Thursday, April 26, 2007

before the end, the other end of the world

When we saw the happy-go-lucky pair with their wealthy and pilates-toned bodies approach Rove at that insanely boring correspondent dinner, our "there goes the environment" radar went off. Sky high.

One tends to forget that all success stories are built on a base of mass quantities of failures. Yes, it's true that the USA consumes a lot of energy. And that other countries, mainly China, are racing to become more 'developed'. Its also true that before the US, England was the main power house, and before them, France and Germany, and before them the 'italianos', and Spain, and...

Today, you can see the northern part of Spain (formerly known as Castilla La vieja), completely devastated and barren. No crops and no water. You can travel the Black Forest and see dead trees. The industrial part of Milano, makes New Jersey look like Nirvana. Or just take the train on the northeast, and see whole neighborhoods abandoned or in plain poverty.

The point is that to obtain all this 'success', something had to be destroyed. In short, our natural resources. And with OURS we mean, all humans, before and after us. The big countries of Europe could not have become what they are today without the resources ("bought" for a song) from the Americas and Africa. Hundreds of years of digging and shipping have left enormous scars on the planet.

The question is HOW do one revert 500 years of global economic policy?

Using only one piece of the toilet paper? Or drinking water from the faucet instead of fancy but fully depleted aquifers in the world (see Fuji/Evian etc)? Stop eating meat? Or Monsanto beans? Or putting more advisers in the White House (as Crow and David suggested...)?

Some time ago, during the hectic anti-nuclear 70's, a certain new world model was put in place. Some call it the Bretton Woods (IMF and World bank) and the 'Washington Consensus', others 'Postmodernism'. Basically, and behind doors, they gave an offer no one could refuse. The 'Consensus' gave a few practical guidelines to HOW to deal with any Nations affairs (privatization of natural resources). 'Postmodernism', on the other hand, gave the theoretical background: no need to ponder, everything is more or less possible. And, forget about IDEAS on what KIND of world you want because, from here and on, each country can 'develop' in sync with the role models.

It took the model less than 10 years to be fully implemented on all levels. A big success story that's now called 'globalization', where Nations compete for investments. Gone is the original State, or at least, the Idea of a institution that cares fully, in present and future, about their citizens.

The current 'environ-mania' is kind of scary. It's as if hundreds of million of people, that struggle for clean water, food and roof over their head ON A DAILY BASIS have nothing to do with it, and never had an 'environmental' thought in their life. And because of all this, the need to act that many feel, can easily be guarded by other interests;

'Energy dependence' becomes "search for new sources of energy", that in turn becomes "corn based fuel", that in turn becomes "more subsidies and use of land" by the farmers, and "let's import more from abroad so they have to destroy their forests" and "use land formerly for food consumption to feed our cars"...

Or, it comes down to "substituting" petroleum for nuclear energy.

Both "options" are highly concentrated in the hands of a few companies (AREVA, ADM)

'Lack of water' becomes "need for access to water" and so, 3 or 4 companies have global control over the drinkable water, after major privatizations.

'Carbon neutral' becomes "use your Hummer/SUV but remember to plant a tree", or "continue emitting toxic gases but remember to buy 'carbon emission' elsewhere". The 'carbon market' -only in 9 months in 2006- traded unregulated over $22 bn.

'An inconvenient truth' becomes a million dollar industry for Al Gore and pals. Everybody wants a piece of it, even our dear leader HE Bush.

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