Rekindle Your Wild Joy and Deep Belonging to the Earth

I Stand with the Xingu River June 1, 2011

This photo, which I got from La Mina Circle in Los Angeles, reveals a tragic moment in the politics of the earth.

Chief Raoni of the Kayapó people broke down crying when he learned that the Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff. approved construction to begin on the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant & dam project on  Xingu indigenous lands.

If it does go through as planned, the Belo Monte dam will inundate nearly a million acres of rainforest & indigenous lands. The new water body will be bigger than the Panama Canal.  40,000 local and indigenous people will be forced off their native lands, all that habitat vitally useful to countless local and migratory species destroyed, and millions of unknown species of animals and plants murdered.

The goal to produce electricity is a good one, but this way of attaining it is not. It brings unconscionably high environmental and social costs, and could just as easily be met through greater investments in energy-efficient, place-appropriate methods of generation.

Let’s just call the Belo Monte project what it is: a horrific genocidal project for the short-term financial gain of a few. This project means a death sentence for the people of the Great Bend of the Xingu river, as indigenous peoples’ culture and survival are inextricably tied to the land. It also means irreversible environmental destruction.

Large dam projects like this are just the sort that North Americans endorsed for so many years as a symbol of successful “progress” but which we are now are coming to regret, as we realize their contribution to unintended unpleasant environmental consequences. For example, such dams play a key role in the tragic loss of salmon populations, who need an adequate flow of very cold water in contiguous waterways to survive. This means less delicious wild salmon to eat and serious economic trouble for all the folks making a living from the fishing industry, as well as an unimaginable loss to the native peoples for whom salmon is an extremely important totem of their identity.

I stand with the Xingu River and its people of all species in opposing this madness. If you do too, has a petition to the Brazilian president that you can sign:

Stop the Belo Monte Monster Dam!

From their website: “This is the last chance we have to paralyze Belo Monte’s construction,” said Renata Pinheiro. “The future of the Xingu is in your hands, indigenous peoples and social movements. You succeeded in stopping Belo Monte for 30 years – now more than ever we need to strengthen our resolve.”


21 Responses to “I Stand with the Xingu River”

  1. Ash Ritter (facebook link) Says:

    ♥♥♥ calling on all miracles

  2. Laura Sebastianelli (facebook link) Says:

    terrible news! is there any hope of change?

  3. Lorraine Fish (facebook link) Says:

    This is AWFUL

  4. Lorraine Fish (facebook link) Says:


  5. Julie James (facebook link) Says:

    Oh. This hurts my heart. Oh no, no, no.

  6. Pamela Carr (facebook link) Says:

    what a crime, such a loss

  7. Mary Margaret McMurtry (facebook link) Says:

    I signed. But it makes me ashamed to be human that this is even an issue.

  8. Kathy Perko (facebook link) Says:

    signed and shared

  9. Michelle Levy (facebook link) Says:


  10. Michelle Levy (facebook link) Says:

    signed and shared.

  11. Tina Fields Says:

    There is a new petition out now that calls for “nature” to be granted formal rights:

  12. MC Says:

    Spread the word. here’s the miracle we have all called for. Manifest! Positive Intentions! And fill your consciousness with LOVE for the indigenous people as well as everyone else in this planet. Namaste.

  13. Carola Lola Says:

    You can sign a petition against the hydroelectric project:

  14. Heather Shebib Stock (facebook link) Says:

    ‎40,000 people will be misplaced from their heritage, their natural habitat, their homes. Where are they going to go?????? To join the slums of Brazil and be open to disease, crime, and immorality? 400,000 acres of forest will be destroyed ~ that includes species of animals. If we can fly to the moon and put satellites in outer space, why the heck can’t the government fund the making of solar panel fields to generate electricity. Then no one, and nothing gets destroyed.

  15. Leilani Munter (facebook link) Says:

    That is just awful. We can’t keep this up, the earth and her resources are finite. Sad times, indeed.

  16. […] also nearing extinction can not. They are in exactly the same situation, and give it a human voice- a perspective we can empathise with. I tried to use this idea as inspiration for this part of our […]

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  18. Cindy McDaniels Says:

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  19. j.m.m. Says:

    apparently, this is NOT what the photo is of, although the plight of the kayapo is tragic and should be made known to the world.

  20. […] If it does go through as planned, the Belo Monte dam will inundate nearly a million acres of rainforest & indigenous lands.” (from Indigenize) […]

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