[WSMDiscuss] "The financialization of the world" : Vandana Shiva on 'natural asset companies' (NACs)

helena h.paul at gn.apc.org
Tue Oct 11 17:06:09 CEST 2022

Thank you Pallav.

Yes I was totally shocked when I read (and wrote briefly) last year about
natural asset companies, launched first on the New York Stock Exchange in
September 2021, because it is the ultimate market position on life. You take
living systems and aspects of them that are constantly being degraded and
destroyed and turn them into assets because they will increase in market
value as they become more and more scarce. It¹s just one of the things that
reveal that an economic system that is destroying the planet takes
precedence every time over the defence of the planetary systems we rely on
for our lives.  A few drink and drug-fuelled traders can speculate on life
itself. It reminds me of a saying that is ascribed to an Indigenous

> When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river
> poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.

The point is that we already do know that perfectly well, and have done so
for many years, yet the powerful market states continue relentlessly down
this fictional road of financialisation, creating toxic agricultural deserts
where forests once thrived and driving the people with the knowledge,
cultures and practices we now need more than ever, off their land and hence
out of their cosmos.

It is a kind of madness, destructive and delusionary, that has taken us to
the edge of the precipice. I say precipice advisedly, because planetary
systems themselves are warning us more insistently every day with floods,
fires, droughts, famine, disease, displacement and destruction of harvests.

We are on the road to making the planet uninhabitable for many species
including most humans.

However, at the same time more and more people live in virtual worlds
through their phones etc. And since they see movies or play games that have
long echoed what is happening now (Soylent Green for example), maybe they
get confused and do not quite believe the reality of what is so rapidly
unfolding Š preferring to inhabit the metaverse and its avatars or to kill
dragonsŠ so much easier than facing complex realities. Šand so much more
profitable for the corporationsŠ

And of course at the same time we are told that actually technology can
solve many of our problems quite simply with Œnatural climate solutions¹ or
Œnature-based solutions¹ so we don¹t have to worryŠ just go back to sleepŠ


From:  Pallav Das <dpallav at gmail.com>
Date:  Thursday, 6 October 2022 at 21:16
To:  Discussion list about emerging world social movement
<wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net>, Helena Paul <h.paul at gn.apc.org>
Subject:  Re: [WSMDiscuss] "The financialization of the world" : Vandana
Shiva on 'natural asset companies' (NACs)

Hello all,

I wanted to share a brilliant article on this issue, published on REDWeb
last winter. It's written by our colleague, Helena Paul, co director of
Econexus, Britain. Helena contends that as ecological services regulating
climate, and providing food, water, soil stabilization and cultural values
become scarce and gradually degrade, they become more attractive to
financial markets as economic assets for speculation and trade. Her article
also discusses the international "alternatives" challenging this insidious
attempt, often rooted in indigenous practices and wisdom. Take a look.


Helena, I wonder if you're on the WSM listserv? If not, perhaps Suren
Moodliar could help with that. Otherwise, you could send me your response to
the article below and I can post it on WSM.



On Thu, Oct 6, 2022 at 10:18 AM Brian <brian at radicalroad.com> wrote:
> This is an important discussion with Vandana Shiva about 'natural asset
> companies' (NACs) ‹ a lucid and essential read.
> ~ Brian 
> ____________
>> Natural asset companies/NSACs have been invented "to convert natural assets
>> into financial capital":  ³It¹s the final step of the financialisation of the
>> worldŠ it will mean the debt crisis will be used as a takeover of the real
>> resources and the real wealth ­ land, forests, rivers, biodiversity,²
> https://empirediaries.com/2022/10/02/vandana-shiva-on-natural-asset-companies/
> <https://empirediaries.com/2022/10/02/vandana-shiva-on-natural-asset-companies
> /> 
>> ŒFinal Step Of The Financialisation Of The World,¹ Says Vandana Shiva On
>> Natural Asset Companies
>>> Seed warrior and ecofeminist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, at the India International
>>> Centre in New Delhi during the Bhoomi Festival conducted by Navdanya on
>>> October 1, 2022 (EmpireDiaries.com <http://EmpireDiaries.com> )
>> Ratna <https://empirediaries.com/about/>  and Nadim
>> <https://empirediaries.com/about/>   EmpireDiaries.com
>> <https://empirediaries.com/>
>> New Delhi, October 2, 2022: Slowly, surely, and silently during the last few
>> years, Wall Street hawks and their global allies have been plotting an
>> unprecedented move ­ to capture the whole of nature and put it on sale.
>> That imperialist blueprint is ready. A new type of corporations called NACs
>> or natural asset companies, are being created to carry out the takeover of
>> nature.
>> Using these NACs, the imperialists want to colonise and own all of the
>> world¹s biodiversity and farmland, brand them as Œnatural assets¹, turn them
>> into commodities by stamping price tags, sell them off to powerful buyers,
>> and monetise on a scale never seen or imagined.
>> People who¹ve lived on those lands, and off them, for generations would no
>> longer have any rights to them. Only the new-born natural asset
>> companies/NACs can exclusively own the commodified farmlands, forests, water
>> bodies, reefs, wetlands, etc.
>> The privately-controlled NACs are being created by the New York Stock
>> Exchange (NYSE) and the Intrinsic Exchange Group (IEG). The land grab project
>> is funded <https://www.intrinsicexchange.com/>  by the Rockefeller
>> Foundation, IDB (Inter-American Development Bank), and Aberdare Ventures.
>> Seed warrior and anti-imperialism naturalist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, is alarmed
>> at the coming commodification of entire nature for profit. ³It¹s the final
>> step of the financialisation of the worldŠ Financialisation through the new
>> model of financial asset companies, which is aiming at 4,000 trillion
>> dollars, will mean the debt crisis will be used as a takeover of the real
>> resources and the real wealth ­ land, forests, rivers, biodiversity,² Dr.
>> Shiva told Empire Diaries <https://empirediaries.com/>  during the Bhoomi
>> Festival hosted by the Indian International Centre in New Delhi and organised
>> by Navdanya, a farmer rights and biodiversity conservation group.
>> Dr. Shiva, who spent decades saving India from patent imperialism, fears that
>> NACs, once rolled out successfully, will use local governments and local
>> agents to uproot the bottom billion from biodiversity and farmlands.
>> ³It¹ll mean total poverty and deprivation for the people who¹ve taken care of
>> these resources. That¹s because, sadly, most governments are indebted
>> [financially, to the outside world]. Most governments are seeking credit
>> where it can come from. So, they will be falling into the trap,² she said.
>> ³Therefore, sovereignty over our land, sovereignty over our seeds,
>> sovereignty over our food, sovereignty over our water have become vital. Not
>> just as systems of democracy and freedom, but as systems of sustenance and
>> staying alive.²
>> The Wall Street imperialists¹ agenda is evident from the audacious style in
>> whichnatural asset companies are described on the websites of the New York
>> Stock Exchange and the Intrinsic Exchange Group.
>> Here¹s what the New York Stock Exchange says on its website
>> <https://www.nyse.com/introducing-natural-asset-companies> :
>> ³The NAC is a transformational solution whereby natural ecosystems are not
>> simply a potential resource to extract, but an investible productive asset
>> which provides financial capital to responsible stewards of ecological
>> resources. As a publicly traded equity, NACs will enable investors to
>> allocate capital efficiently to meet their sustainability objectivesŠ
>> To convert natural assets into financial capital, IEG has developed an
>> accounting framework to measure ecological performance. Natural assets
>> produce an estimated $125 trillion annually in global ecosystem services,
>> such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity and clean water.²
>> While the NACs are defined here in sugar-coated language, the New York Stock
>> Exchange¹s website has given us enough hints of an imperialist agenda to
>> profiteer from nature. Notice phrases such as: Œinvestible productive asset¹,
>> Œfinancial capital¹, Œpublicly traded equity¹, Œinvestors to allocate
>> capital¹, Œaccounting framework¹, Œmeasure ecological performance¹, and
>> Œnatural assets¹.
>> The New York Stock Exchange¹s website also tells us precisely what is being
>> targeted in the imperialist swoop:
>>> ³Examples of natural assets that could benefit from the NAC structure
>>> include natural landscapes such as forests, wetlands and coral reefs, as
>>> well as working lands such as farms.²
>> Dr. Shiva shed light on the modus operandi of the coming land grab by natural
>> asset companies.
>>  ³In a globally integrated world, they (the new imperialists) don¹t need
>> local companies. What they will have are servicing agents. Just as much as
>> the existing financial world has involved most of the bright minds of India.
>> They¹re working for the banks and investment companies,² she said.
>> ³So, what they will do is spread their tentacles of new slavery ­ through
>> government systems, through new structural adjustment programmes, and through
>> new climate conditionalities.²
>> The activist, firebrand orator, and ecofeminist, who inspires women around
>> the world to resist farmland imperialism, fears the climate crisis will be
>> hijacked and misused by NACs to push their hidden agenda.
>> ³Climate change is something to which I dedicated such a long time of my
>> life, and I¹ve written about it in my book Soil Not Oil. Sadly, climate
>> change will be the means and mechanism through which the financialisation of
>> land, of biodiversity, of water will take place,² Dr. Shiva said, underlining
>> the trend of empires capitalising on crises to colonise land.
>> So, is it a cold-blooded imperialist plan to use the climate emergency and
>> launch NACs?
>> ³Well, one would not have imagined that. It¹s just that in the last year,
>> Bill Gates came out with his book How To Avoid A Climate Disaster where
>> everything is written clearly ­ such as net zero,² she said, pointing to last
>> year¹s heightened concerns about climate action.
>> Dr. Shiva trashed the concept of net zero, suggesting that it¹s mere
>> gimmickry because it doesn¹t actually advocate stopping CO2 emissions. ³Net
>> zero just means getting someone else¹s land for carbon sequestering, carbon
>> sinks, and carbon offsetting,² she explained.
>> By applying the net zero rule, major corporations with giant carbon footprint
>> ³can destroy a primary forest and offset it by a little park somewhere else
>> that they¹ll plant. This idea of offsets has emerged very fast last year, but
>> it¹s very clear that big schemes like this don¹t get born in a year, they¹ve
>> only emerged last year².
>> Dr. Shiva fears there¹s a hidden agenda behind the alarmist narrative
>> surrounding the ongoing global food crisis.
>> The popular paid media outlets are repeatedly telling the world that the
>> Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine caused the worldwide food crisis. But
>> Navdanya International recently came out with a scathing report
>> <https://navdanyainternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/SOWING-HUNGER-R
>> EAPING-PROFITS-REPORT-d2.pdf> , explaining the untold root cause of the
>> crisis.
>> ³What is crucially being overlooked by most diagnoses of the current food
>> crisis is how the problem does not lie in a lack of supply, or lack of market
>> integration, but instead in how the food system is structured around power,²
>> the report observes.
>> ³The main agenda is to take total control over food, and replace real food
>> with fake food and lab food,² Dr. Shiva warned. ³As their slogan is ­ farming
>> without farmers and food without farms.²
>> She compared the current discourse about a food supply crisis with a similar
>> manufactured narrative during the 1960s that saw the imperialist imposition
>> of the so-called Œgreen revolution¹ in India.
>> ³The green revolution was introduced during a year of drought, but it was
>> presented as a year of famine when nobody had died. I was old enough to know
>> that. Prices of wheat had increased, but there was no famine in India. That¹s
>> the narrative that the green revolution told to introduce chemicals [into
>> Indian farming practices],² she said.
>> The narrative of hunger ­ that there¹s more hunger than last year ­ is hiding
>> the real causes of global hunger, she feels.
>>> ³Today, why is an abundant land like Africa hungry? Firstly, they¹ve been
>>> made dependent on imports. Secondly, they¹ve been prevented from growing
>>> their own food and have food sovereigntyŠ The scarcity is part of the past
>>> injustice. And the new scarcity is because of the new injustice of the
>>> financial world having entered food.²
>> So, precisely when did the opportunistic globalists start plotting the
>> takeover of nature and food?
>> ³They did it in 2008, with the Wall Street collapse. That¹s when the
>> financial world said: ŒBuildings are not secure enough. But everyone will
>> always need land and food. And if we enter this business, we will never
>> lose,¹² she said.
>> Dr. Shiva, who has written multiple books on the corporate agenda to turn
>> agriculture into agribusiness, believes the worst thing to happen to the food
>> industry is the arrival of financial interest groups.
>> ³Financial companies have entered the food business. This year¹s food price
>> increase is 87% because of financialisation and financial speculation,² she
>> said. ³So, if we project into the 4,000-trillion-dollar economy sought
>> through natural asset companies, [we can see] the integration of chemicals,
>> biotechnology, informational technology, and the financial world, what they
>> call fintech.²
>> Slamming the crafty use of the so-called progressive term Œtech¹ as a means
>> of colonial takeover, Dr. Shiva said, ³Ag-tech, fin-tech, bio-tech ­ all of
>> this with the attachment of the word Œtech¹ is the big takeover of the food
>> system.²
>> Dr. Shiva lamented that society slipped from the simplistic days of barter to
>> the complex financialisation of nature and food systems. She slammed
>> destructive episodes in recent history, such as the British stealing $45
>> trillion from India, and the birth of the World Bank and the IMF, which she
>> says were ³created to continue the colonial experiment. For every dollar they
>> lent, they generated three dollars of business for themselves².
>> ³That¹s why, for me, Navdanya is so important,² said the
>> scientist-environmentalist. ³It¹s what keeps reality alive. It¹s what keeps
>> hopes alive. It shows that every time a scare is created, there are women who
>> say they¹ll never give up our farming, they¹ll never give up their food.
>> ³About 35 years ago, I started saving seeds and created community seed banks.
>> We now need seed banks of knowing how to live without the financial slavery,
>> knowing how to live without the seed slavery of the Monsantos and the Bayers,
>> and without the new food slavery that Mr Gates would like to create.²
> _________
>> REPUBLISH! Feel free to repost this article on the following terms: (1) Use
>> the writers¹ bylines at the start, (2) Hyperlink this post, (3) Mention our
>> website EmpireDiaries.com <https://empirediaries.com/>  with a hyperlink.
> _______________
> Blog: https://murphyslog.ca
> Twitter:  @BrianKMurphy2
> ________________________________________
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