"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
The poachers, the toxic waste dumpers, the illegal loggers, fishers and miners and those facilitating the black market trade for exotic animals and plants are among the criminals making bank on the destruction of the environment, a new report from the U.N. and Interpol finds. According to Reuters, the “enormous increase” in environmental crime is now netting up to $213 billion per year, money that funds criminal networks and armed conflicts at the expense of economic growth.
Businessweek has more on how that plays out globally:
Illegal logging, worth as much as $100 billion worldwide a year, poses one of the biggest threats, damaging forests and generating incomes that “dwarf” other types of wildlife crimes, according to the report.
Militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab are among groups that illegally tax charcoal shipments. The total value of that unregulated trade in conflict-hit African nations alone is estimated at as much as $289 million a year, UNEP said.
Elephant poaching provides income for militants in African nations including Congo and the Central African Republic. The illegal trade in ivory is a key source of revenue for the Lord’s Resistance Army which operates around Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan, while the Janjaweed based in Sudan along with other “horse gangs” in that country, Chad and Niger also benefit from the sales.
Protecting endangered animals and limited resources, in other words, is only the beginning of why the report’s call for tougher laws and enforcement is necessary.
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email email@example.com.More Lindsay Abrams.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)