Nixon explains his concept of slow violence as: “violence that occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space, an attritional violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all,” (Nixon 2011:3). Nixon describes examples of slow violence as toxic buildup, massing greenhouse gases, and accelerated species loss due to the destruction of habitats, in which the casualties of the consequences of slow violence are apparent only generations after the start of the catalyst.
This blog, in form of a photo essay, will look at amassing greenhouse gases as a form of slow violence in terms of the causes of contributors to greenhouse gases and why the amassing of greenhouse gases is of great concern.
In terms of creating greenhouse gases, fossil fuel burning and use causes a large green house gas emission. By burning coal to create electricity, creating heat and powering transportation, carbon dioxide is released from the burning of this fossil fuel, which contributes to the collection of greenhouse gases and the green house effect. In the past couple of hundred years, the collection of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased, due to an increasing demand for electricity and heating for home and industrial use.
Intense farming of livestock is another contribution to greenhouse gases. Highly compact farming environments with way too many animals then there should be contribute to greenhouse gases. The use of fertiliser and manure releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Transporting animals to and from slaughter houses and transporting animal feed and equipment to manage those animals releases carbon monoxide into the air as emissions from the cars and trucks used. Methane is the biggest offender, with concentrated farming releasing much of the methane that the world releases into the atmosphere.
Deforestation and the loss of flora around the world is a big problem in terms of contributing to greenhouse gases. Simply, without trees to catch carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, more carbon dioxide is being allowed into the atmosphere. Through need for more land for agricultural, industrial and residential use, more and more acres of forests are disappearing, which decreases the amount of trees that are available to absorb carbon dioxide.
Cars on the road and transport in general contribute massively to greenhouse gases. More cars are driving on roads every day due to an increasing world and working population, and the increased amount of cars on the road are releasing more carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere.
The reason greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere is such a serious concern, is because it contributes to global warming. The gases trap longwave radiation from the sun, instead of letting it through the atmosphere, which means that more heat is being trapped in the atmosphere and causing the Earth’s temperature to increase gradually annually.
Nixon, R. 2011. Slow violence and the environmentalism of the poor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.