresent in our world as oil byproducts are. Those zillions of decomposed corpses from millions of years ago only appear at selected spots in the surface of our planet. Sometimes they are found offshore or in deserted areas where no one lives. Other times they appear in densely populated areas, where it's extraction deeply disturbs people's way of life. This is one of those areas. The place where everything started. The water-land where the olmecs, the mother culture of mesoamerica, were already using crude oil for many purposes 3500 years ago.

The economic history of the state of Tabasco, located in southern Mexico, can be resumed in one word: Extraction. One million hectares of lush rainforest were turned into pastures during the logwood and mahogany booms from the 17th century. Cattle were introduced into the cleared areas to make sure the natural ecosystem will not regenerate, and feed the meat markets of Mexico City. In the 70's the prime natural resource of our time made it's grand appearance and the oil boom started.

On average almost 500,000 barrels of high quality oil are extracted each day in Tabasco along with almost 1.5 millions of cubic feet of natural gas, that means 1 barrel for every four inhabitants of the region a day. The Tabasco Shore produces another 300,000 barrels a day. Foreign oil companies have been working in Tabasco for many years. The recent oil reform promoted by president Peña Nieto supposedly will end PEMEX control over Mexico's oil and will turn foreign companies from contractors to shareholders.

The oil region of Tabasco is a densely populated swampy area of around 10,000 square kilometers, known as "La Chontalpa" the land of the Maya-Chontal people. This region was the cradle of civilisation in Mexico and is one of the most diverse regions in the world, culturally and biologically. Most of it's inhabitants remain impoverished and few opportunities are present for young men. Today the local youth dream of becoming a "petrolero" for a chance to earn decent wages, despite the low chances they have of landing a job involving more than cleaning.

Pedro, 17, gets basic cleaning jobs at Poza 123 (Pool 123), if he is lucky donning the signature orange jumpsuit once a month. Julio De La Cruz, a teacher at a primary school in Tapotzingo says that, "None of the people from the surrounding areas have been allowed to enter work on the oil fields other than cleaning, and not one peso has been given back to the communities."

Despite syndicates organized by local leaders to negotiate for a share of the work, most of the labour force contracted by the oil industry is not local. Eliazar Benitez, 65, is originally from Aguascalientes in the centre of Mexico but moved to this area 40 years ago. He has worked with many different companies but all within the oil industry.  

"There are some  120+ oil rigs that sit off the gulf coast with an average of 200-300 people working on each and the workers are mainly foreigners:  Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Americans and Venezuelans." he said. "They keep the majority of foreign workers off land as not to upset the locals, but you can easily see them when they finish their 28 days on and are flown to land via helicopter. A large percentage end up in local brothels, and it is not unusual to see prostitutes waiting for the workers when they come to land."

The ecological damage caused by oil extraction here has been critical and has generated protests among the rural population since the beggining of the boom. Fish, the natural main source of protein of the region where 40% of the fresh water in Mexico, is now poisoned with heavy metals like mercury, nickel and lead. Patches of oil are omnipresent in the lowlands of the region. 

The Santo Tomas environmental organisation has put in place an oil watch programme they to monitor oil spills on land. However, Hugo Ireta Guzmán, who works with the organization, says that the pollution at sea still poses problems to the local economy. 

"There have been many problems with the local camarones (shrimp)," he said. "Many people used to rely on this as a main source of protein, but now the region imports a lot from other parts of Mexico because of contamination in the sea."

 

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Thailand: A Solar-Powered Path to Dev...
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
09 Dec 2014

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Access to electricity is a key element in development. However, in Thailand there is an important gap in access to energy between rich and poor that has persisted over the years, especially in rural areas. The situation is critical in some marginal areas, such as the Thai-Burma border.

The lack of electricity makes these communities more vulnerable. In these areas, some villagers depend on candles or kerosene lamps that are very expensive and have a negative impact on their health. They also pose serious risks to their livelihoods since their homes are usually constructed with bamboo and dried leaves that can easily catch fire. On the other hand, these communities must gather wood in order to satisfy their most basic needs, tasks that are normally carried out by women, cutting into the time and energy they could devote to other economic activities. Moreover, some schools and hospitals do not have access to power for needs as basic as keeping vaccines refrigerated.

The Thai government implemented solar energy systems in more than 200.000 households in 2004. However, most of the systems died because of the lack of maintenance. In this context, a Thai woman founded an organization to refurbish the old equipment and to train local people on how to maintain it. Her project aims to be self-sustainable. If successful, it could bring some much needed relief to families who currently struggle to meet their energy needs.

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Lublewo, Poland 2014
lublewo
By Laura Chiaroni
20 Oct 2014

A gas flare is a combustion device used in oil or gas production sites having wells and rigs. This operation consists in burning off the overproduced gas, which would be too much expensive to stock and transport. Gas flaring has serious environmental consequences and it is a significant source of carbon dioxide (as well as several other carcinogenic substances) emissions.

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Cévennes, France 2014
Cévennes
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Sep 2014

In July 2011 France was the first European country to pass a law (“Loi Jacob”) banning the technique of hydraulic fracturing for extracting natural gas and oil. The big popular demonstration of Villeneuve de Berg on February 2011 was an important turning point in the cancellation of the first exploration permits within the Cévennes National Park area and towards the national moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

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Karmin, Poland 2014
karmin
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Sep 2014

Fracking operations produce loud noises and need a stable and strong illumination, even at night. When drilling sites lie a short distance away from houses and villages, the lives of the inhabitants suffer significant difficulties.

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Miłowo, Poland 2014
milowo
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Sep 2014

Deforestation caused by test extractions of shale gas in Milowo, northern Poland.

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Lubocino, Poland 2014
lubocino
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Sep 2014

A PGNiG worker is verifying the progress of excavation in the fracking site of Lubocino, northern Poland.

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Baraniec, Poland 2014
baraniec
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Sep 2014

A rig used for shale gas extractions by FX Energy, an American oil company.

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Aujac, France 2014
Aujac
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Aug 2014

André Agniel, former Mayor of Aujac from 2001 to 2014, poses next to the Rue Josh Fox plate. This street has been named after the young American director and activist Josh Fox, author of Gasland. In 2010 this documentary was the first and the most important testimony against fracking that led to the creation of several protest movements all over the world. Rue Josh Fox was inaugurated on the 29th of May 2014.

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Rome, Italy 2014
rome
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Aug 2014

ENI headquarters. In 2010 the Italian oil company ENI (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) obtained three licenses for shale gas exploitation in Poland. After less than four years, the company was among the first ones to give up all of its polish shale gas permits because of tough geology and an unclear regulatory environment.

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Bruxelles, Belgium 2014
bruxelles
By Laura Chiaroni
05 Jun 2014

A Chevron billboard inside the central railway station in Bruxelles. In June 2014, the Belgian capital has hosted the G8 summit about clean energy and climate change

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Pungesti , Romania 2014
Pungesti
By Laura Chiaroni
10 Mar 2014

The entrance to the Chevron shale gas extraction site in Pungesti, eastern Romania. On the 7th of December, during some violent protests against fracking, the fences of the platform were totally destroyed by the population. Since that day, the Romanian government led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, declared the area a special security zone. This decision entails a constant presence of the Gendarmerie on site and restricted access to the village.

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Paltinis, Romania 2014
paltinis
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Mar 2014

A child holds a lamb in front of his house. Paltinis, a small village in the Vaslui region, is mainly populated by Gypsies, a community entirely devoted to agriculture and livestock farming. Chevron has planned to explore shale gas and start its second Romanian fracking site in the village.

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Silistea, Romania 2014
Silistea, Romania
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Mar 2014

Alexandru shares a small house with a group of anti-fracking protesters. The house is located near the drilling platform and since last January it has become the Resistance of Pungesti headquarters.

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Paltinis, Romania 2014
paltinis
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Mar 2014

Some houses in eastern Romania still don't have running water. Aquifer and groundwater pollution would be major issues in the gipsy village of Paltinis, where a shale gas exploration project is due to start in the next months.

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Izvoarele, Romania 2014
Izvoarele, Romania
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Mar 2014

Inside a damaged house in Izvoarele, Galati county. In October 2013, the village of Izvoarele was the epicenter of an intense seismic activity. People believe that the cause of the earthquakes is to be found in the experiments of hydraulic fracturing that were supposed to be conducted in the nearby town of Schela. These assumptions have never been confirmed.

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Vaslui, Romania 2014
vaslui
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Feb 2014

Anti-fracking graffiti in the center of Vaslui, the county seat of one of the poorest and most rural area of Romania.

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Pungesti, Romania 2014
Pungesti, Romania
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Feb 2014

The first shale gas exploration site of Romania is located in Silistea, a village within the Pungesti commune.

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Munich, Germany 2013
munich
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Oct 2013

Oktoberfest is the world's most famous beer Festival and largest funfair, held annually in Munich, southern Germany. In 2013 the German Brewers Federation strongly opposed the draft regulations concerning the exploitation of unconventional gas and the use of fracking in the country because the legal changes planned by the federal government were “not sufficient to guarantee the security of drinking water supplies and to take into account the requirements of the German Beer Purity Law”, which only allows water, barley and hops in the production of beer. For now shale gas explorations are blocked in Germany, although the country is estimated to have between 700 and 2300 billion cubic meters of shale gas reserves, according to the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources.

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Balcombe, United Kingdom 2013
Balcombe
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2013

An anti-fracking protester in front of the gate of the Balcombe drilling site, West Sussex. From the 25th of July 2013, part of the population of Balcombe and activists from all over Britain gathered against unconventional gas explorations. They initially occupied the land on which the rig was supposed to be erected and then the road that leads towards Brighton. The so-called Great Gas Gala lasted 68 days: it did not prevent Cuadrilla from drilling, but it was a first and important moment of self-awareness for the British anti-fracking movement.

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Niger, paradis obscur de l'uranium
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
22 Sep 2013

L’uranium nigérien permet d’éclairer une ampoule française sur trois, tandis que seul un Nigérien sur dix a accès à l’électricité. Le 20 septembre, l’Etat sahélien a lancé un audit des mines d’uranium détenues par Areva, afin que l’exploitation du minerai contribue d’avantage à son développement.

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Balcombe, United Kingdom 2013
Balcombe, United Kingdom
By Laura Chiaroni
20 Sep 2013

A protester welcomes the cars crossing the community camp near Balcombe, West Sussex.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 12
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

A shack that serves dinner is announced by a neon light above a row of cooking put full of rice and leaf sauce. Here, Malian migrants after the night meal, Niamey.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 3
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

After the night’s prayer, reading of Koran under the white neon of a shop, Niamey.