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Germany's Black Gold Threatens Villages
By Isabell Zipfel
03 Jun 2014

Despite Germany’s reputation as an environmentally conscious nation, the country has been quietly ramping up its production of brown coal in recent years. As mining companies buy up land and dig vast open-pit mines, natural areas are being desecrated and inhabitants of nearby villages are being forced from their homes. Now, residents in nine villages in the eastern state of Brandenburg fear for the future of their homes, as the very land their houses are built on is being bought-up by Swedish mining company Vattenfall.

Brown coal is considered by many to be the black gold of the 21st century. After oil, coal is the world’s most important energy source, which makes mining it a highly lucrative business. Germany is the biggest brown coal producer in world, far ahead of China and the United States. In 2013, they produced over 162 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from brown coal. Currently, Germany’s coal production is at a 25-year high and shows no sign of slowing down. Some coal industry experts are even calling the recent surge in production a “brown coal renaissance”.

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Matriarchal Societies Around The Worl...
By Nadia Ferroukhi
24 Apr 2014

China, Yunan Mosuo of the lake Lugu For nearly 2000 years, the Mosuo society’s structure has been based around matrilineal rule : love is lived without a marriage contract, without legal constraints, only through the rhythm of feelings. Men is not aware of the status of the father, only that of an uncle. He helps his sister raising her children, but is not admitted into the family of his love unless she decides to. The rule requires him to leave the room of the lover before daybreak; it is the custom of zouhun, the «walking marriage.» The women will then decides whether the alliance will last one night or a lifetime. She will not be asked anything. She is the one who carries the family name and who holds the reins of the house. The heritage is transmitted from the mother the daughter. Unlike new emerging female communities such like in Kenya , how can an old matrilineal system live its confrontation with the outside world ? A pinch of feminism in the heart of a country of strong patriarchal tradition. In Mosuo language, the words jealousy, war, murder and rape do not even exist. Chine, Yunan les Mosuo Depuis près de 2000 ans, la société Mosuo s’est bâtie autour de règles matrilinéaires. L’amour se vit sans contrat de mariage, sans contraintes morales, au seul rythme des sentiments. L’homme n’y connaît pas le statut de père, seulement d’oncle. Il aidera sa sœur à élever ses enfants, mais ne sera pas admis dans la famille de son amoureuse sauf si elle le décide. La règle lui impose de quitter la chambre de l’amante avant le lever du jour, c’est la coutume du zouhun, le « mariage à pieds ». La femme décidera si cette alliance durera un soir ou toute une vie. Aucun compte ne lui sera demandé. C’est elle qui porte le nom de la famille et tient les rênes de la maison. Le patrimoine est transmis de mère en fille. Contrairement aux nouvelles communautés féminines émergentes, plus militantes comme au Kenya, comment un des plus ancien système matrilinéaire au monde, peut vivre sa confrontation avec le monde extérieur ? Une détonante pincée de féminisme au cœur d’un pays de forte tradition patriarcale. En langage Mosuo, les mots jalousie, guerre, meurtre et viol n’existent même pas.