The Suffering Is Too Great to Endure
Hope – versus Neoliberalism – an Ode to Solidarity
By Peter Koenig
...According to a recent ‘shocking’ IMF revelation, worldwide subsidies for fossil fuels are estimated at US$5.3 trillion for 2015. The institution says that the subsidies are largely accounting for the money governments have to spend to treat victims of air pollution from CO2 emission and from the loss of income due to illnesses.
In other words, the study has for once accounted for the so-called externalities caused by the use of hydrocarbons. The subsidy counts for about 6.5% of global GDP. Based on figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) cutting the subsidies could reduce premature deaths from outdoor air pollution by 50% - saving 1.6 million lives, because it is assumed to reduce the use of hydrocarbons worldwide.
So – why is no serious effort made to abolish these subsidies, by having the polluter pay the full cost of the damage he causes? The subject of hydrocarbon subsides is not new. It has been whispered about – no loud words, of course – for at least the last five years. Nothing changed.
And why has mining become a booming industry, mind you not for the countries that let themselves be mined, but for the mining transnationals – because the western war machine needs lots of minerals and rare earths for their ever more sophisticated electronically and technology-driven weapons and killing gadgets.
There is no solidarity in the European Union. To the contrary, the EU Commission has just decided to fight these refugees from misery, disease and death – by military force; completely ignoring that the EU itself with its subservient complicity with Washington is responsible for the conflicts that cause the flood of refugees in the first place.
The greed economy is everywhere. It is intricately woven into our western system of life. Reforms will hardly make a difference. They are just typical band aid remedies. The octopus loses one tentacle, but two more grow in its stead to give the monster even more ferocity.
We are so thirsty for hope, hope for another, more just, more equitable world, we see hope in the first ‘blinking of an eye’. Hope is good. Hope is the basis for action. And action must be the consequence of hope – hope that not all is lost.
Let’s hope together for that to happen – to happen soon, for the suffering is too great to endure much longer. We, the 99.99 % have it in our power to stop this misery and save our planet.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.